Oregon’s Assumptions on Cougar Hunting Misplaced

courtesy of New West
by George Wuerthner

Oregon, like many western states, allows cougar hunting. Part of the justification for hunting is the assumption that killing cougars will reduce livestock losses and increase public safety. There is, however, growing scientific evidence that suggests that sport hunting is more likely to increase cougar predation on livestock and may even increase the likelihood of cougar attacks on humans.

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Rewarding Bad Behavior

courtesy of Oregon Wild
by Rob Klavins

Over the last few years, we’ve had some laughs at the expense of the anti-wolf crowd. But just as crazy political rhetoric and misinformation got a lot less funny with the shooting of a Congresswoman and federal judge; it’s gotten a lot less funny in the wolf wars too – Especially after yet another illegal killing.

After being shot out of existence to pave the way for easier grazing, the recovery of western wolves is poised to become one of America’s greatest conservation success stories. Oregon’s less than 2-dozen wolves have successfully had pups 3 years in a row and are beginning to take their first real steps towards recovery. That’s welcome news for most Oregonians.

Still, that recovery is tenuous, and from DC to Salem to the Umatilla National Forest, wolves are facing serious threats. Since the first wolf made its way across the Snake River in 1998, over 1/3 of Oregon’s wolf population has been killed by government agents, cars, and poachers.

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Look Out, Varmints: Rep. Schaufler’s Coming!

courtesy of Capitol Currents
by Chris Lehman

Democratic Representative Mike Schaufler does not appear to be a fan of the Endangered Species Act.

During a hearing of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee this afternoon, Schaufler sympathized with eastern Oregon ranchers who were advocating for several bills dealing with wolves.

One bill would allow people to “take” a grey wolf if the animal is close to their house or threatening their domestic animals. Schaufler seemed to think this was a good idea.

“In my humble opinion, if your cattle, your pets, your family, your property is threatened, you should be able to shoot any varmint that’s making that threat, even if it’s the last one on earth,” he said.

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Oregon Cattlemen Out of Touch with Wolf Reality

courtesy of HinesSight
by Brian Hines

As I’ve said before, ranchers shouldn’t be afraid of the Big Bad Wolf — now that a small number have established residence in Oregon. Disease and severe weather kill vastly more livestock, so cattlemen’s freak-out over wolves returning to our state is uninformed and irrational.

Today the Salem Statesman Journal ran a guest opinion by Bill Hoyt, current president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. It was titled “Oregon cattle industry needs help to stay strong.”

Well, Bill, your members already are getting lots of help from us taxpayers, who are subsidizing cattle grazing on public land in what has been correctly called welfare ranching.

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Wolf Pack Confirmed in Umatilla County, Oregon

courtesy of the East Oregonian
by Phil Wright

Wolves are now living in northern Umatilla County, a state wildlife official confirmed today.

Mark Kirsch is the Umatilla District wildlife biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He said more than one Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf has settled in the Walla Walla River/Mill Creek system.

“When we say more than one wolf, I think we’re pretty confident we have no less than three,” Kirsch said.

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