Bulletin Staff Report

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife released an updated draft of its wolf management plan on Thursday, moving a step closer to a final document that governs how the predators are managed in the state.

The new draft of the plan builds off an earlier draft written in April, with a particular focus on how wolves fit into Oregon’s ecosystem, and their special status in the state, according to Michelle Dennehy, wildlife communications coordinator for ODFW. Dennehy added that the new draft includes information and comments from the previous plan, so readers can see what’s changed since the April draft.

A copy of the 149-page plan is available at www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/wolf_program_updates.asp

ODFW’s original wolf management plan was written in 2005 and updated in 2010 as a way to manage populations of gray wolves as they return to the state. The plan is designed to be reviewed every five years, but the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission removed the gray wolf from the state’s list of protected species in 2015, which delayed the plan, according to Dennehy.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will discuss the plan at a meeting in Salem on Dec. 8. Dennehy said no public testimony will be taken at the meeting, but representatives from hunting, ranching and conservation organizations will testify on the draft. Members of the public will be able to speak during the final meeting to discuss the plan, which is scheduled for Jan 19.