25 Mar 2008, 6:32pm
by admin

What federal wolf delisting means for Oregon’s livestock producers

Here is an example your government at work. What follows is a press release from the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, with some commentary from Wildlife and People thrown in:

ODFW Press Release, March 21, 2008 [here]

LA GRANDE, Ore.—A radio-collared gray wolf was confirmed in Oregon in January. Credible public reports of wolf sightings continue, and biologists are finding tracks and other wolf sign in northeast Oregon. The de-listing of wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in a portion of eastern Oregon is scheduled to take effect on March 28, 2008.

The gray wolf is not endangered. There are thousands of them roaming the West. Despite the best efforts of eco-nazis, the US Government was forced to delist them.

As wolf activity in Oregon increases, the state is ready to take the management reins. Oregon adopted a wolf management plan in 2005 and has been implementing it since.

But not to worry. ODFW HAS listed gray wolves under Oregon State T&E laws, and so will be protecting them from all harm despite the Federal delisting

“Oregonians are in a fortunate position to already have a Wolf Conservation and Management Plan in place, so we’re ready to conserve and manage wolves,” says Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “But there seems to be confusion about how the plan deals with depredation by wolves. We want to set the record straight so livestock producers are clear on what tools are available to them.”

How fortunate are we! But just in case the victims of unrestrained, multiplying, ravenous wolves don’t understand, Russ Morgan of ODFW will be setting them straight.

While a few individual wolves have been present in low numbers in northeast Oregon for months and possibly even years, to date no documented—or even suspected—depredation of livestock has occurred. Biologists are routinely conducting field surveys for wolves and are flying to search for radio-collared wolves known to be missing from Idaho. While no confirmed breeding pairs of wolves exist in Oregon yet, the state will continue to use radio monitoring to document breeding in the future.

“Biologists” are hard at work doing their routine. So far they are batting .000, but not to worry! Someday they might see a wolf and document it. That program has cost the taxpayers how much so far? Russ is mum on that point.

After federal de-listing occurs in the eastern portion of the state, wolves will still be protected by the state’s ESA until ODFW documents the existence of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years east of the Cascades.

See what I told you? Federal delisting means nothing in Oregon. ODFW will be protecting the wolves for years, or until their “biologists” document some, which is likely to be never given their track record so far. That’s the routine.

“Even after federal de-listing, Oregon’s management strategy will initially be focused on conservation measures so that wolves may someday be de-listed from the state’s ESA,” said Morgan. “We share concerns about losing livestock to wolves and are committed to working closely with livestock producers to keep conflict levels down.

Committed to keeping conflict levels down? What does that mean? Committed to burgeoning the wolf population is more like it. Considering that ODFW is supported by HUNTING tags, there is a big empty space in this press release. The concern of ODFW for elk, deer, and other game and non-game wildlife seems to be completely missing.

We don’t expect depredation of livestock to be a large issue in the near term while the wolf population is low,” continued Morgan. “But keeping the northeast Oregon ranching community aware of the wolf situation, and the legal methods that can be used to respond to depredation, is one of my top priorities.”

Russ has his priorities. Keeping the ranching community aware of the legal penalties for ridding their flocks of killer wolves is what he is talking about. “You’ll go to jail, sucker, if you protect your property from our sacred wolves,” is the message Russ is committed to spreading.

How livestock producers can respond while wolves are still listed under the federal ESA:

What a minute. The Federal ESA listing is done. It’s over as of the end of the month. What’s the point of this tidbit of education the taxpayers are paying the ODFW to promulgate?

Until wolves are de-listed from the federal Endangered Species Act, livestock producers that see a wolf near livestock may attempt to scare it off (by making loud noises for example) but cannot harm a wolf in any way, even when it is in the act of attacking livestock.

Maybe it’s because the ODFW listing is going to take over and the Federal delisting means zip. The rules described in the ODFW press release are still going to be in force come April. That’s the message. A little bit garbled, but luckily we’re here to translate bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo into plain English.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has authority to use a variety of methods to manage any wolves which attack or kill livestock or domestic animals. If wolf depredation is suspected, immediately take the following steps:

-Do not move or disturb any evidence.

-Preserve wolf tracks, hair or scat by covering with plywood, weighted-down empty coffee cans or other material that won’t ruin the evidence.

-Cover the carcass or any remains with a secured tarp to preserve them.

-Call USFWS, ODFW or Wildlife Services immediately. Timely investigation is necessary to confirm the cause of livestock death.

Leave the carcasses of your dead livestock to rot under a tarp. Someday a functionary of the government is going to enter your property to sniff at the rotting, bloated corpses of your former livelihood. No telling when that will be. The sooner you call them, the sooner they can take those vacation days they’ve been saving up.

Any other sightings of wolves or wolf sign should be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (541 786 3282 or 541 962 8584) or ODFW (541 963 2138) immediately.

Be sure to leave a detailed message on the message phone. We’re on vacation, and will be sure to delete your message as soon as we get back.

While wolves are federally listed as endangered, Defenders of Wildlife has offered to compensate livestock producers for confirmed losses in Oregon. It is unknown if that will continue after federal de-listing. “We will be talking with Defenders about their program and how it might fit into Oregon’s future,” said Morgan.

What a flaming joke! The eco-nazis BINGOs will defray your losses? They never have before, but their word is as good as…

Don’t forget, the Federal delisting is finito. All bets are off vis a vis the Defenders of Killer Predators. Note the DKP doesn’t have much concern for elk, deer, antelope, big horn sheep, etc. There is a pecking order that determines which wildlife get “defended” and gray wolves sit at the top.

ODFW, who promulgated the State listing, will NOT be defraying your losses. That’s a promise. However, while they’re over at their buddy BINGO eco-nazis’ place, they’ll have a good laugh about it at your expense.

The federal de-listing boundary in Oregon is Highways 395/78/20 through the eastern third of Oregon. All wolves outside of this boundary will continue to be protected by both the federal and state ESA after federal de-listing, and the above rules will still apply.

Told you so. Inside and outside the boundary. The boundary means absolutely nothing. Another joke to laugh about at the eco-nazi party.

Options to deal with problem wolves inside the federal de-listing boundary are increased under state management.

You have more options. Nope, they do not include shooting the killer predators while they tear into your flocks. Sorry about that. But you can hop up and down and/or sit on a tack if you want to.

Ranchers’ options after federal de-listing (during state ESA listing)

The state’s wolf plan outlines specific methods that can be used to address wolf depredation while wolves are still listed under the state’s ESA, which are described in Oregon Administrative Rules.

Livestock producers can harass wolves by firing shots in the air, making loud noises, or otherwise confronting wolves provided no bodily harm is done to the wolves. This non-injurious harassment is allowed under the following circumstances: wolves are in the act of testing or chasing livestock or in close proximity to livestock; wolves are encountered unintentionally (e.g. not while stalking or searching for wolves); and the harassment is reported to ODFW within 48 hours.

Whoops, I was too liberal about the hop up and down part. There are limits to that. You may only raise a ruckus under certain circumstances that no government functionary will witness, so you will be assumed to be guilty of violating the OAR’s if you do. That’s a big fine and jail time, just in case you were wondering.

Should persistent wolf activity around livestock occur, ODFW can work with producers to provide additional tools, such as injurious harassment (e.g. use of rubber bullets or bean bag projectiles) through permits. If captured, the problem wolves could also be relocated to the nearest wilderness area.

You can throw bean bags at the wolves under certain circumstances. The ODFW will be working with you on that. Leave a message on the message phone and we’ll be right over. After lunch. Next month. If you’re lucky.

The state’s wolf plan also provides for the lethal removal of problem wolves which are caught in the act of attacking livestock by ranchers, but only by ODFW permit and under specific circumstances. Lethal removal could only be permitted after ODFW confirms that wolves have previously wounded or killed livestock in the area and non-lethal efforts to resolve the problem have proven ineffective.

If we sniff the carcass under the tarp and determine it was a wolf that killed your cow (don’t hold your breath on that), and after you threw ODFW bean bags at the wolves for awhile, then maybe we’ll shoot the wolf for you, unless of course you are in jail for felonious hopping up and down, in which case you’re screwed, but then you knew that from the get-go right?

Additionally, ODFW personnel or authorized agents can conduct lethal removal of wolves under certain circumstances (chronic confirmed depredations and ineffective non-lethal efforts).

If we’re not on vacation, as a last resort, if all else fails, which it will. Count on it. Your ranching business will be long gone by the time ODFW gets around to authorizing the rational and reasonable solution to killer predators in your midst.

ODFW had sponsored state legislation that would have funded an education program about non-lethal methods to reduce wolf depredation, compensated for livestock losses, and allowed the lethal removal of wolves “caught in the act” of attacking livestock without a permit. It failed to pass out of committee in two consecutive legislative sessions and ODFW has no plans to reintroduce the legislation.

They gave it their best shot. They wanted more of your money to “educate” you about their wolf plan but the stinking legislature turn them down twice. So that’s it for that plan.

“While these additional tools to manage wolf conflict would have been helpful, the state and livestock producers still have many options to respond to depredating wolves,” said Morgan. “The key will be continued close working relationships in areas with wolves.”

We realize that each wolf depredation situation will be unique, and ODFW will work with each livestock producer to develop the most effective solution to their particular situation,” he added.

The ODFW plans to single ranchers out for one-on-one education sessions. I can only imagine what those scenes will look like. The government functionary will not be getting out his truck, and the motor will be left running. They aren’t stupid. Corrupt and evil maybe, but not stupid.

Morgan will continue to meet with producers one-on-one and with livestock groups to keep them informed about wolf activity and management and to get their feedback. Northeast Oregon ranchers concerned about wolf depredation are encouraged to contact Morgan directly at (541) 963-2138 or visit ODFW’s wolf web page (www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves) for the information.

Give him a call. The answering machine is turned on. My advice: use a pay phone a long ways away from where you live. There is a slim chance they might listen to your message before they erase the tape. Avoid leaving any incriminating clues. Speak your piece with a rag over your mouth to disguise your voice. Remember, threatening a government functionary is a crime, much as is defending your home, children, property, business, and income from deadly predators.



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