SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Monday to take gray wolves off the state’s endangered species list.
The 4-2 ruling officially removes wolves from the state’s Endangered Species Act list, but it won’t have any immediate effect on wolf management.
Members of the public testified on both sides of the issue on Monday evening. Commissioner Chair Finley said despite opposing views, everyone who spoke up at the meeting did so because they care about wolves.
ODFW says wolves will continue to be managed with ESA-like protections in western Oregon until they achieve 4 breeding pairs for 3 consecutive years, part of the conservation objective.
Eighty-one wolves now live in Oregon. State biologists said the species is not in danger of extinction here. But some independent scientists disagree with that conclusion.
An upcoming wolf plan review could also lead to changes in protections.
The ruling will be filed with the Secretary of State on Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report