Oregon legislature fails to resurrect hunting practice banned by Oregon voters in 1994-
Cougar hunting bill dies in Senate committee. Ashland Daily Tidings.
Cougar hunting interests say they will try again in 2012.
Cougar hunting bill dies in Senate committee. Ashland Daily Tidings.
Cougar hunting interests say they will try again in 2012.
The suspected source of the pigs is California where they are an invasive species causing some significant damage.
Oregon and Washington to reduce, hopefully eradicate, feral pigs. Seattle Times. AP
Because there are not many wolves in Oregon, this is a big deal. The pack has 10-14 members. There was one other wolf pack known on the Oregon/Washington state border in 2010 — the Wenaha Pack. It might have 6 members. USFWS has ordered capturing and “euthanizing two un-collared sub-adults from the Imnaha pack.” That wolf pack has killed some cow calves every once and a while over the last year.
Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild said in a statement, “This kill order randomly targets any two wolves of Oregon’s Imnaha Pack. That is not wildlife management, it is retribution.”
My view is that, of course, it is retribution. After watching and writing about wolf depredations of cattle for over 15 years now, I’d say “wolf control” is almost always retribution of a kind. Wolves rarely kill enough livestock in any place to make the dead calf or sheep an economic issue, but it is always a political issue. Wolves killing livestock are treated with the same gravity as human homicides and political assassinations, reflecting the values of those who rule in western rural areas.
Update on Oregon wolf packs (taken from a news story). “Oregon currently has three wolf packs: the Imnaha (10 wolves at latest count), Wenaha (six wolves) and Walla Walla (three wolves). The Walla Walla pack is new and wildlife managers are still trying to determine their range, which could primarily be in Washington State.”
Although it might just be passing through, this is a first for this mountain fastness.
Last summer, my spouse (Jackie) staffed a fire tower on the edge of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, which covers much of the mountain range.
The creation of the vast Eagle Cap Wilderness, plus a number of subsequent additions, was a great conservation victory.
Story. Wolverine tracks found for first time in Wallowa County. Researchers seek to answer if animal was loner or part of pack. East Oregonian.
Regarding this headline . . . wolverine don’t form packs.
What the federal delisting for wolves means for Oregon’s packs, ranchers. By Richard Cockle, The Oregonian.
The Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains is large and rugged. It’s in extreme NE Oregon near Washington and Idaho. This herd of 25 bison is of unknown origin. What a happy discovery!
Wild herd of bison roams base of Wallowa Mountains in Oregon. Richard Cockle. The Oregonian
One of my photos of the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
The state or Oregon is providing official monthly news on its wolf population.
There are two wolf packs, the large Imnaha Pack and the small Wenaha Pack. Both are in the extreme NE corner of the state near Idaho and Washington.
Here is the December update: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/oregon_wolf_program/2010_December_wolf_report.pdf You can find the archived reports at Wolves in Oregon. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Related story in the Seattle Times. Oregon wolf pack has 2 more pups than expected. The Imnaha wolf pack in northeastern Oregon may have more pups than previously thought. The Associated Press
The study that found this wasn’t looking for poaching per se. It simply emerged as a very major cause of death.
Good to get this out there before wolves are blamed. There are only about 20 wolves in Oregon so far. Already the article mentioned them.
There were 500 radio collared mule deer in the study. The study period was 5 years. The study was between Bend and south to the CA border. A total of 128 deer died during the 5 years. Poachers got 19, legal hunters got 21, cougar got 15,8 died when hit by vehicles, disease felled 5, 4 got into non-vehicle accidents (such as entanglement in fences). 51 died of unknown causes, which would have put more into each of the previous categories.
This is a followup to our earlier story in the Wildlife News. Oregon range rider hired to watch out for wolves, quits. September 17, 2010
Farewell to one of my top five: Wolf range rider. By Cassandra Profita. Ecotrope.
Boss says range rider quit for economic reasons. By Cassandra Profita. Ecotrope.
The Oregonian is the state’s leading newspaper. They printed an editorial telling the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife not to be so quick to kill wolves just because some livestock were killed. That is fine with me, but I’d really see the additional argument that in deciding to kill from among the small number of Oregon wolves, there ought to be some attempt to kill those wolves likely to actually have done the deed, and to do so within a reasonable time. Otherwise it is just revenge.
Unlike what the paper writes of Idaho and Montana which they think of as places where experience has been gained in controlling wolves, these states now make almost no attempt to match depredations with wolves. They just go in and kill entire packs for any tiny reason.
Presumably we are not medievalists who believe in retribution against animals of a species because of the acts of one or two of the members, but all we have to do is examine some of the policies now in force to see that those in power are not far from that mindset.
Wolves in Oregon: Don’t be so quick on the trigger. Saturday, July 10, 2010, 3:35 PM. PDT
The Oregonian Editorial Board
A temporary victory for the Imnaha Pack.
News release from the plaintiffs.
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I borrowed the info below from email. It is a news summary from Oregon on the lawsuit (before the reprieve).
Here are the other press hits:
La Grande Observer:
Longer AP story as printed in the Seattle PI:
OPB on June 30th Rule Change
Press release on all plaintiffs websites
Perhaps the best was in the Bend Bulletin, but that is by subscription only.
Revenge wolf killing threatens to make its way to Oregon. In Idaho the attitude is of WS is “their are so many damn wolves who cares if we kill the wrong ones?” “We have lots of leeway to indulge our 16th century urges.”
Oregon is different with just a few wolves. The wolves responsible for killing the livestock have moved well away from the area. There is still a kill order for two of the pack. Any two will do as long as they have no radio collars. Thus, it is simply revenge killing, not an attempt to solve a problem.
Here is the text of the suit.
Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands, (541) 434-1463
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
Greg Dyson, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, (541) 963-3950 x 22
Rob Klavins, Oregon Wild, (503) 283-6343 x 210
Lawsuit Filed to Stop Federal, State-sanctioned Killing of Endangered Wolves
PORTLAND, Ore. Four conservation groups sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s predator control branch, Wildlife Services, today for its role in killing wolves at the behest of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). The state has issued, and now extended to Aug. 31, a permit to the federal agency to hunt, track and kill two wolves across a 70-square-mile area in eastern Oregon. According to the conservation groups’ lawsuit, Wildlife Services never conducted the environmental analysis required to disclose the impacts of killing a substantial portion of Oregon’s wolves. Cascadia Wildlands, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, Oregon Wild and the national Center for Biological Diversity brought the suit, and are also strongly considering suing the state for its role in authorizing the kill permits.
wyomingnews-June18-2010 pdf file.
They are accused of multiple arson wildfires, threats to federal officials, even a fire set to drive out hunters. This began as early as 1982. Some locals call them “good people,” “salt of the earth.” Bill Hoyt president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, said there are no better people in the world than the Hammonds [family name of the accused].
Oregon ranchers charged with arson and threats. By Jeff Barnard. AP Environmental Writer
Update: The Hammonds are scheduled for arraignment in Eugene U.S. District Court on June 28 on the felony charges, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This story came up in a Google Alert today and the first half of the article talks about radio tagging salmon, an interesting story but the second part of the article talks about an entirely different subject: wolves in the Oregon Cascades.
Over the last few years there have been a number of reported sightings of wolves in Central Oregon west of Bend. Are these truly wolves or could they be escaped pets? Certainly wolves could make the trek there from Idaho and there is a lot of wild country and a prey base that could support wolves here but are they there now?
On the air, alive and well from a fish’s stomach.
Bill Monroe – OregonLive.com
The state of Oregon seems to be to be taking a reasonable, measured bit of action after that state’s only confirmed wolf pack killed a handful of livestock in the upper Wallowa Valley.
According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, “The lethal action is aimed at killing wolves that are showing an interest in livestock, not wolves simply in the area, and will be limited to an area where three of the confirmed livestock kills are clustered. Under the terms of the authorization, the wolves can be killed a) only within three miles of three clustered locations with confirmed livestock losses by wolves and b) only on privately-owned pasture currently inhabited by livestock. ODFW’s authorization will be valid until June 11, 2010.”
If Idaho and Montana took this kind of approach, the wolf controversy would be much less.
ODFW authorizes lethal removal of wolves
Breeding pair to be protected
News Release from ODFW
Rotenone has been used a number of times on carp at this national wildlife refuge, but it never gets them all. Once again there over a million carp. Is there any long term solution?
Explosion in carp numbers have caused big drop in birds at eastern Oregon refuge. By Richard Cockle, The Oregonian
Wolves at the door: Wallowa County [Oregon] ranchers face their worst fears. By Kathleen Ellyn. Wallowa County Chieftain.
According to this reporter, not only did the bad wolves dig in a rancher’s bone pit, they left big scary tracks in the snow. And some squirrel hunters saw a pack of wolves right out in the open, up in a canyon, right in the middle of the day!!!!!!
While these horrible events were going on, some 60 silly local people were watching the film, the Lords of Nature, explaining that wolves might actually be good to have around.
Note: I understand this newspaper’s stories are only on-line for a week. So the link might disappear. That would be too bad because this story is remarkable for trying to make something out of nothing.
Fish and Wildlife plane crash in Oregon kills 2. News-Times.com. AP
The worm is thought to be behind the declines in Wyoming moose populations as well.
Oregon biologists fear small moose herd may be infected with deadly parasite
By Richard Cockle, The Oregonian
Wolf sightings on rise in Oregon Cascades. By The Associated Press
Note, I updated the link to a longer version of the story. Ken
The alpha female is former Idaho wolf B300F. I predicted earlier that the Imnaha River was a natural migration corridor for Idaho wolves into Oregon.
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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022; Fax: (503) 947-6009
Nov. 19, 2009
Video shows 10 wolves in the Imnaha pack
A video taken by ODFW on Nov. 12, 2009 in the Imnaha Wildlife Management Unit (east of Joseph, Ore. in Wallowa County) shows at least 10 wolves make up a pack that ODFW has been monitoring since June 2008. The video was taken from an adjacent ridge across a canyon and shows a mixture of gray and black individual wolves moving upslope.
Also found here:
“ODFW has been regularly monitoring this pack but until this video was taken, we only had evidence of a minimum of three adults and three pups making up the pack, says Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “Pups can be difficult to distinguish at this distance, but it appears there may be as many as six pups in the video.
When Gold Ray Dam (further upstream) is taken out next year, over 150 miles of the magnificent Rogue River of SW Oregon will have been returned to freedom.
Story in the LA Times. Oregon dam’s demise lets the Rogue River run. By Kim Murphy.
Ranchers ask for more subsidies in Oregon and receive taxpayer dollars to kill wildlife. Rather than adapting to a changing circumstance by doing more to proactively protect their livestock from predators they ask for the Federal Government to step in with funding while two counties divert $40,000 to hire a wildlife executioner who will spend their days killing coyotes, bears and cougars until the comparatively rare wolf depredation occurs.
Witness the beginning of another welfare ranching subsidy which turns into a system that asks for more and more taxpayer dollars and kills more and more wildlife.
County commits $20,000 for predator control.
Baker City Herald
There are only two breeding packs in Oregon, one of them has been implicated in 5 incidents of livestock predation, two wolves are slated to be killed.
Kill order placed on Ore. wolves killing livestock
We planned to go to B.C. and Alaska this summer. Glad we didn’t. Instead we stayed in Pocatello, Idaho where a very wet late spring and cooler than normal summer has greatly reduced normal fires and given clean skies.
On the other hand much of B.C. and Alaska have been very dry. Massive forest fires burn out of control, and Oregon and Washington too have recently suffered from extreme heat. Smoke from the fires has resulted in dense air pollution to the north, while most of Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming have escaped the smoke. The winds are now, however, blowing the smoke down into Montana, Northern Idaho, and across the Dakotas and Great Lakes.
Fires have broken out in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington, setting the stage for smoky skies further to the south. Some relatively small forest fires are now burning in Idaho and Montana (just updated), although this season will probably not see many large forest fires due to the still relatively wet wood.
You can follow air quality in North America at U.S. Air Quality. This site has a lot of photos and graphics.
Stories: Workers overwhelmed as B.C. burns. Rod Mickleburgh. Globe and Mail.
Out-of-state smoke rolls into Montana: Plume from British Columbia fire lingers in area. By Michael Jamison. Missoulian
Wildfires slow to start this year in south central Idaho. By Nate Poppino. Magic Valley Times-News writer
Fires burning wild across Interior Alaska. Smoke: Two expand beyond 800,000 acres; 30 cabins threatened. By Kyle Hopkins. Well 30 threatened cabins doesn’t sound like a major event, but 800,000 acres in two fires does.
I should add that the desert southwest has suffered from extreme heat (more extreme than the usual during the summer)
Recently Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) announced that in talks about salmon recovery that dam breaching should be on the table. It’s not an endorsement of dam breaching but it is a departure from former Senator Craig’s stance.
On top of this development comes a letter to politicians signed by several business owners in Lewiston and Clarkston who will be affected whatever happens to the dams.
If the dams are breached then river transportation will go away. If they stay then the cities will require significant infrastructure to keep the rising waters from flooding them due to the fact that the dams are filling with sediment.
One interesting thing mentioned in the letter is that the promised economic boom from dam construction never came.
I argue that the dams should be removed for various reasons, not least of which being the ecological benefits of recovered salmon.
A new twist in dam removal on the Snake River
By Lance Dickie
Seattle Times editorial columnist
Crapo takes a politically risky stand for salmon
Commentary: Kevin Richert – Idaho Statesman
Memorial Day Weekend Trip in Photos
My wife and I went to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeastern Oregon for Memorial Day weekend to do some bird watching and a little fishing. I had intended to post this shortly afterwards but other stories and a trip to Massachusetts and Maine got in the way.
We took a day trip through the Catlow Basin and through part of the Alvord Basin to Coyote Lake Basin as well. While there I did a little fishing for the Willow/Whitehorse Creek Cutthroat which is a minor subspecies of Lahontan Cutthroat. I caught and photographed two of these fish.
Yes! but no cow Wilderness, please!
Although no wolf packs are confirmed yet in Oregon, it looks like at least one is present despite years of reports and illegal shootings of lone wolves. The usual suspects are agitating for the removal of these wolves.
Wolves kill 23 lambs on Oregon ranch. By Mark Furman KVAL.com Staff
Update. I see that the Associated Press has decided to caption the photo in the link above as “Camera captures wolves killing lambs in Oregon.” But that’s not what the photo shows. It clearly shows one wolf gingerly sniffing a dead lamb.
Once again private compensation for losses to wolves is not good enough. They want to reach in the taxpayer’s pockert for their losses. The truth is they don’t like to ask a conservation organization, no matter how willing they are to pay; and they especially don’t like to ask a woman.
In Oregon, sheep and lamb losses to predators in the most recent NASS annual report are as follows:
This is for one year.
Coyotes = 5,700
Cougar = 1,200
Dogs = 700
Eagles = 200
Bears = 100
There was much rejoicing as the President signed the Omnibus Public Lands Bill, usually and incorrectly called the giant new “wilderness bill.”
It does add 2-million acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System, but it does many other things, including protect 1.2 million acres of the Salt River Range, Wyoming Range, and Commissary Ridge areas in Western Wyoming from oil and gas leasing (and hence drilling). These areas will not be managed as Wilderness, although as a result of the bill, large parts of them will remain roadless. Drilling in these scenic, but unstable, wildlife rich areas would cause immense devastation. They still suffer from excessive livestock grazing.
The bill also designates new Wild and Scenic Rivers, including the first in dry Utah, where building dams on rivers has been a tradition. To win support for the bill, money was provided to study the rebuilding of the Teton Dam in Eastern Idaho, which failed catastrophically in 1976 when it was first being filled after a long fight with conservation groups who predicted it would not hold water. I should note that fighting this dam was my first major conservation issue.
There are 500,000 of new official Wilderness in Idaho and 316 miles of wild and scenic rivers included in the larger Owyhee Canyonlands bill. This bill has sparked conflict among conservation groups, not because it designates Wilderness, but because it also releases to livestock development a number of roadless areas, plus other provisions. I have heard that the bill did undergo some improvement in the U.S. Senate when it was “cleaned up” by Committee Staff.
David B. Moen is searching for evidence that might indicate that condors once inhabited Hells Canyon. There is already evidence that they once bred in the Columbia Gorge and even farther north into British Columbia. Is Oregon and Hells Canyon still suitable habitat for recovery?
Note: I was lucky enough to see a pair of California Condors on the Coast of California at Big Sur in 2003. As we were driving away one flew 50 feet above us. That is when you realize how immense they are with their 9 1/2 foot wingspan.
This has already been reported in the comments on one of the threads here; but for everyone this is what has happened.
California filed suit to overturn the Bush/Kempthorne diminishment of section 7 consultation.
Congress is right now moving to directly overturn this new regulation. Story
Now Oregon has sued as well. Oregon joins lawsuit against feds on endangered species. By Michael Milstein. Oregonian.
Section 7 requires that an agency with a project has to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see if the project will affect endangered species. Any experience with government agencies tell you that you can’t expect an agency to be honest about the side effects of a project they want to build, carryout or whatever. So you need a neutral party of experts to give an independent judgment. Agencies almost always just hate to get an opinion from the USFWS that their prize project “may jeopardize” an species.
The Bush/Kempthone rule would, among other things, make it so that agencies don’t have to consult.
Nevertheless, an Oregon paper asked the question.
Trouble is there is no grizzly bear corridor into Oregon. Grizzlies would first have to fill up central Idaho where there are probably none.
There have been sightings of “grizzlies” for years in NE Oregon, but not one verified.
Moose enter Oregon, so are grizzlies next? By Richard Cockle, The Oregonian
Recent polls show Jeff Merkely tied or ahead of GOP incumbent Gordon Smith who has supported the Bush Plan (keep the dams) on the lower Snake River in Washington state.
This is a regional (Pacific Northwest) issue, not a Washington state issue. Most fishery biologists think worthwhile salmon recovery in Idaho can’t happen with these 4 river blocking navigation dams in place. They were would to make Lewiston, ID a seaport.
Rocky Barker opins on the race and the issue. Dam breaching an issue in Oregon Senate race. “Letters from the West.” Idaho Statesman.
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Photo of the Lower Monumental Dam (one of the four dams) on the lower reach of the Snake River in Washington State.
Oregon is cracking down a bit on shooting elk in an enclosure. Idaho seems to be the Western state that is relentlessly backward on this odious practice.
Prohibition on shooter bulls goes into effect next year. The East Oregonian