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October 21, 2019

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Still Time To Weigh In On Wolves

February 21, 2016

An Oregon Senate Committee on Thursday heard more testimony on House Bill 4040 (the wolf bill). The Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is expected decide at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, whether to let the bill go to a vote of the full Senate. The bill would prevent a legal challenge to a November 2015 decision by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to take wolves off of Oregon's endangered species list. We oppose the bill because we think there should be court review of such an important decision. The court review will just make sure the decision was justified by the law and the facts. Wolves are still protected from hunting under Oregon law, and by federal law west of Highway 395, but the state "delisting" could weaken protection for wolves going forward. House Bill 4040 also would set a terrible precedent of the Legislature to deny access to the courts to one side of an issue. Word on the street is that Senate leaders, who would normally be on our side on this, want the bill to pass to appease rural areas that are upset about the outcome on other issues. But we aren't giving up. If you haven't already, please email or, better yet, call Committee members to tell them you oppose the bill (concentrate on senators Edwards and Olsen, in that order, if you have limited time). Be sure also to urge your own Senator to oppose the bill. You can just say something like: "Please vote against House Bill 4040. The decision to take wolves off of Oregon's endangered species list was a very important decision for wolf management in Oregon and should be subject to court review like other decisions of administrative agencies."

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