Amaroq Weiss, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 779-9613, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brooks Fahy, Predator Defense, (541) 520-6003, email@example.com
Adam Bronstein, Western Watersheds Project, (541) 595-8034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bethany Cotton, Cascadia Wildlands, (503) 327-4923, email@example.com
Danielle Moser, Oregon Wild, (503) 975-0482, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Taylor, Speak for Wolves, (971) 288-6184, email@example.com
Kelly Peterson, The Humane Society of the United States, (503) 869-0422, firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTLAND, Ore.— Conservation groups announced today a $16,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction for the illegal shooting death of a two-year-old collared female wolf in Wallowa County in early January. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Turn in Poachers (TIP) division also offers a potential $300 reward for information regarding illegal wolf killings.
The Oregon State Police reported the incident on Jan. 11, after a concerned citizen alerted them. The slain wolf, designated as OR-106 by state wildlife biologists, was found on Parsnip Creek Road, about six miles southwest of the town of Wallowa in the Sled Springs game management unit. She dispersed from the Chesnimnus Pack, whose territory is in northern Wallowa County.
“We want justice for this young wolf, who was simply seeking a mate and territory of her own before her life was cut tragically short by a bullet,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We call on the state to show its commitment to holding perpetrators accountable by having its Department of Justice launch an independent, thorough investigation into this most recent killing, and past unsolved illegal killings of Oregon’s wolves.”
This new illegal shooting follows the gruesome illegal poisoning deaths of multiple wolves last year in northeast Oregon. Eight wolves from four different packs, including all members of the Catherine Pack, were poisoned in neighboring Union County, in incidents between February and July of 2021.
“We are saddened to hear the tragic news of the cowardly killing of wolf OR-106, but unfortunately, we are not surprised,” said Stephanie Taylor, president of Speak for Wolves. “With 32 poached wolves in Oregon since their return and nearly zero accountability for any of the incidents, it’s clear Oregon’s wildlife managers must do far more to educate the public on co-existence with native wildlife, and massively increase their efforts to hold poachers accountable. Otherwise, this ‘shoot, shovel, shut up’ culture will continue to thrive leading to even more poaching.”
“Illegally killing Oregon’s few wolves out of hatred or spite must stop,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon senior state director at the Humane Society of the United States. “The death of OR-106 at the hands of a poacher is heartbreaking and infuriating, especially after eight of Oregon’s wolves were illegally poisoned and killed just last year. While this reward cannot bring back these iconic animals, we hope it brings these cruel actors to justice and helps to put an end to the illegal slaughter of our wolves once and for all.”
Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Oregon State Police Sgt. Isaac Cyr through the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP via mobile. Tips can also be submitted via email to TIP@state.or.us (monitored Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The Trump administration stripped federal Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves across most of the country in January 2021, including in western Oregon. Since 2011 wolves in the eastern one-third of Oregon have not had federal protections and were managed solely by the state. In 2015 the state fish and wildlife commission prematurely stripped wolves of state endangered species act protections.
Even without state or federal protections, wolves are protected under Oregon’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Wolves may be killed only in self-defense and by Oregon’s wildlife agency staff in instances of chronic livestock predations. Individual livestock owners throughout Oregon may kill a wolf in the act of attacking livestock and, in the eastern half of the state, a wolf that is chasing livestock. Oregon does not currently allow wolf hunting or trapping seasons.
Scientific research has shown that removing protections for wolves is associated with increased illegal killings of wolves, and that for every illegally slain wolf found, another 1 to 2 wolves have been killed that will remain undiscovered.
Groups contributing pledge reward amounts are the Center for Biological Diversity, Predator Defense, Western Watersheds Project, Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, Speak for Wolves, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems and The Humane Society of the United States.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Predator Defense is a national nonprofit advocacy organization devoted to protecting essential native predators, helping people learn to coexist with wild animals, and ending America’s war on wildlife. They have been championing native predators with science, sanity, and heart since 1990.
Western Watersheds Project (www.westernwatersheds.org) is a nonprofit organization with over 12,000 members and supporters dedicated to protecting and conserving the public lands and native wildlife of the American West with a focus on the harmful impacts from domestic livestock grazing.
Cascadia Wildlands defends and restores Cascadia’s wild ecosystems in the forests, in the courts and in the streets.
Oregon Wild works to protect and restore Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and waters as an enduring legacy for future generations
Speak for Wolves exists to empower activists with science and indigenous land knowledge-based education to challenge existing wildlife management practices and to influence policies that will benefit large predators, amplified by an annual grassroots wildlife conference.
Northeast Oregon Ecosystems – Speaking up for Oregon’s environment and wildlife.
Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States fights the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, we take on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries. With our affiliates, we rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals every year through our animal rescue team’s work and other hands-on animal care services. We fight all forms of animal cruelty to achieve the vision behind our name: A humane society. Learn more about our work at humanesociety.org. Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, A Humane World. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on Twitter. Read the award-winning All Animals magazine. Listen to the Humane Voices Podcast.