Ranchers, state reach wolf killing deal

Oregon State Capitol
The Oregon State Capitol in Salem (April 2013)

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Conservation groups and cattle ranchers have agreed to a landmark settlement in a lawsuit that has kept the state of Oregon from killing wolves that prey on livestock.

The agreement announced Friday by the governor’s office creates a new rulebook for wolf management in Oregon that makes killing the ones that prey on cattle and sheep a last resort after non-lethal protections have been tried, and livestock attacks have become chronic. It also gives ranchers greater authority to kill wolves that attack or chase their herds as long as certain conditions are met.

Brett Brownscombe, the governor’s natural resources adviser, says the agreement will help bring peace to a longstanding and bitter conflict.

The agreement must be endorsed by the Legislature and wildlife authorities before taking effect.

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