State House votes to ease killing of Ore. wolves

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon House has voted to allow state officials to kill wolves that have been blamed for killing livestock.

The legislation was sought by ranchers frustrated that a judge has blocked a kill order targeting two members of Oregon's first wolf pack, the Imnaha pack in the northeastern corner of the state.

Conservation groups sued the state last year to stop plans to kill the wolves. They say the legislation is an attempt to get around their lawsuit and the state Endangered Species Act. Ranchers say the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife should make decisions about wolves, not judges, based on a wolf management plan already in effect.

The House's 42-15 vote on Friday sends the measure to the Senate.