Oregon legislature ends. Wolf kill bill is itself dead; but livestock owner compensation passes.

Effort to revive the wolf killing bill ran out of time-

It passed the Oregon House, but was thought to be dead in the state Senate, but it was revived. At any rate, the Oregon Legislature adjourned with the bill to make it easier for the state to kill wolves died too. However, a bill to compensate Oregon livestock owners even more than at present did pass. Last year they got $100,000.  This year they got a tax credit for losses on top of the $100,000.

There has been mixed feelings among conservationists whether keeping the Imnaha Pack alive was worth it because they have created justifiably bad publicity in the minds of many, killing more livestock, despite some questionable investigations, than any other wolf pack in the West.  The wolf kill bill would have made it easier for the state to overcome the state judge’s ruling protecting the pack and, more importantly, other Oregon wolf packs currently not in any trouble.

Despite the depredations of the Imnaha Pack, the attitude of the Oregon Cattle Association, which seems to center on Wallowa County, is perhaps the most negative toward wolves and especially people who support them than any livestock association in the West.  In retrospect, my experience of 17 years says killing the pack would have made no improvement in the polarized situation despite the state having a trivial number of wolves that originally migrated in from Idaho.

The Imnaha Pack originally did a lot of good for wolf restoration in Oregon by being the first pack in the state to have pups in about 60 years (a lot of pups). Many of these dispersed and may found new packs.

Story in Ecotrope.  Oregon Wolf “Kill Bill” Dies; Compensation Passes. By Cassandra Profita



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  1. Richie.G Avatar

    Thank God somebody is thinking about the wolves,and it’s a good thing to fight off the cattle owners. That part of the country is beautiful,it should have wolves.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Richie. G,

      That part of the country should also needs some political and cultural diversity, IMO.

  2. Immer Treue Avatar
    Immer Treue

    Just a small bit of sanity…for a while.

  3. Richie.G Avatar

    Ralph could you explain a little on your comment I am very interested, I am puzzled. I visited that part of the country due to the Nez Perce indians.I said before I went to a hot springs, Riggins inn, I forget the town, but it was the first battle “White Bird”,then followed part of the trail. Stayed at the Wallowa lake lodge, a picture in the inn said it is called, the Alps of America. Went to snake river,beautiful places,past one truck in two to three hours,wow .That does not happen where I come from ! P.S. The only thing I found distasteful, was Mt. Howard had the cable car,could not find Mt. Joseph.

  4. Richie.G Avatar

    Let me rephase, more than Wyoming and Idaho and Montana?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan


      I don’t know enough about it to help. Sorry!

  5. Richie.G Avatar

    O.K. thanks we all have our opinion’s on things !

  6. Daniel Berg Avatar
    Daniel Berg

    It’s hard to measure the impact, if any, of depredation compensation. I’m sure it really does have an impact for small-time outfits, or guys who run cows on leased land, but I think a lot the big boys value their ability to rail against wolves (federal/and or state government) at any opportunity more than acknowledging the conciliatory gesture of compensation for some of those little thousand dollar bills that drop during calving season.

    It would make a lot of sense to me if Cattleman’s Associations were dominated by the more powerful, large landowners who are able to leverage politicians to a greater extent and hold some of the most un-compromising views.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Daniel Berg,

      Your last paragraph seems likely quite interesting, but I’m not sure I understand. Would you mind expanding on it?


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan