Target: Michael Finley, Chair of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission
Goal: Reinstate the gray wolf’s status as a protected species.
Gray wolves are once again on the brink of extinction after a period of recovery. In the early 20th century, expansion and hunting by ranchers and poachers rendered the gray wolf extinct in Oregon. Fortunately, wolves have since returned to Oregon and their numbers are steadily increasing, but this success has been interrupted by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s decision to remove the gray wolf’s status as an endangered species. Without protection, this vulnerable species is once again at risk of dying off.
Though the gray wolf population is slowly re-establishing itself, the species is still critically endangered. The first wolf sighting in Oregon occurred in 1999, and current estimates place the population at approximately 80 wolves. According to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, this number is high enough to justify the removal of the gray wolf’s status as a protected species.
The Commission argues that action was necessary to protect the state’s elk, deer, and livestock populations, but a quick look at the numbers proves that the wolves pose little threat to the massive numbers. Oregon boasts 59,000 Rocky Mountain elk and 223,000 mule deer, as well as 1.3 million cattle and 195,000 sheep. While farmers deserve protection from predators, such a paltry number of wolves would have a minimal impact on a farmer’s bottom line.
Without protection, Oregon’s gray wold population is now vulnerable to numerous threats. In a similar situation in Wisconsin, conservationists have estimated that, after the state stopped protecting the species, 44 percent of wolves aged seven months or older died every year. Wolves in Oregon have already gone extinct once; sign the petition to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
Dear Chairman Finley,
The recent decision to revoke the gray wolf’s status as a protected species places it in a precarious position. Current estimates put the population of wolves in Oregon at approximately 80, yet your organization has decided that this is a large enough number to justify ending protection of these vulnerable animals. Past experience has shown that
While the need to protect Oregon’s other species is understandable, a quick review of the population numbers proves that the wolves pose little threat to the massive numbers. Oregon has 59,000 Rocky Mountain elk and 223,000 mule deer, as well as 1.3 million cattle and 195,000 sheep. While farmers deserve protection from predators, such a paltry number of wolves would hardly create any sort of problem in terms of property or monetary loss. Please reinstate protection of the gray wolf, or these precious creatures will once again disappear from Oregon.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Retron