The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to remove gray wolves from the state endangered species list. The agency will make this recommendation at a meeting Next Monday in Salem.
There are about 80 wolves in the state, mainly in northeast Oregon. The state's Wolf Plan calls for delisting the animals once there are 4 established breeding pairs. But conservation groups object. Nick Cady with Eugene-based Cascadia Wildlands says it's too soon to say the species has recovered.
Cady: "And we've weighed in numerous, numerous times, telling them that, at the very least, they need a panel of peer-review scientists to kind of weigh in, you know some unbiased voices to kind of weigh in on this proposal and really take a hard look at whether it's scientifically warranted or not."
ODFW spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy says even if wolves are delisted, there will still be protections in place for them. Some ranchers complain wolves attack their livestock and they want more leeway in state management. In Western Oregon, wolves are still federally listed under the Endangered Species Act.
ODFW is taking written comments until Friday, November 6 at 5 p.m. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fish and Wildlife Commission meets at 8 a.m. Monday, November 9th at ODFW Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE, Salem.