“This is a good day for science and for wildlife,” said Portland Audubon Conservation Director, Bob Sallinger. “Sage-grouse declines do need to be addressed but this was a classic case of scapegoating one species for the decline of another while ignoring far more obvious threats.”
In conveying the decision to cancel the proposed killing in 2020, ODFW cited many of the issues raised by Portland Audubon and its allies. The agency acknowledged that more science and research was needed, non-lethal strategies should get additional consideration, and that they agreed with Portland Audubon et al. that leaving young ravens to starve in nests was not acceptable. The agencies will take another year to conduct research on the impacts of ravens on sage-grouse in Baker County and to consider a broader suite of strategies to address sage-grouse recovery. It is possible that they will return in future years with a revised proposal for killing ravens, but for 2020, the killing that was supposed to begin in the coming months is no longer moving forward. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with the agencies to develop humane, ecologically responsible strategies that truly address the primary causes of sage-grouse declines.