Oregon faces cultural divide over protections for wolves - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon faces cultural divide over protections for wolves

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OR25 after being radio-collared on May 20, 2014. (Photo by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) OR25 after being radio-collared on May 20, 2014. (Photo by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)

By GOSIA WOZNIACKA
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The fragile comeback of wolves to Oregon is deepening a cultural divide over how much protection they need.

With 81 adult gray wolves now calling Oregon home, wildlife officials last week recommended taking them off the state's list of protected animals. They'll vote on the recommendation on Monday.

Oregon has been considered a model for wolf management, due to its emphasis on non-lethal methods to deter the animals from killing livestock. But ranchers say nonlethal deterrence doesn't work and want more leeway to kill wolves.

Environmentalists warn 81 wolves isn't a viable population and the animals could again disappear.

The fight in Oregon is playing out in the context of wolf recovery in other western states, where wolves were successfully reintroduced, but are now killed by the thousands after being stripped of protections.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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