Editors note: The story correctly describes the line between federal and state protections, and the kill/no kill rules; the confusion is perhaps that the rancher quoted in the story is from east of that line.
To the editor:
There were some errors in the “Wolf Trouble” articles.
In Oregon, wolves west of Hwys 395-78-95 remain protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, with the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the lead management agency. Livestock producers may not shoot a federally-listed wolf when it is attacking livestock. Also, it was not correct to suggest that a hunt could be arranged in the federally-listed area to address chronic livestock depredation. An agency-led control action is what might be possible under certain circumstances.
The “Caught in the Act” rule only applies to wolves found east of the boundary (Hwys 395-78-95). In this area of Oregon, a livestock producer may shoot a wolf without a permit that is caught “in the act of biting, wounding or killing livestock or working dogs” when the wolf is on their property or lands they lawfully occupy as long as no person has used bait or taken actions to attract wolves. They need to preserve the scene and contact ODFW within 24 hours after shooting a wolf in this situation.
Livestock producers should review the rule, which is available on ODFW’s Wolves and Livestock website. The website includes many other tips on how to identify wolf activity and what to do when wolf depredation is suspected.
ODFW and USFWS also urge livestock producers with concerns about wolves to get in touch with their local USFWS or ODFW office and subscribe to ODFW’s Wolf-Livestock Updates page for the latest information.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Wildlife Communications Coordinator