The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, October 17, 2018, Page B3, Image 13

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Blue Mountain Eagle
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Oregon to craft new proposal for managing wolves
By George Plaven
EO Media Group
A new framework for managing
wolves that repeatedly prey on live-
stock may have the support of both
Oregon ranchers and conservation
groups, if the state can find enough
money to pay for it.
The idea came as groups sat down
for the second time with a mediator
on Oct. 9 as part of the Oregon De-
partment of Fish & Wildlife’s effort to
update the state’s Wolf Conservation
and Management Plan.
Participants include the Oregon
Cattlemen’s Association, Oregon
Farm Bureau, Oregon Hunters As-
sociation and Rocky Mountain Elk
Foundation, along with Oregon Wild,
Cascadia Wildlands, Defenders of
Wildlife and the Center for Biologi-
cal Diversity.
The facilitated meetings are de-
signed to find common ground within
the contentious wolf plan.
The session revealed a possible
breakthrough in how ranchers can
peacefully coexist with wolves on the
landscape while minimizing attacks
on livestock. Though short on spe-
cifics, the strategy generally calls for
more site-specific wolf protections
with an upfront focus on non-lethal
EO Media Group/George Plaven
Derek Broman, state carnivore
biologist for the Oregon
Department of Fish & Wildlife,
leads a presentation during a
wolf plan stakeholders meeting
Oct. 9 in Salem.
deterrents, such as hiring range rid-
ers or stringing fladry along fences to
haze the predators.
Under the proposal, a wildlife bi-
ologist would meet with individual
ranchers to discuss which non-lethal
tools would be most effective given
their location and geography. ODFW
already has conflict deterrence plans
where wolves are known to be ac-
tive, but these new agreements would
make it even clearer what a rancher
ought to be doing to best protect their
If wolves continue to attack live-
stock and meet the state’s defini-
tion of “chronic depredation,” then
ranchers who follow the rules can
request killing wolves to stop the
damage, which is allowed in Phase
III of the wolf plan in Eastern Ore-
gon. Wolves remain a federally pro-
tected species west of highways 395,
78 and 95.
Todd Nash, a Wallowa County
commissioner and member of the
Oregon Cattlemen’s Association,
said the proposal would provide
much-needed clarity and directions
for ranchers to follow when it comes
to dealing with problem wolves.
“There should be no dispute
whether you did enough non-lethal,”
Nash said.
Sean Stevens, executive director
of Oregon Wild, said the concept
also holds promise for the environ-
mental community because it prior-
itizes non-lethal measures ahead of
“Done well and with a lot of
goodwill, this could be effective,”
Stevens said. “It really does focus on
avoiding conflict.”
It remains unclear how such a pro-
gram would be paid for in the long-
term. The group discussed possible
funding sources, including the Wolf
Depredation Compensation and Fi-
nancial Assistance Grant Program,
which receives money from the Leg-
islature and is administered by the
Oregon Department of Agriculture.
During the 2017 legislative ses-
sion, Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Cove,
introduced a bill that would tie com-
pensation directly to the increasing
wolf population. That measure could
surface again in 2019.
ODFW staff will write specific
language for developing site-specific
deterrence plans and present it to the
work group Nov. 5 during a webinar
and conference call. The next in-per-
son meeting is scheduled for Nov. 27
in Pendleton.
Individual group members made
it clear they still have lingering con-
cerns over other parts of the Oregon
plan. Stevens, with Oregon Wild,
took issue with the state’s definition
of “chronic depredation” in Phase
III of the plan, which is currently
defined as two attacks on livestock
over any period of time.
ODFW has proposed amending
the rule to three attacks on livestock
in a 12-month period, but Stevens
said even that is too broad.
“We really need to be thinking
about an appropriate timeline,” Ste-
vens said.
The group also went back and
forth on issues such as radio col-
lars, and whether it is appropriate
for local authorities, such as coun-
ty sheriff’s offices, to participate in
wolf-livestock depredation investi-
gations. Those topics will be up for
further discussion moving forward.
For the wolf plan to work, Nash
said ranchers and rural communities
need to buy in. Right now, he said
the current plan is broken.
“Producers don’t call in depreda-
tions at this point. Most have chosen
not to work within the context of the
plan, because the context of the plan
hasn’t worked,” Nash said. “You’ve
lost the human tolerance condition
among ranchers, in northeast Oregon
Kevin Blakely, deputy adminis-
trator for the ODFW Wildlife Divi-
sion, said he was encouraged by the
progress, and believes it could be a
foot in the door for more consensus.
“There’s got to be something for
everybody on the table,” Blakely
said. “I think that’s how you start to
get some movement.”
Lake Creek Youth Camp board seeks volunteers
Local students
enjoy 3-day
outdoor school
By Angel Carpenter
Blue Mountain Eagle
The Lake Creek Youth
Camp, with its lodge, cab-
ins and grounds, is a breath
of fresh air for visitors and
a treasure the camp’s board
hopes will continue for many
years to come.
With a few longtime board
members retiring, two last
year and two this year, Lake
Creek’s leaders are seeking
more assistance to keep the
camp running smoothly.
Vicki and Carl Heckman
retired from the board in
September — Vicki was the
camp cook, and Carl was the
groundskeeper and mainte-
nance worker.
With Lake Creek’s busy
season coming to a close, the
board is now looking to fill
those positions as well as an
assistant cook.
“If we can hire some ex-
perienced people, we’ll be
able to continue our reputa-
ble service,” said Treasurer
Aimee Rude.
The camp hosts various
groups, mainly from June
through September, includ-
ing youth groups, weddings,
retreats and family reunions.
Board president Amber
Wright said that if a group is
not already scheduled at the
camp, visitors are welcome
to stop by.
“A lot of people don’t
know that it’s not private,
and that it’s a day use area,”
she said.
She said if someone
would like to hold a birthday
party there, they can call, or
if they’re in that neck of the
woods, they can stop by for
a tour.
They also offer ice and
showers to hunters for pur-
Lake Creek is a board-
run camp, so the group is
especially interested in hav-
ing board members and oth-
er volunteers who can de-
vote time on occasion to the
grounds and facility.
Rude said when they
have back-to-back groups of
visitors, they may need as-
sistance with changing lin-
ens at the cabins or, if there
is a large group, making
Board member Darla Car-
penter, who has been an as-
sistant cook at the camp, said
help in the kitchen with food
prep or general assistance
during the day is sometimes
needed for groups with over
40-50 people.
“It really means a lot,” she
Volunteers, not just board
members, help with a begin-
up day to dust the cabins
Contributed photo/Laura Thomas
Monument School fifth- and sixth-graders enjoyed a
three-day outdoor school in September held at Lake
Creek Youth Camp.
and rake and sweep up the
grounds as well as a clean-up
day in October.
A three-day outdoor
school, organized by OSU
Extension’s Didgette Mc-
Cracken, was held in Sep-
tember for students, most in
sixth grade, from Monument,
Spray and Adrian school dis-
tricts with 42 kids attending.
Monument teacher Laura
Thomas said all 11 students
in her fifth- through sixth-
grade class enjoyed the camp.
“It was fabulous,” she
said. “There was such a vari-
ety of subjects for the kids to
learn about.”
She said even those stu-
dents who were a little ner-
vous at first about camping
overnight enjoyed the event.
The youths learned about
astronomy from OMSI staff,
which included a dome tent
with the constellations shown
— the students also viewed
the stars in the night sky.
Andy Day, a 4-H leader,
gave archery lessons; Bob
Parker, the OSU forester
for Grant and Baker coun-
ties taught forestry and team
building; and there were nu-
merous other lessons and
“It was a really neat bond-
ing experience,” Thomas
Wright said she hopes
they receive the help they’re
looking for, so Lake Creek
Camp can be available to
Grant County residents and
others for years to come.
“It’s the serenity, it’s
the outdoors, it’s the peace
and quiet, all there in Lo-
gan Valley,” she said. “It’s
just breathtaking. There are
creeks around there, and it’s
near Strawberry Mountain.
It’s a really peaceful place to
For more information
about Lake Creek Camp, call
Aimee Rude at 541-206-2421
or visit the website at lake-
The Cinnabar Mountain Playdays would like to
thank all the sponsors of the Playdays.
1st Choice Auto Body
Bank of Eastern Oregon
Blue Mountain Hospital
Carole & Tim Holly
Chester’s Thriftway
Clark’s Disposal
Dairy Queen
Duke Warner Realty
Exploration Services
Gardner Enterprises
Gary Gregg
Grant County Automotive
Grant County Ranch & Rodeo
Hagstrom Trucking
John Day River Veterinary
Jeff Larson Horseshoeing
Jerry & Rachel Tobin
John Day True Value Hardware
L&L Excavating
Lens Drug
Les Schwab Tire Center
Mary Ellen Brooks
Old West Federal Credit Union
Oregon Telephone Corporation
Oregon Trail Livestock Supply
Solutions CPA’s
Rockbottom Ranch
Russ & Tara Young
State Farm Janette Hueckman
Tracy Byrd
US Forest Service
Zweygart Ranch