Media Advisory, March 16, 2016
Wildlife Supporters to Rally Thursday at Governor's Mansion
Protest Targets Gov. Brown's Decision to Obstruct Court Challenge of Wolf Delisting
PORTLAND, Ore.— Supporters of Oregon wildlife will rally Thursday at the governor’s mansion in Salem to give voice to widespread opposition among Oregonians to a bill signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown this week that impedes legal challenges to the state’s decision to prematurely strip protections from gray wolves.
|Photo of OR-25 courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This photo is available for media use.
What: Members of the public — including members of Bark, Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems and Predator Defense — will rally on the sidewalk in front of the governor’s mansion to remind Gov. Brown that the vast majority of her constituents in Oregon support wolves. The rally will highlight the importance of science-based management of Oregon’s still-fragile wolf population and of the separation of powers guaranteed by Oregon’s Constitution.
When: 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday, March 17
Where: Mahonia Hall (the governor’s mansion), 533 Lincoln Street South, Salem 97302 (rally to be held on the sidewalk at the corner of John Street South and Lincoln Street South)
Visuals: Attendees will hoist posters and banners supporting wolves, opposing the new anti-wolf law and asking Gov. Brown to commit her administration to science-based wolf recovery, agency accountability, and the separation of powers guaranteed by the Oregon constitution. Speakers will include Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity; Stephanie Taylor on behalf of Predator Defense; Kimberly Fanshier, Portland State University grad student and volunteer on behalf of Bark; and Karen Coulter, director of Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project.
House Bill 4040 was introduced by Republican legislators on behalf of the livestock industry to derail a lawsuit filed by conservation groups challenging the legitimacy of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission’s decision to delist wolves. In delisting wolves last November, the commission ignored written comments received from two dozen scientists stating that the science the commission was relying on was “fundamentally flawed” and that wolves have not met state delisting criteria. The commission also failed to have an outside scientific peer-review panel review the science, as required by state law. In December conservation groups filed a legal challenge to the delisting.
The new law goes into effect immediately because it was tagged as “emergency” legislation, which ensured that it would become law before the court could rule on conservation groups’ legal challenge to the controversial wolf delisting decision. As a result, the law not only rubber-stamps bad science but strips Oregon citizens of their right to a judicial review of the commission’s likely illegal wolf-delisting decision. In testimony at legislative hearings, the bill’s sponsors noted they had run the bill by the governor’s office to get the right wording, raising questions about the administration’s role in a bill that purposefully sidesteps the constitutional separation of powers by hindering judicial review.
Bark’s mission is to transform Mt. Hood National Forest into a place where natural processes prevail, where wildlife thrives and where local communities have a social, cultural, and economic investment in its restoration and preservation.
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project is an eastern Oregon based grassroots ecological protection group working to monitor National forests and BLM districts to protect wildlife habitat.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 990,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Northeast Oregon Ecosystems works to protect and expand Oregon's
wildlife and wild places.
Predator Defense is a national nonprofit advocacy organization devoted to protecting native predators, helping people learn to coexist with wild animals, and ending America's war on wildlife.