by RALPH MAUGHAN
Effort to revive the wolf killing bill ran out of time-
It passed the Oregon House, but was thought to be dead in the state Senate, but it was revived. At any rate, the Oregon Legislature adjourned with the bill to make it easier for the state to kill wolves died too. However, a bill to compensate Oregon livestock owners even more than at present did pass. Last year they got $100,000. This year they got a tax credit for losses on top of the $100,000.
There has been mixed feelings among conservationists whether keeping the Imnaha Pack alive was worth it because they have created justifiably bad publicity in the minds of many, killing more livestock, despite some questionable investigations, than any other wolf pack in the West. The wolf kill bill would have made it easier for the state to overcome the state judge’s ruling protecting the pack and, more importantly, other Oregon wolf packs currently not in any trouble.
Despite the depredations of the Imnaha Pack, the attitude of the Oregon Cattle Association, which seems to center on Wallowa County, is perhaps the most negative toward wolves and especially people who support them than any livestock association in the West. In retrospect, my experience of 17 years says killing the pack would have made no improvement in the polarized situation despite the state having a trivial number of wolves that originally migrated in from Idaho.
The Imnaha Pack originally did a lot of good for wolf restoration in Oregon by being the first pack in the state to have pups in about 60 years (a lot of pups). Many of these dispersed and may found new packs.