By MITCH LIES

Capital Press

SALEM -- The Oregon House has passed a bill providing livestock owners a refundable tax credit for losses to wolves.

House Bill 4005 as amended caps the tax credit at $37,500 for any one year. A previous version of the bill capped the credit at $15,000 a year.

The bill prohibits livestock owners from accessing the tax credit for losses compensated by the state's wolf compensation fund.

HB4005 includes a provision to expire in six years, or when the wolf is removed from the state endangered species list, whichever comes first.

The House approved the bill by a vote of 55-5.

It was in the Senate as of press deadline.

Less successful this session is a bill clarifying the state's right to kill problem wolves.

House Bill 4158 missed a legislative deadline for bills to move out of certain committees and is no longer in play, according to Jim Welsh, a lobbyist for the Oregon Cattlemen's Association.

HB4158 previously passed the House 42-15.

Also apparently failing this session is a bill authorizing limited use of dogs to hunt cougars. House Bill 4119 passed the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee but to date has failed to receive a hearing in the joint Ways and Means Committee.

Under the bill, counties could request inclusion in a pilot program letting hunters use dogs to track cougars.

A similar bill failed in the 2011 Legislature.

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