Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Department is holding a second hearing on a wolf plan Friday in Portland. The plan is unpopular with ranchers and wolf supporters alike.
Oregon didn’t have documented wolves before 2005. Since then, thanks to the animals crossing over the border from Idaho, Oregon now has 11 packs, totaling at least 112 wolves. Twelve years ago, the state adopted a plan to manage the wolves but wants to revise it now that the population is growing.
The Capitol Press reports this new five-year management plan has been criticized by ranchers and environmentalists.
Ranchers say the new plan would make it harder to protect their cattle, because the state wants to increase the number of allowable attacks on livestock before exterminating the wolves.
Environmentalists take issue with the proposed wolf population cap in the plan. They also don’t want officials to kill wolves if deer and elk numbers drop, as outlined in the plan.
While the draft plan is debated Friday, ranchers in 10 Oregon counties will split up more than $180,000 in grant money to compensate them for livestock killed by wolves. The cash will also pay for non-lethal deterrents to keep wolves away from farm animals.
Oregon Fish and Wildlife has no set date to adopt a new plan.
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