Just a year ago, there were 21 gray wolves in three packs living in the forests of remote northeastern Oregon. Now, mostly because of poaching and the killing of wolves by ODFW and by ranchers with ODFW permits, that number is down to 14 - and ODFW wants to cut it to 12.
Fortunately, three conservationist groups stepped in. They challenged the legality of ODFW's plan, and last week won an injunction from the Oregon Court of Appeals temporarily blocking the wolf executions.
The wolf management plan requires ODFW to use non-lethal methods to prevent wolf predation and kill wolves only as a last resort. But ODFW has shown itself increasingly eager to oblige the Oregon Cattlemen's Association and individual ranchers whose preferred method of "wolf control" is the bullet.
If it succeeds, as we hope it does, the conservationists' lawsuit could result in a more sane and balanced wolf management policy. In the meantime, ODFW gets THE BOOT for its "the-only-good-wolf-is-a-dead-wolf" philosophy.