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Oregon Wildlife Commissioners Drop Wolves' Endangered Status

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

Oregon's Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Monday to remove wolves from the state list of endangered species.

The decision changes little in the short term for Oregon’s known population of 81 gray wolves. A state management plan would continue to permit killing wolves only if they're caught in the act of attacking or involved in repeated livestock damage.

More than a hundred people testified before the commission in an often heated hearing.

Kevin Noel from Oregon City told the commission only ranchers and hunters' opinions should be considered in the decision.

"Until you've witnessed these animals ripping an animal apart, heard their screams, and seen the carnage and what they can do, you have no idea."

Ellen Marmon from Eugene said her family raised sheep. She knows what it's like to lose animals to predators. But she's also an environmentalists and wants to keep wolves on the endangered species list.

"We were raised to absolutely cherish this wilderness. So I've watched in awe and wonder the return of wolves to this state."

Monday’s vote clears the way for a decision in the future to allow controlled wolf hunts, should the predator’s population continue to grow.

Copyright 2015 Earthfix

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