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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters and comments for June 16, 2011

Letters and comments for June 16, 2011

Letters and comments for June 16, 2011

Treading a fine line

To the Editor:

Wallowa County Stockgrowers President Todd Nash, in an Observer story  June 7, said that the presence of wolves in Wallowa County is a  no-win situation. Not so.

The serious attempt this year by ranchers, conservationists and the ODFW to use non-lethal means to reduce livestock conflict has been effective. No losses occurred where fladry was used. The collaring of more wolves with GPS collars has allowed hazers to move wolves away from stock, and has enabled the ODFW to get a better idea of which wolves are responsible for attacks.

The pack has been reduced from 16 to around eight through lethal removal and dispersal. Up till last week, about 60 head of dead cows and calves have been buried at the Wallowa County landfill, which gives an idea of how small the proportion of wolf depredations is to cattle death by other causes.

The Imnaha pack represents half of Oregon’s wolves and is the best chance for attaining a recovered population, at which time wolves will be delisted. More than that, it is Oregon’s most famous and accessible pack, drawing tourists and tour operators to our region. The Oregon Wolf Plan, flawed though it is, is accomplishing its purpose of treading the fine line between livestock and conservation interests, for which ODFW’s Russ Morgan and his team should be commended.

Although conservationists may take issue with some recent ODFW actions, they understand the difficulties of wolf management and can appreciate the honest efforts of those charged with this truly demanding task, an understanding and appreciation notably lacking among the outspoken Wallowa County stockmen.

Wally Sykes



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