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SALEM — Slapping down a stance taken by the director of Oregon’s wildlife department, Gov. Kate Brown declared Wednesday that the state and its agencies oppose the federal government’s proposal to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Curtis Melcher had written May 9 to a federal agency in support of the proposal, saying that in the Lower 48 states and Mexico, the gray wolf no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Conservation groups and an Oregon congressman blasted Melcher’s position after the letter, which had not been publicly announced, came to light this week. Then Brown herself weighed in Wednesday in a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, saying she wanted to “clarify and correct” Melcher.