By MITCH LIES
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.