For the past year, Oregon has been a 'wolf-safe' zone, with ranchers turning to nonlethal ways to protect livestock. While the number of wolves has gone up, livestock kills haven't.
Wolves of the Rockies/AP
GRANTS PASS, Ore.
As long as wolves have been making their comeback, biologists and ranchers have had a decidedly Old West option for dealing with those that develop a taste for beef: Shoot to kill. But for the past year, Oregon has been a "wolf-safe" zone, with ranchers turning to more modern, nonlethal ways to protect livestock.
While the number of wolves roaming the state has gone up, livestock kills haven't — and now conservation groups are hoping Oregon can serve as a model for other Western states working to return the predator to the wild.
"Once the easy option of killing wolves is taken off the table, we've seen reluctant but responsible ranchers stepping up," said Rob Klavins of the advocacy group Oregon Wild. "Conflict is going down. And wolf recovery has got back on track."
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