The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirms it has used lethal force to remove four wolves in northeast Oregon from further livestock depredation. The four wolves have regularly used an area of private land on the westernmost portion of their known home range in Wallowa County. "Unfortunately members of the Imnaha pack are once again involved in chronic livestock depredation and ODFW is adhering to the Wolf plan and protecting the interests of area livestock producers," said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. Officials say that despite continued efforts by ODFW, Wallowa County officials, and area livestock producers to deter wolf-livestock
conflict with non-lethal measures, ODFW has confirmed five livestock depredation incidents on private land.
This is the third time ODFW has used lethal control for wolves since they returned to the state in the early 2000s. Morgan says, "This is the tough part of the job, but we believe lethal control is the right decision in this situation. Wildlife managers must strike a balance between conserving wolves and minimizing impacts on livestock," he said.
Earlier this year, ODFW confirmed Oregon's wolf population has climbed to 110 - a 36% increase over 2014 levels, leading the state to de-list the wolf as endangered.