Wallowa County has been actively opposed to the introduction of wolves into Oregon, and more specifically this county, since what was then known as the Wallowa County Court drafted an ordinance in March of 1993 prohibiting the introduction of any new predators without the court's consent.
County Commissioner Ben Boswell continued in that vein Nov. 7 when he gave a 30-minute speech in Portland to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission in opposition to the predatory mammals. The gist of his argument is that wolf populations increase rapidly and cause increased losses to wildlife, livestock and pets.
A renewed interest in the topic has been generated by a series of town hall and wolf informational meetings conducted around the state. County residents participated in two of those meetings held Nov. 12 and 13 in La Grande and Pendleton conducted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. It has been requested that the ODFW conduct such a meeting in Enterprise, said Boswell.
Wolves have been introduced to the neighboring state of Idaho, and the chances of them coming into Oregon are high. "I'm pretty sure they will continue to migrate to neighboring areas such as Wallowa County," said Boswell.
In a 1999 resolution by the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners (formerly the Wallowa County Court) the board requested that the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service remove any wolves found in Wallowa County.
Asked how the USFW might catch such wolves and Boswell responded that it was "up to them."
Adopting a slogan formerly used by Oregon Governor Tom McCall, Boswell says to wolves, "You can visit, but you can't stay."