The bad bill to "ratify" taking wolves off of Oregon's endanged species list was passed by a Senate Committee today. Only two more places to stop this bill: (1) a vote by the full Senate; and (2) signing by Gov. Kate Brown.
Before we go on about the bad news, we praise senators Michael Dembrow (Portland) and Floyd Prozanski (Eugene) for their votes against this bill in committee and their tough questions and careful analysis. Be sure to thank them if you get a chance.
Not so much: senators Chris Edwards (Eugene), Alan Olsen (Canby) and Doug Whitsett (Klamath Falls), all of whom voted for the bill. Be sure to tell them you are disappointed if you get a chance.
Now to the full Senate. If you haven't already, please contact your Senator to urge a "no" vote on House Billl 4040. Please hurry because the vote could happen any day now. Our suggestion for what to say (by email or, better yet, phone): "Please vote against House Bill 4040. The bill would prevent court review of the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Commission to take wolves off of Oregon's endangered species list. Such an important decision for wildlife management should be subject to court review just like other decisions by state agencies."
This would also be a good time to tell Gov. Brown how you feel.
Be sure to keep in mind (so it's clear you are informed): the decision to take wolves off of Oregon's endangered species list (and the bill to "ratify" that decision) will not result in an immediate change in wolf management. Wolves will still be protected from hunting. However, the "delisting" will affect future management decisions, and the bill to "ratify" the agency action sets a terrible precedent of Legislative intervention in the normal process (agency decisions subject to court review) for protecting animals under the state endangered species laws.
For more information about this bill, please see our prior blog posts, or go here to see the actual text, history, etc. of the bill.