State report questions federal wolf investigations

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A review panel thinks state and federal wildlife biologists are too far apart when it comes to saying whether a cow was killed by a wolf

The report, scheduled to be presented on Friday to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, accuses federal investigators of reaching confusing conclusions -- ones that side with cattlemen and against wolves -- when determining the cause of slain livestock.

At stake is a reimbursement to cattlemen from a state fund. If the state determines wolves were behind a livestock kill, the livestock owners become eligible for restitution.

But state wildlife biologists have been far more cautious in their assessments.

In at least three instances, federal investigators said wolves were at fault while state biologists found the evidence inconclusive.