Protect The Wolves™ has to question how it is even possible for a prudent individual to agree with this. Look who its being sent to now…. the Agriculture Committee.
Under House Bill 4106, Oregon lawmakers would be required to appropriate money to the state’s wolf compensation fund based on the population of the species.
The Oregon League of Conservation Voters opposes HB 4106 because it would confirm the “falsehood” that rising wolf populations will necessarily result in more livestock kills, said Paige Spence, the group’s Oregon conservation network director.
“Predation rates have not increased with Oregon’s increased wolf population,” she said.
The bill will be scheduled for a work session during the next meeting of the House Agriculture Committee on Feb. 13, allowing the proposal to survive an initial legislative deadline, said Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, the committee’s chair.
In Wallowa County $30,000 a year is going to one range rider. A range rider in the area is saying that one is not cutting it. There is money that also pays for the disposal of livestock and wildlife carcasses, which would otherwise attract predators, as well as the installation of fladry, which is rope adorned with ribbons to deter predators.
So basically we pay them to do a job they should already be doing anyway. It’s hard to believe we pay them to dispose of all their dead cows that die from Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC) Clostridial Disease, or “Blackleg”BRSV (Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus)BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhea)Haemophilus Somnus, IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis) PI3 (Parainfluenza Type 3)Pasteurella Haemolytica and Pasteurella Multocida. Some also die due to weather and then there are birthing problems that also result in death. There are just the most common ones. It’s one of the biggest reasons why so many of us are so shocked that any livestock producer would make a huge deal over the tiniest fraction of livestock killed by wolves.
It’s also important to note that all the dead and diseased cow carcasses are thrown into a pit which attracts wolves! So basic carcass removal that should always be done for sanitary reasons is actually counted as a deterrent some ranchers claim.
Since 2012, Oregon has kicked in money for ranchers to hire range riders and purchase radios and fence lining, called fladry, to deter wolves. The state has also compensated livestock operators for both confirmed or unconfirmed losses of cattle, sheep or working dogs. It’s a well-regarded program that provides some relief for ranchers feeling the added strain of a returned predator: even some of the wolf-advocate groups who clash with ranchers say it was necessary. They have received money from groups as well as private donors to help them in addition to what they already receive.
Also since 2012, payments for missing cattle have increased when actual confirmed losses did not. Experts say those rates should track together.
Small variations are understandable but the huge variation in the last few years really has no justification. The rate of confirmed deaths and missing livestock should track together.
Umatilla and Wallowa have known wolf populations and a history of confirmed depredations. Baker County has little of either, yet ranchers there have received more money than anywhere else in the state, at $65,000.
Here is a list some of the compensation amounts that were given to some of the ranchers.
$17,718.75 (missing livestock) and $6,408.44 (range rider).
$3,515.63 (missing livestock) and $1,408 (range rider, bone removal).
$2,025 (missing livestock).
$1,687.50 (missing livestock) and $3,036.21 (pasture rent compensation).
$225 (missing livestock) and $1,397.68 (range rider).
$11,485.97 (range rider, guard dogs).
$250 (guard dog).
• Oregon State University, $750 (program expenses and administrative fee).
In 2014 they were awarded $200,000
Ranchers have many options. They could, for example, keep younger animals in more protected areas before turning them loose to graze.
Ranchers could put out older calves. They could also delay putting cattle out in the forested lands until elk and deer fawn have moved into the area.
The long-awaited, revised Wolf Management Plan has not yet been finalized. It should not include lethal removal of wolves and needs to have ranchers cooperate by at least using non-lethal methods with a list of deterrents. This is just a part of having a business just like any business does when they set up security to prevent break-ins and a lot less worry.
But many of us are extremely worried after reading a proposal that could allow the public to hunt “problem wolves” — animals that attack livestock or cause elk numbers to decline. The hunting proposed will result in annual wolf trapping and killing! There is a draft available on the ODFW website now. We believe they could be using this as a tool if there is less compensation. Often using the despicable excuse “Let’s kill the wolves to save tax dollars.” They really want them wiped out!