The loudest, most aggressive voices in the ranching community of eastern Oregon have shown an unwillingness to change long-standing grazing practices, preferring instead to conduct business as usual, as if they do not have to share the land with the wolf or any other large carnivore. Some ranchers are even pressuring ODFW to eliminate the entire Imnaha wolf pack, yet the Oregon Wolf Plan requires that the state manage wolves for their recovery, not their second statewide extinction.
Let’s examine the facts:
- For confirmed wolf depredations Defenders of Wildlife compensates ranchers at full market value. The group pays half market value for likely wolf kills.
- On public lands ranchers graze stock for only $1.35 per cow/calf pair and are not entitled to a predator-free environment.
- On private land range riders and hazers have successfully reduced wolf predation on livestock.
- On private land where ranchers have removed carcass piles—which to wolves look like all-hours snack bars—wolf attacks have decreased.
- Where ranchers have used turbo-fladry (fladry on electrified wire) no depredations have occurred.
The wildlife and public lands of Oregon belong to us all. Will Oregonians be able to tell our children that we chose to be a model for other Western states and share the land with wolves, not just those species that don’t inconvenience some of us?