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'It's not like wolves pay attention to statewide boundaries. This needs a regional strategy and a range-wide recovery plan,' Brown said.

ODFW PHOTO VIA OPB - A wolf of the Wenaha Pack captured on a remote camera on U.S. Forest Service land in northern Wallowa County.Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is distancing herself from one of her agency heads' support for stripping away federal endangered species protections for gray wolves. She said she was not aware of her wildlife chief's support for the move and that she doesn't agree with it.

At least, not all of it. While Brown made clear in a letter sent to the Trump administration Wednesday that she does not support federally delisting wolves, she also doesn't think endangered species protections are still warranted in Oregon for the wolves, whose official population count in the state is at least 137.

Brown told reporters Thursday that she and Oregon Fish and Wildlife Director Curt Melcher have a "disagreement in philosophy" regarding whether wolves still need to be federally listed throughout the Lower 48. She believes the federal government should keep its current endangered species listing, which currently includes Western Oregon.

But she has stopped short of advocating the need for an endangered species listing within the state, instead walking a fine line in a letter this week to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Oregon's effort "gives me confidence that wolves are on the path to recovery and do not warrant a listing within Oregon," Brown wrote. She said wolves should be federally listed because they need protections elsewhere.

Click here to read the rest of the story by OPB, a news partner of the Portland Tribune.

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