The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, February 04, 2015, Image 11

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Blue Mountain Eagle
PLAN
Continued from Page A1
killing livestock. The change
means ranchers can shoot a
wolf caught chasing after
herds on the producer’s own
property or allotment.
Non-lethal
deterrents
are still emphasized first by
ODFW. Ranchers are not
allowed to bait wolves, and
must report any lethal take
within 24 hours while mak-
ing all reasonable attempts
to preserve the scene for in-
vestigation.
Todd Nash, a Wallowa
County rancher and chair-
man of the Oregon Cat-
PORTER
Continued from Page A1
“He’s the only one there
hurting his family, attack-
ing them, and all of a sud-
den he’s protecting them?”
Carpenter said.
In his testimony, Car-
penter presented pho-
tographs
and
docu-
ments including autopsy
material.
He said the evidence
clearly showed that Ward
died from being struck in
the head with a chunk of
firewood.
Carpenter said Por-
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
A11
tlemen’s Association wolf
committee, said it is highly
unlikely for producers to ac-
tually catch a wolf causing
trouble in the pasture. The
rule does, however, make
them feel a little more em-
powered than they were be-
fore.
“We didn’t want wolves
to begin with,” Nash said.
“We’re trying to get along
as best we can in the politi-
cal climate we live in.”
Another change in Phase
II lowers the requirement
for ODFW to consider lethal
control of problem packs.
Previously, the department
needed to confirm four at-
tacks on livestock within a
six-month period, and each
of those incidents had to
satisfy an additional set of
criteria in order to qualify.
No pack ever reached the
threshold, though the Uma-
tilla River wolves came
close last year.
Instead, Phase II allows
ODFW to consider killing
wolves after just two live-
stock predations without
a set time limit. Nash said
lethal control is critical for
livestock producers as the
wolf population continues
to grow.
“Dealing with prob-
lem wolves is an absolute
must moving forward,” he
said.
Ranchers are currently
compensated by the state
for livestock losses caused
by wolves. The Oregon
Department of Agriculture
awarded $150,830 in 2014
– along with $63,125 from
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service – as part of the Wolf
Depredation Compensation
and Financial Assistance
County Block Grant Pro-
gram.
But ranchers like Nash
see compensation as a
Band-Aid, not a solution,
for the problem. The Cat-
tlemen’s Association passed
a resolution at its annual
meeting in December that
supports lethal control of
wolves in three cases: live-
stock losses, human health
or safety, and when game
populations dip below man-
agement levels.
Rob Klavins, northeast
Oregon field coordinator for
the conservation group Ore-
gon Wild, said moving into
Phase II of the wolf plan is a
positive sign of the species’
recovery, although the pop-
ulation remains “relatively
small.”
Oregon had 64 wolves at
the end of 2013. The 2014
population will be updated
in ODFW’s annual wolf re-
port, slated for March.
And, despite reaching
the conservation benchmark
for breeding pairs in Eastern
Oregon, Klavins said that
does not mean their work is
done.
“We should look at these
numbers in context, and re-
alize wolf recovery is mov-
ing in the right direction,”
he said. “I think, at this
point, killing wolves should
still be an option of last re-
sort.”
The transition into Phase
II also marks the initiation
of de-listing wolves in the
eastern third of Oregon.
Wolves remain federally
protected in western Ore-
gon.
ODFW will begin con-
ducting a full status review
and present its findings to
the Fish and Wildlife Com-
mission in April. The com-
mission could make its de-
cision as early as June.
ter’s mem-
ories of the
night,
and
his memory
lapses, are
convenient
for him.
Jim
“He re-
Carpenter m e m b e r s
those facts
that are beneficial to him
in stark detail, but when it
doesn’t benefit him, all of
a sudden, he can’t recall,”
Carpenter said.
He said that strategy
was noted in Porter’s previ-
ous hearing, and also in his
psychological review.
The parole panel also
heard testimony from the
victim’s brother, Ben Ward,
and widow, Debra Ward,
who talked about the stark
loss felt by the family.
Debra Ward also re-
called feeling some comfort
when she thought Porter
would be in prison for life.
Now, she said the release
hearings are taking a pain-
ful toll, and she urged the
board not only to keep
Porter in prison, but to
schedule any new hear-
ings farther apart than two
years.
In the original case, Por-
ter faced a possible death
sentence for aggravated
murder.
However, he entered
an Alford guilty plea –
where the defendant ac-
knowledges likely con-
viction without admitting
to the crime – and he was
sentenced instead to life
without opportunity for
parole for at least 30
years.
A ruling in an unrelated
case subsequently changed
the rules and shortened the
period for a parole review
in certain cases, including
Porter’s.
Supporters of Porter
attended the hearing. If
released, Porter plans to
move to the family ranch
near Monument.
Carpenter said it’s un-
likely that the parole board
will order Porter back to
prison for 10 years, but he
hopes it is longer than two
years. He also lauded his
staff for the work they did
in preparation for the hear-
ing.
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