What does this delisting mean to conservationists?
To delist wolves from the state's Endangered Species Act, ODFW had to show that wolves were not in danger of extinction or a population failure. The agency says it did that. Conservation groups say ODFW did not.
"At a minimum," says Sean Stevens, Executive Director of Oregon Wild, "it appears ODFW and the Fish and Wildlife Commission ignored state law and requirements for independent scientific review in making their decision."
What can you do to help Oregon's wolves?
I received an email from Stephanie Taylor, Wildlife Organizer for Oregon Wild - an organization that I admire and respect. Here are her three suggestions:
1. File a comment with Governor Brown via website or by calling (503) 378-4582.
2. Write a letter to the editor for your local newspaper. Here are talking points:
- There are only 81 known wolves in Oregon.
- The scientific process required by law to justify removing protections was rushed, though the Commission had been urged back in April to seek independent review. Supporting documents were not available to the public until after the Commission meeting had already started.
- Half of the science reviewers were hand-picked from Idaho Fish and Game, an agency that does not have a good reputation for wildlife management or integrity.
- The scientific feedback wildlife staff received is insufficient and does not meet the standard of "vigorous independent review." It is nothing more than some side notes on the original document, which were never taken into consideration or incorporated into the final report.
- Governor Kate Brown's recent appointments to the Wildlife Commission have been a disaster. Jason Atkinson hasn't attended the last two Commissioner meetings, while Bruce Buckmaster has been openly hostile and disrespectful to wildlife advocates.
3. Sign up to join the Oregon Wild Ones. Get updates on action alerts and upcoming trainings. Email Stephanie@oregonwild.org to get on her email list.
The battle to save Oregon's wolves is not over. Though the decision by ODFW is disappointing to say the least, we must continue to help these smart, tenacious, and essential predators survive. Thanks for whatever you can do.