Oregon Wolf Delisting: Letter to Rep. Greg Walden
The following is a letter recently submitted to Representative Greg Walden in a coordinated effort by multiple western state conservation and sportsmen groups to urge congress to federally delist the wolf statewide in several western states (including Oregon).
Dear Honorable Greg Walden,
The Oregon Outdoor Council, in representing the interest of hunters, anglers, trappers, recreational shooters, and select Oregon-based outdoor product manufacturers is writing to express strong support for federal, statewide delisting of the gray wolf in Oregon.
Representative Walden, as you know, hunting, angling, and trapping is deeply ingrained in Oregon’s heritage and current culture. Approximately 700,000 Oregonians participate in Oregon’s heritage sports each year. Unfortunately, Oregon’s hunters and wildlife are facing extreme challenges. As a result of relentless attacks by extreme environmental groups in Oregon, hunters have been forced to watch:
- mosaic and early seral habitat disappear on federal land
- a drastic decline in our deer population (over thirty percent)
- unsustainable calf to cow elk ratios across the state
- the loss of necessary tools for balanced predator management
- a cougar population that has more than doubled
- an ever expanding wolf population
- countless frivolous lawsuits costing Oregon management agencies millions of dollars and lost revenue
Consequently, there is overwhelming evidence that unmanaged wolf populations will continue to exacerbate the issues facing hunters and our wildlife:
- In 2014 Minnesota was forced to eliminate their moose season due a sharp decline in the population. The world-renowned wolf expert David Mech attributed the decline to wolf predation. “My data tends to indicate the problem was there were more wolves,” Mech told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2014.
- The Lolo elk herd in Idaho has declined from 16,000 to less than 2,000 today. The majority of experts have concluded that the wolf, in part, caused the decline and is preventing the elk from recovering. Even a retired biologist and extreme environmental organization leader agrees, “Certainly wolves are causing this decline to linger longer” said on the Cascadia Wildlands’ blog in 2014.
- In Alaska, Pat Valkenburg has worked as a Caribou Research Biologist, Research Coordinator, and Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for over 30 years. He has documented the significant impact wolves have, “wolf and bear predation has caused a further decline and prevented recovery. On Unimak now, we predict the caribou herd will disappear, largely because of wolf predation,” Valkenburg said at a wildlife symposium in Oregon in 2014.
Representative Walden, as a result, the Oregon Outdoor Council strongly believes that without federal action removing the gray wolf, statewide, from the Endangered Species Act, Oregon’s ungulate populations & hunters will irrevocably suffer!
Board of Directors