Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission Strips Wolves of Endangered Species Act Protections

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Ignoring scientists and the pleas of thousands of concerned wildlife advocates, Oregon’s Fish & Wildlife Commission voted to remove gray wolves from the state Endangered Species Act.

[pullquote]”It’s a travesty to see another fish and wildlife agency use politics rather than science to drive wolf management decisions. This is a time when wolves need more, not fewer protections in place to help them reach a full, sustainable comeback.” — Leda Huta, Executive Director, Endangered Species Coalition [/pullquote]

Gray wolves in Oregon have recovered to a population of just 81 individual wolves, leaving them highly vulnerable. The decision to remove protections hinged on a highly dubious Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) report that was called into question by independent scientists. The report and associated delisting plan are described as “fundamentally flawed” by researchers due to its reliance on overly optimistic modeling that discounts the threats that small populations like those in Oregon must face.

Potentially worse than ODFW’s reliance on an erroneous study, is the agency’s selective exclusion of scientists that disagreed with their delisting plan. Scientists whose comments were not supportive of ODFW’s plan were left out of the agency’s presentation to the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission, calling into question both the report and the agency’s motives.

The existing population of just over 80 wolves is just 5 percent of what peer reviewed studies have determined the state can support, but the agency contends that this premature delisting will prevent a decrease in social acceptance of wolves. This assertion based on an assumption of future societal attitudes towards wolves dismisses the agency’s mandate to recover populations based on science, and inexplicably surrenders to inaccurate misperceptions of wolves. ODFW and the Fish & Wildlife Commission appear to have made this decision based only on political input from hunting and agricultural groups, with little to any credence given to scientists as required by law.

The overwhelming majority of the public that spoke out on Monday and in advance of the hearing, as well as the scientific community, supported continued protections of wolves in the state. That the agency chose to ignore all of these voices when wolves have only recovered to approximately 10 percent of the state should concern anyone interested in science-based decision making.

Update: Representative Peter DeFazio (D OR-4) released a statement calling on the Governor and Legislature to take action.

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13 comments on “Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission Strips Wolves of Endangered Species Act Protections

  1. Leave the wolves on the endangered species list. Who are you to decide what is or isn’t to be on the list? That’s not how it is done. They’re important to the environment and should be protected. So leave them alone.

  2. Why cant we leave animals alone why does man insist on killing everything the world is for everyone we wont be happy until every animal on earth has gone will we be happy then if we are not killing them we ill treat them why?

  3. Everything we worked for to save this beautiful animals is now at risk because of a few jerkoffs in politics the Oregon fish & wildlife commission every member needs a pink slip and go home & get new people to be in charge fresh eyes the sellout politicians already infiltrated the committee damn politicians ruining everything we the people need to make example out of them & let them know who is in charge

  4. Delisting a pitiful 81 wolves has got to be the most inhumane, idiotic decision yet! Has mankind gone mad? There will be wolf haters poaching these wolves in no time. The laws are a slap on the hand. Hatred for wolves is an inbred belief of lies,myths, and fairytales. Has greed totally possessed all government officials from the lowest to the highest? This country has become so corrupt, there’s no hope for anyone!!

  5. Science is what needs to be followed here and not corruption! We have pleaded and asked that science be a huge dynamic and part of the recovery of wolves ~ while it is present and unanimously for the wolves as to the very role that this apex predator plays for our ecosystem it is ignored. I am sorry but I am tired of taxes being paid to make others rich while you decimate my wildlife. The wolves belong to all of us and to delist them is indeed a death sentence! We have very few left yet your still not satisfied until you eliminate them all. If hunters have rights to shoot them then non hunters should have rights to keep them alive. I humbly ask that you keep these wolves listed and protected! It’s a sad day & time actually when man must decide what animal lives or dies when ultimately we should have left them alone Mother Earth takes care of her own and man has upset the balance for which she has put in place.

    1. The wolves have not made a full come back as of yet, they are on the endangered species list for a reason. Not taking the specialists advice and disregarding the scientific evidence is wrong and just goes to show just how corrupt the government is.

  6. Why is the OFWC so adamant about stripping Wolves of protection? Is every wildlife commission out to bring our Wolves to the point of extinction? Then what, what animal is next on the list?
    It seems all wildlife services have turned their backs on the well being of the very animals they are supposed to protect. Why doesn’t President Obama fire the whole lot of them and start with some real animal caring people. At this rate there will be zero wildlife for the next generation. The USFWS is a giant embarrassment to all Americans and should have ALL employees including Dan Ashe replaced.

  7. This is wrong, how long will it take for people to understand the usefulness of wolves on the ecosystem, all one has to do is look at how great they were in Yellowstone National Park when they were re-introduced. They help keep the sick animals at a minimum and they keep other predators in check also. Wolves do not kill for enjoyment, nor do they over kill…….what they kill they eat every piece of. They are not the vicious killers everyone wants to portray them as. They act just like families, taking care of all members and are naturally very shy creatures who just want to be left alone. They do not search out humans to hurt, but as with any animals they will react when cornered or to protect their cubs. Humans need to readjust their old stereotypes of wolves and do the right thing. Wolves are needed in this world.

    1. Those “stereotypes” are EXCLUSIVELY of European and Asian origin, and are BY NO MEANS the product of the entirety of your species. Seek other views, other histories, other relationships still expressed, and abandon the utilitarianism brought to such vile extremes. Because your culture has introduced such atrocious ideas, is no reason for that culture to be accepted as valid in any way. Go further back, humans for a hundred thousand years lived without this culture – private property has only existed as a concept for something in the range of 400 years.

      You can make a new culture, but just like the old saw about reinventing the wheel, find an older, more integrated way of looking at your life, at human life.

      Do you really believe in the necessity for violent dispute, for guns as answer, as management tools?

      I speak with self-important lawyers who remain immersed within a system that creates and prizes sociopathy, watching universities graduate Masters of Business Administration who have no knowledge or care for the life right here around them. THEY are not going to listen to any suggestions that they change from what they seek.

      I see domesticated relatives of wolves on chains, relegated to social status as lesser beings. This very species, humans, have this failure – this willingness to relegate a lower status to others of its or of any individuals of its kind’s choice.

      I once knew a wolf, who unable to understand the limitations of domestic dogs who had lost their innate understanding of wolf sociality, used to demand they follow the protocols of his kind. By being domesticated, they have lost more than they can understand. Finally the wolf just ignored them, though he sought for his own kind, sought the life of his knowing nature, and sought my bond with him, having chosen these, having been born to make such choices.

      I no longer know anything of the human race, except that there are just too many, too invasive and controlling.
      What right exists to fence, to “own”, to kill at a distance? Arrogance is the thoughtless belief that one should have such rights.
      What new culture will prize tolerance?

  8. Delisting a mere 81 wolves is not a scientifically sound decision. There is ample room for them to continue to recover, which they are not even close to being allowed to do! Please reconsider!!

  9. Dr. Carroll of Klamath Conservation, whose modeling work has been the foundation of much of the understanding of the ecological needs of the wolf in the US, including the Mexican Wolf, has pointed out in his letter to the ODFW that the presumption that Idaho is still a valid source of wolf genetic variation, is false – the OR Plan was developed when wolves were still protected in ID, and almost all the dispersal into OR comes from that time.

    Unless Idaho and Montana wolf persecution (in the erroneous name of “management”) is ended, wolves in the US, especially Oregon and California, will suffer descent into more and more similar, genes, leading either to the effective inbreeding of cousins or closer relationships, or, due to their own innate aversion to this, will slowly diminish in number.

    So, Idaho in particular, and Oregon, by refusal to update its recovery plan in light of the massive death and genocide attempt by Idaho, will not serve as a source for California, but merely as an exhibit of the Euroamerican purposeful attempt to extinguish the native North American wolf – this time disguised as “management” rather than the past overt admitted tactic of eradication of the 1600s to 1900s.

    Since some .orgs are now litigating against the OR delisting, we now know that reactive action is the general policy.
    I suggest,, in light of this constant naivete’ that the Cattlemen’s associations, the farm bureau federations, and the hunting organizations, lobbies, and individuals, become the targets of your disagreement and ire. They have consistently shown that they will not accept the native species (whether wolf, bison, or wild ungulate, bear species – you may not be aware that ranchers seek to exclude elk, deer, pronghorn, bison, from attempting to return to their natural homes), and thus themselves seeking eradication of nature, are to be removed from any presence on this continent.
    Unless they make space and act tolerant toward the native creatures and ecosystems of this land, they are a blight, and must be targeted.

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