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I read with some trepidation the article in the Friday newspaper about the sheep killed in Southwest Oregon. No surprise that the USDA Wildlife Service hunter blamed the killing on wolves.

Keep in mind that the USDA Wildlife Service Agency exists for one reason; to kill wildlife. It manages to slaughter millions of mammals, birds, fish, and even household pets every year. That is its business, paid for by the taxpayers. And of course the ranchers in Eastern Oregon are quick to blame every cattle/sheep death on wolves. They will not be happy until every wolf is dead; and also keep in mind that according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are about 124 wolves in the state of Oregon compared to about 1.25 million head of cattle. More cattle die from natural causes or disease than from wolf predators. And as stated in the article, there is no proof those sheep were killed by wolves.

I would take the word of a Wildlife Service agent with a grain of salt, remember their livelihood depends of killing wildlife, i.e. wolves. Killing methods used include traps, neck snares, guns, bombs, and poison cyanide capsules.

And, there are nonlethal ways to protect cattle and sheep from wolves. Seems like that would be something worth trying.

Ed Crist

Corvallis (March 8)

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