March 11, 2016 – by Dominic Aiello, President
1. Gov. Brown’s state agency, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (the professional biologists the state hires to manage wildlife) recommended the wolf delisting based on scientific facts along with the goals outlined in the Oregon Wolf Management Plan. The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to prevent a species from extinction. For several consecutive years, the wolf population has grown at an exponential rate (36% increase in 2015) and biologists have determined that delisting will not inhibit their continued growth.
2. The ODFW Commission, which Gov. Brown appoints, ratified the delisting decision based on ODFW’s biologists’ recommendations with the guidance of the collaborative, multi-stakeholder, science-based Wolf Management Plan. This included a yes vote by Chair Finley who helped re-introduce wolves into Yellowstone National Park back in 1994.
3. The Oregon House and Senate in a bi-partisan effort supported the wolf delisting.
4. The narrative by environmental groups that independent scientist do not support the delisting decision is false. A world-renowned, extremely well-respected biologist, and wolf expert submitted testimony to the ODFW Commission supporting the decision to delist.
I have reviewed the November 9, 2015, Meeting Materials on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife website, and I agree that the Staff Determination, including the “Summary of Evaluation of OESA” and its 5 Criteria do meet the requirements for delisting under the Oregon Wolf Plan.
I also note that from a biological standpoint, Oregon’s wolves should be regarded not as an isolated population but rather as a part of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population that includes Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and California besides Oregon. Further, that population is now an extension of the wolf population in BC and Alberta. This population throughout these states is thriving, increasing and expanding its distribution and is legally well protected.
L. David Mech,
Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
University of Minnesota
5. A majority of the stakeholder groups involved in helping ODFW draft the Wolf Management Plan support delisting.
6. The ONLY segment of the stakeholder groups that oppose following the wolf management plan are environmental organizations which are seeking to achieve private negotiations through a lawsuit to force ODFW into providing them more influence over the next revision of the Wolf Management Plan.
7. A veto threatens everyone’s trust in Oregon’s collaborative, multi-stakeholder process. The purpose of collaborative stakeholder groups (like that which helped create the Wolf Management Plan) is to find middle ground and ensure that everyone feels they have a voice and are equally represented. It’s extremely hypocritical of environmental organizations to help craft a plan and then later sue over its implementation.
Respectfully, Governor Brown, the only decision that is good for Oregon and for continued trust in the stakeholder process is to sign HB4040 as passed by the Oregon Legislative body.