USDA Wildlife Services Gets Some Oversight in Oregon

Contained in the annual wolf report to be released later this week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) are the findings  of  a panel formed to review livestock depredation investigations attributed to wolves.  In at least three cases ODFW found that there was insufficient evidence to support a conclusion that wolves killed the livestock being investigated while USDA Wildlife Services found that wolves were responsible. The independent panel feels that ODFW was right.

It has long been apparent that USDA Wildlife Services’ interests and findings tend to align more with the ranchers who they serve than with the interests of wildlife and the general public. These findings seem to confirm this and show that USDA Wildlife Services would rather bow to pressure of livestock interests so that ranchers can receive compensation and have wolves killed.

Panel backs state biologists on wolf kill investigations – East Oregonian: News.


  1. Salle Avatar

    Thanks, Ken.

    This is important and helps to validate some of the claims some here support about WS’s lack of accountability in general. (As if it isn’t obvious to those who might be watching.)

    I’m also glad to see Carter was on the panel. Few are as qualified and experienced as he is to read between the lines in their (WS’s) BS – especially when it comes to investigating livestock depredation. Maybe some of the historic repetition of the grief the tri-state DPS area has suffered can be avoided by starting off with more transparency, oversight and accountability from an early stage in wolves’ coming to the state. And maybe, just maybe cooler heads will prevail and BAS will become a component in management plans – since they insist that wolves should be managed by people.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    I was glad to see this in the East Oregonian telling folks the way it is on wolf investigations.

    1. Salle Avatar

      It’s a hopeful sign.

  3. eloise lanum Avatar
    eloise lanum

    Will the bias ever stop? I was hoping that with all the younger people in Oregon there would be more tolerance – apparently they’re not involved or have absorbed the ‘ancient’ views.

    1. Nancy Avatar

      eloise – believe it was Joni Mitchell who said in a song:

      “Don’t it always seem to go
      That you don’t know what you’ve got
      ‘Til it’s gone
      They paved paradise
      And put up a parking lot”



Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole