Oregon wolf-control experiment tested
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — As long as wolves have been making their comeback, biologists and ranchers have had a decidedly Old West option for dealing with those that develop a taste for beef: Shoot to kill.
But for the past year, Oregon has been a “wolf-safe” zone, with ranchers turning to more modern, nonlethal ways to protect livestock.
While the number of wolves roaming the state has gone up, livestock kills have not — and now conservation groups are hoping Oregon can serve as a model for other Western states working to return the predator to the wild.
“Once the easy option of killing wolves is taken off the table, we've seen reluctant but responsible ranchers stepping up,” said Rob Klavins of the advocacy group Oregon Wild. “Conflict is going down. And wolf recovery has got back on track.”
The no-kill ban has been in place since September 2011.
At the end of 2012, zone numbers in the state had risen to 46 from 29 in 2011, according to state fish and wildlife officials. Meantime, four cows and eight sheep were killed last year by two separate packs, while 13 cows were killed by one pack in 2011.
Wolf advocates hope the Oregon experiment can spread elsewhere, especially Idaho, which had 746 wolves in 2011. In 2012, hunters and wildlife agents killed 422 wolves, compared with 296 for 2011. Sheep and cattle kills, meantime, went up from 192 in 2011 to 341 in 2012.
Idaho Fish and Game biologist Craig White said it “raised eyebrows” on both sides of the wolf debate when the livestock kills rose even as more wolves were killed.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Immigrants warned of increase in scams
- Study touts benefits of full-day preschool
- Tough Texas gets prison results by going softer on crime
- Some in Congress turn down retirement pension, but many cash in
- Kahlo’s workplace to be reimagined in New York Botanical Garden
- Ferguson angles to avoid fate of riot-torn cities
- With no indictment, chaos fills Ferguson streets
- Oregon police dog fired from job
- McCarthy-era felon: Lies doomed me
- D.C. charges woman over armed protest
- Brown family blasts prosecutor; Wilson speaks