Wolf attacks push Oregon closer to 'lethal control' decision under new rules
EUGENE, Ore. -- Wolves killed a goat and a cow calf and injured an adult cow in northeastern Oregon this month, pushing the state closer to the first test of a settlement between conservation groups and ranchers.
Biologists confirmed the Imnaha pack killed a calf and injured a cow in August, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.
The Umatilla River pack killed a goat.
Beyond confirming wolves responsible for the attacks, ODFW also reviews the non-lethal protections against wolves used by the landowner.
If a landowner used at least one preventive measure, the wolf attacks are considered "qualifying incidents" under Oregon law.
If a wolf pack is involved in 4 qualifying incidents within 6 months, state biologists can then consider using "lethal control" - killing wolves - to discourage further attacks on livestock.
ODFW said it is waiting for more information from the landowner regarding the use of non-lethal measures prior to the two Imnaha pack attacks.
The pack already has 2 strikes against it; if both wolf attacks are found to be qualifying incidents, state wildlife managers will again be in a position to consider killing wolves.
Prior to the settlement between conservations and ranchers approved by the state, the Imnaha pack had been subject to a kill order in 2010. Conservation groups blocked the action, and subsequent discussions led to the new policy of killing wolves as a last resort.
The Imnaha pack is also well known as the origin of wandering wolf OR-7, a male that left the pack and walked across Oregon and into northern California.