ODFW says wolf management west of Hwy 395 has challenges

By on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024 in Eastern/Southeast Oregon News More Top Stories

JOHN DAY – Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Assistant District Wildlife Biologist Ryan Platte was on KJDY’s Coffee Time Wednesday morning and discussed wolves within Grant County. Platte mentioned that their management tactics are more limited in certain parts of the county than others:

“Within the county, [Highway] 395 is the dividing line between state-managed wolves and federally protected wolves. Everything on the east side of 395 is not listed and is under our management control through our wolf plan. West of 395, the wolves still fall within our wolf plan, but we are still way more restrictive with what we can and can’t do, because they are federally protected.”

Only non-lethal measures can be taken to control wolves west of U.S. Highway 395. Currently, on the east side of the line and on land within the state’s control, a permit has been extended until the end of this month for the removal of two wolves from the Murderer’s Creek pack using lethal means. While the Bear Valley landowner with the permit is authorized to remove the wolves themselves, Platte said ODFW Agents like himself can remove them using more tactical means:

“We extended his permit, because we thought there was still significant risk to livestock in the area. On top of that, we’ve also been authorized to head up in a helicopter now, if we get the chance, and remove them ourselves.”

The permit was originally granted to the landowner in November 2023, who was able to successfully take one wolf. Since the permit was issued, 7 more depredations have occurred on livestock, prompting the ODFW to extend the Lethal Take Permit until January 31st, 2024.

Also, on the east side of U.S. 395, landowners are allowed to designate agents to kill any wolf in the act of biting, chasing, killing, or harassing cattle.

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