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6/19/12


TrapFree Oregon Billboard Urges Protection of Oregon Wildlife


TrapFree Oregon has joined with three other conservation groups to install a billboard in NE Oregon near La Grande on Highway 82 eastbound. Picturing a wolf, eagle, bobcat, coyote, and wolverine against a Wallowa County backdrop, it urges protection of Oregon wildlife.


Lucinda Baker, Executive Director of TrapFree Oregon, is concerned with the terrible toll fur trapping takes on Oregon wildlife. “It's time Oregonians bring this unjustifiable sport to an end,” she said. “Each year over 20,000 animals in Oregon die miserable deaths to please less than a thousand trappers.” TrapFree Oregon, founded in Wallowa County but now headquartered in Bend, OR, aims to ban fur trapping by voter initiative.


TrapFree Oregon, Predator Defense and Oregon Wild cooperated with NE Oregon Ecosystems to sponsor the billboard.


“We think it's worthwhile to emphasize that Oregon wildlife includes more than just elk, deer, fish and game birds. Predators, raptors and animals like beaver are vital to our state's natural values and often don't receive the protection they deserve,” said Wally Sykes, a co-founder of NE Oregon Ecosystems. “Cougars, coyotes, bobcats, bears – they and more are all under pressure from various narrow interests, to the detriment of our environment. All wildlife, and the natural values and balance they maintain, are part of our heritage and need to be safeguarded and treated with respect.”


Speaking of his support for the billboard, Brooks Fahy, Executive Director of Predator Defense based in Eugene, said, "The ecological role of predators can not be overstated, the health of our planet and natural ecosystems depends on the presence of these often misunderstood species.”


“Oregonians value native wildlife and the big wild places they need to survive,” said Rob Klavins, Wildlife and Wildlands Advocate for Oregon Wild. “When Americans think of Oregon, they think of a green state that takes pride in its conservation ethic, and when Oregonians think about Wallowa County, they think of the stunning landscapes that are home to abundant native wildlife from eagles and elk to wolves and now even wolverines. That’s something worth celebrating!”


NE Oregon Ecosystems, Oregon Wild and other groups also sponsored an earlier billboard that advertised a still outstanding reward of $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of the poacher of a Wenaha Pack wolf in 2011. That billboard was removed in less than 24 hours after a complaint by the property owner.


NE Oregon Ecosystems is a group of Oregonians, many from Wallowa, Union and Baker counties, which supports sound conservation and environmental policies, and promotes the economic and ecological benefits which they produce.