Oregon’s wolf management plan is supposed to be updated this year but that hasn’t happened yet. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission was to get a briefing on that process during its Sept. 15 meeting in Welches, Ore.
The pause in the process comes as ODFW has moved to kill five wolves for livestock attacks this summer and approved the shooting of a sixth. Four wolves from the Harl Butte pack were shot by ODFW staff after a series of depredations in Wallowa County. A Umatilla County livestock producer or an employee – ODFW has not clarified the details – legally shot a Meacham Pack wolf under authorization from the department.
Conservation groups are highly critical of ODFW’s actions, saying it shouldn’t be killing wolves while the management plan review is pending. A coalition of 18 groups asked Gov. Kate Brown to intervene, so far without success.
Meanwhile, a significant change is coming. Russ Morgan, ODFW’s longtime wolf program coordinator, is retiring in October. Morgan said he had planned to retire when the management plan was approved, but decided not to wait.