GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A young wolf blamed for the first documented attack on livestock since the predators started moving back into Eastern Oregon has been trapped and released with a radio collar so that wildlife officials can keep track of it.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife trapped the wolf Sunday in the Keating Valley area of Baker County, a few miles from a ranch where a motion-detector camera captured a photo of two wolves with dead lambs at their feet last month. Department spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said Monday that in these early stages of wolves moving back into Oregon, the department will not be killing those that attack livestock, though that option remains if attacks persist.
This is the first time a wolf has been trapped in Oregon and fitted with the tracking device.
Bill Moore, president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, said he hoped Oregon would amend its wolf management plan to be like Idaho’s, which allows ranchers to shoot wolves they see harassing their livestock once endangered species protections are lifted.
Wolves started moving into Oregon in 1999 from Idaho, where they were reintroduced as part of a federal program. Declaring the reintroduction of wolves a success, the federal government on Monday lifted the endangered species listing for wolves in parts of the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes region, and the far eastern third of Oregon. The action has little practical effect on Oregon, where state endangered species protection remains in force.