Letters to the editor for March 25, 2013

By Observer Upload March 25, 2013 09:03 am
Letters to the editor for March 25, 2013



State sets high standard for wolf compensation

To the Editor:

Professor Maille’s idea of paying ranchers to harbor wolves is interesting, but Oregon already sets a high standard for wolf compensation programs and non-lethal deterrents. 

Ranchers benefit from the state program in many ways: rather than negotiating with Defenders of Wildlife, the compensator until September 2011, they now set values themselves, and the fund is administered by their own community; whereas formerly probable losses were compensated at 50 percent of market value, now both probable and confirmed losses are paid at 100 percent; and for the first time, claims for stock with no visible injuries, but likelihood of trauma by wolf harassment, are compensated, and at the same rate as wounded stock.

State funds ($25,000 for Wallowa County in 2012) for purchasing and deploying non-lethal deterrents, now widely used, have reduced financial loss to stockmen. After compensation of more than $19,000 to Wallowa County ranchers for 2011, funded by Defenders of Wildlife and Oregon taxpayers, claims fell to $5,396 for 2012, a reduction of more than 70 percent. Concurrently, the number of Wallowa County wolf attacks fell by 20 percent and the number killed by 60 percent, despite an increased wolf population. 

Stock protected by turbo-fladry (electrified flagging) or RAG (radio-activated guard) boxes has never been attacked, and two range riders haze wolves. Most expenditures on equipment and labor is spent locally.

The ODFW continues to provide nonlethal tools and help with removing bone piles and wolf monitoring.

Controversially, the Oregon Legislature last year created a tax credit for ranchers experiencing wolf depredations, set aside $37,500 to fund it, and authorized local sheriffs as investigating agents, who will be far less rigorous in their investigations than the ODFW.

Oregon has made a huge effort to accommodate stockmen, and at the same time adhere to the will of the majority who wish wolves a place in this state.

Wally Sykes






Give a special Easter prayer

To the Editor:

As I watch the news of all the trouble in the world and in our government it is evident that God’s word is being fulfilled. 

This Easter season let’s give the praise and glory to our Heavenly Father for sending his blessed son, Jesus, to take our stance at the cross for our sin. And in doing so, gave us his promise and wonderful gift of eternal life through our risen savior, Jesus Christ. 

May our Heavenly Father be with all the military men and women, the policemen and policewomen, and all their families this Easter season. And may each of us hold steadfast in faith of our risen savior, Jesus Christ. This is my Easter prayer. 

Janice Roberts

La Grande




Quit complaining, trying to disarm the rest of us

To the Editor:

An open letter to the people who want to live in a country without guns:

Go ahead, move to one of them. But if you want to live here, remember that your right to live freely here was won with the lives and blood of a legion of people with guns who fought and killed with those guns. In fact, they are still doing it. So quit complaining, quit trying to disarm the rest of us and be happy. God bless and keep you.

Nicholas L. Smith

La Grande