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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Whisnant sponsors bill to kill wolves

Whisnant sponsors bill to kill remaining wolves in Imnaha pack.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Wolf
  • Wolf

Rep. Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver, is one of nine representatives and five senators sponsoring a new bill in the Oregon House that aims to kill the remaining four wolves in the Imnaha pack in northeast Oregon.

The pack was the first to return to Oregon in 60 years. The Imnaha is also the home pack of “Journey,” the wolf that recently trekked across Oregon, making its way to California and cementing his role in history as the first wild wolf to visit that state since 1924.

The wolves of the Imnaha pack have been connected to several lifestock killings since arriving in Oregon around 2009.

House Bill 4158 was introduced on behalf of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. Members of the association have been vocal about their interest in killing wolves that prey on livestock.

In 2011, wolves killed about 25 of the 1.3 million cattle in the state, according to a press release from Oregon Wild sent out regarding the new legislation. In comparison, about 55,000 cattle were lost due to weather, disease and theft-related issues, according to the press release. Cattle owners are compensated by the state of Oregon for slain livestock. 

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife ordered the killing of two of the wolves in the Imnaha pack in September­—the alpha male and a yearling. Legal challenges from environmental groups resulted in court orders preventing the killings. Courts are currently weighing whether the department has the authority to kill animals currently listed on the state’s endangered species list, said the press release.

The legislation introduced in the House would essentially sidestep the court process and authorize the killing of not just the alpha male and the yearling, but any other wolves in the state associated with slain livestock, possibly including the alpha female and a wolf cub in the Imnaha pack.

HB 4158 is one of about 270 bills the Legislature will consider between now and Feb. 29, when the lawmaking session is slated to end.

Whisnant can be reached by email at rep.genewhisnant@state.or.us and or phone at 503-986-1453.


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Name That Wolf: Finalists Announced in Wolf-Naming Contest

Oregon Wild has decided to give the wolf a new handle. It recently solicited names for the wanderlust wolf and ended up with more than 250 suggestions

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 7:07 PM

When you tromp 700 miles in search of a mate and meal in Oregon, that’s good enough to gain international notoriety. Well, at least that’s been the experience of OR-7 the youngest member of Oregon’s famous—or infamous, depending on where you stand on wolf recovery—Imnaha wolf pack. It’s been nothing but headlines over the past few weeks for the sable-coated wolf that wandered from Wallowas-based pack several months ago. Given all the attention to OR-7’s travels, Oregon Wild has decided to give the wolf a new handle. It recently solicited names for the wanderlust wolf and ended up with more than 250 suggestions, most of them from young students. The names poured from around the state, across country and even overseas.

The environmental group today announced that it has whittled the potential monikers down to five finalists. If you want to weigh in on the finalists and choose a name, visit Oregon Wild’s Oregon Wolves Facebook page and vote for your favorite. Ballots can be cast through Dec. 31. Here they are directly form the organization’s press release.

Arthur (Arttu)

from a 13 year old in Finland

Journey

from a 7 year old girl in Mountain Home, ID and an 11 year old in Dickinson, ND

Lupin

from a 13-year old girl in La Grande, OR

Max

suggested three times - from a 6th grade class in North Clackamas, OR, a second grader in St. Paul MN, and a second grader in Eugene

Takota

Middle name of a 14 year old boy born in Oregon now living in Oklahoma who is half Shoshone. The name means "friend".


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Monday, October 10, 2011

Breaking Bad Season Finale Chat-a-thon!

Thoughts on the season finale of Breaking Bad.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Heres that bullet with your name on it that you ordered off Amazon.com! (Crap. I need to work on my killing people patter.)First of all, WOW! Now that is how one does a season finale. If you haven't watched last night's season ending edition of Breaking Bad (AKA the best show on television, and if you disagree I'll kick you in the scrabble bag), don't worry, I'm not going to spoil it for you... other than to say, WOW! Join me after the jump for a quick recap, and let's unpack this great hour of TV in the comments. C'MON, LET'S GO!

  • "Here's that bullet with your name on it that you ordered off Amazon.com! (Crap. I need to work on my 'killing people' patter.)"

Welcome! Let's talk some SPOILER-RIFIC Breaking Bad season finale details! 1) Even though this has probably been the darkest BB season yet—there was a terrific, light and humorous touch to this episode that I loved. Such as Walt's bomb magnet getting stuck to the elevator door? BRILLIANT! The humor was a terrific counterpoint to the drama that followed.

2) Another thing Breaking Bad uses to great effect is silence. The scene where Walt was watching his house from inside his car to see if any killers were staking it out was shot in almost total silence—which was freaking me the fuck out. I kept expecting to hear a muffled gunshot and see Walt's poor neighbor stumbling out of the house with her intestines hanging out.

3) Speaking of callously putting Walt's neighbor in danger—this has been a recurring theme throughout this season. Walt will do anything to protect his family, even if that means manipulating Jessie and shoving innocents into the cross-fire... apparently, this also extends to temporarily poisoning little kids. I did not see that coming!

4) Naturally, the most awesome moment—and for my money, the best Breaking Bad image since the "exploding head riding on top of a tortoise" scene from season two, had to be Gus' psychic realization that he was about to be blown to shit, followed by the explosion, and then Gus walking out of the room, straightening his tie—even while half of his face was blown off. (Must keep up appearances, after all!)

This moment brought to you by next weeks season premiere of The Walking Dead.
  • Courtesy AMC
  • This moment brought to you by next week's season premiere of The Walking Dead.

Got any thoughts I missed? (I'm sure you do.) Let's chat it up in the comments!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Forget Cougars, We Have Wolves....

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Biologists confirmed this week that a member of the eastern Oregon Imnaha Pack has made it way to Central Oregon. The wolf known Or-3 was one of handful of wolves that dispersed from the Imnaha pack earlier this year after wolf managers killed two members of the pack in response to livestock attacks.

The wolf which has been fitted with a radio collar originally made its way over to the Fossil area in the John Day basin, but has since continued its journey westward, according to an email from the Oregon Deaprtment of Fish and Wildlife U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serice that was provided to the conservation group Cascadia Wildlands. Cascadia spokesman Josh Laughlin said the wildlife agency tracked the wolf by air to the Ochoco Mountains in Crook County. The wolf was later spotted on the ground by federal biologists, making it the first confirmed wolf sighting in the Ochoco Mountains since wolves began to reestablish themselves in Oregon as part of the larger wolf reintroduction. Oregon’s wolf population which stood at 21 animals last year has dropped to roughly 14 this year as a result of sanctioned kills, poaching and other natural causes. It's believed that Oregon's wolves established themselves late in the last decade when members of the newly re-introduced Idaho population crossed the Snake River into Oregon.

Unlike the other members of the Oregon population, the Ochoco wolf is protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, which has strict provisions about how and when wolves can be killed. The wolf, which recently traveled 45 miles in a single day, has essentially walked out of the wolf-killing zone, a multi-state area encompassing parts eastern Oregon, Idaho, eastern Washington and Wyoming where Congress circumvented the courts and federal wolf managers by unilaterally delisting a portion of the Northern Rockies population.

Laughlin said the lone wolf from the Imnaha pack is demonstrating rather common behavior and may be looking to “pack up.” Whether or not that would or could happen in the Cascades or Ochocos is a matter of some debate. Laughlin said there have been numerous sighings, but unconfirmed sightings, in the Cascades. He said a co-worker not long ago spotted what he believed was a wolf west of Sisters on Santiam Pass.

“It’s an exciting time and a challenging time for wolf recovery in Oreogn,” Laughlin said.

Earlier today his organization filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the planned killing of two members of the aforementioned Imnaha pack, including the so-called alpha male. Laughlin said the move was necessary to prevent what would amount to the decimation of what was only recently Oregon’s most thriving wolf pack. That success has come at a price. Ranchers have successfully lobbied both the state and federal government to cull the pack’s numbers in response to livestock killings. Laughlin said that the most recent decision, however, demonstrates the state’s disregard for any non-lethal measures.

“We believe they’re giving into the intense political pressure in Northeast Oregon. Kiling a wolf is supposed to be a last resort,” Laughlin said. “We’re saying enough is enough and it’s time to give the handful of Oregon wolves time to recover.”

The group has also issued a formal request to Gov. John Kitzhaber, asking him to intervene in the issue.


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