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Senate Rules panel OKs wolf bill


By MITCH LIES



Capital Press



SALEM -- The Senate Rules Committee on June 18 unanimously moved a bill with a do-pass recommendation that keeps in motion an agreement on managing wolves in Oregon reached recently between ranchers, the environmental community and the governor's office.



The agreement, reached in May, is contingent upon passage of the legislation and action by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, which is scheduled to take up the issue at its next meeting in July.



In brief testimony June 18, Rep. Bob Jenson, R-Pendleton, a co-sponsor of the bill, said tools the bill advances are needed to manage wolves.



"This bill is specifically designed to provide the kind of management tools that ultimately will be necessary in order for us to be successful in the reintroduction of (wolves) back into our environment," Jenson said.



House Bill 3452 allows the first permitless take for ranchers in Oregon since the state adopted its Wolf Conservation and Management plan in 2005. The provision is allowed under narrow circumstances in areas of chronic depredation.



The bill also clarifies the state's authority to lethally take problem wolves. That provision frees up the state to execute a kill order issued in September 2011 on two wolves from the Imnaha Pack in northeast Oregon. The pack has been involved in more than two dozen livestock attacks.



The Oregon Court of Appeals issued an injunction on the order in October 2011.



HB3452 now goes to the Senate floor.



The House earlier passed the bill by a vote of 57-2.



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