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OREGON: HAZELNUT CROP SMALLER THAN EXPECTED
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2015
VOLUME 88, NUMBER 42
By ERIC MORTENSON
The lead Oregon State Po-
lice investigator said the agency
does not have probable cause
to believe humans caused the
deaths of the Sled Springs wolf
pair in August.
Senior Trooper Kreg Cog-
gins also said it’s unclear how
the wolves died. State police
use a standard of 51 percent cer-
tainty in determining probable
cause, he said, and evidence in
the case did not reach that level.
“At this point it’s somewhat
of a mystery,” he said.
State police headquarters
announced Oct. 14 that the in-
vestigation is suspended. In a
news release, the agency said
a veterinarian had performed a
necropsy on the wolves but was
unable to determine the cause of
death because the bodies had de-
Coggins said it’s not always
easy to tell if an animal has been
shot or poisoned. Decomposi-
tion complicates investigations,
and the wolves were found dead
during hot August weather, he
Coggins declined to specu-
late on what happened.
The environmental group
Oregon Wild has called the
deaths “suspicious” because
wolves have been killed ille-
gally in Oregon previously and
“there is a very vocal minority
that enthusiastically encourages
2'): FRQ¿UPHG WKH 6OHG
Springs Pair killed a calf in
June. Coggins, who works out
of OSP’s Enterprise outpost,
downplayed the possibility that
the wolves were killed by ranch-
ers or others in retaliation. Cattle
have been attacked by wolves
many times in Wallowa County,
and no one has shot wolves in
response, he said.
cause as a “substantial objective
basis” for believing a crime has
been committed and a person to
be arrested is responsible for it.
Northeast Oregon wolves
are protected under the state
Endangered Species Act and
killing them is a crime. But their
presence is controversial, espe-
cially among cattle and sheep
producers who bear the cost and
stress of livestock losses and of
non-lethal defensive measures.
The investigation began the
week of Aug. 24 after a tracking
collar worn by the female of the
pair, OR-21, emitted a mortality
signal. State police and Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife
searched the area, north of the
town of Wallowa, and found the
female dead. Coggins said he
Turn to WOLF, Page 12
Veterans offer advice on
making transition from
By CAROL RYAN DUMAS
UHL, Idaho — Third-generation farmer
Tim Cornie ventured into organics eight
years ago on his farm in Buhl, Idaho, but
his enthusiasm was no match for the weeds that
came with transitioning ground and building
better soil health.
He ended up reverting to conventional pro-
duction on three-fourths of his 500 acres.
But he’s trying again, going at it from
a biological angle, employing “green
manure” (plants grown and plowed
back into the soil as fertilizer), cov-
er crops and a customized com-
post brew to build healthy soil
and manage weeds and pests, he
His rotation includes alfalfa,
and he plans to add sweet corn
and hopefully sugar snap peas
next year — if a contract comes
Organic demand is strong and
organic production can be a good
deal for small farmers, but it’s an ex-
pensive learning curve to transition, he
“Yields are less, and you farm or-
ganically for three years before you get
paid for it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the weeds are an eye-
sore, he said.
“You’re going to be criticized. Peo-
ple are used to things looking pretty; it’s
not pretty,” he said.
But it’s part of building a healthy
ecosystem — and if you can manage the
In both attempts, Cornie has found no
two years are the same in organic farm-
Ranch in Buhl,
ing, and everything is part of a learning
curve, he said.
“If you want a challenge, organic
farming is where you want to be.
Carol Ryan Dumas
Appeals court puts hold on WOTUS regs
By DON JENKINS
Farm groups hailed a fed-
eral court ruling Oct. 9 that
at least temporarily blocks
the new Waters of the United
States rule from taking effect
in all 50 states.
standpoint, it’s very favor-
able,” said attorney Toni
Meacham, executive director
of the Washington Agricul-
ture Legal Foundation.
The Ohio-based 6th U.S.
An appeals court has put a nationwide hold on the Waters of the
U.S. regulations that are under court challenge. The rules were
written by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army
Corps of Engineers.
Circuit Court of Appeals
granted the temporary stay,
pending a hearing on claims
the new rule represents on
unlawful power grab by the
U.S. Environmental Protec-
tion Agency and the Army
Corps of Engineers.
Turn to WOTUS, Page 12
Turn to ORGANIC, Page 12