A public information program on predator damage control
A public information and education program was developed in Oregon to defuse a controversy between environmentalists and livestock growers over management of predator damage control. Emphasis was placed on involving special interest and leadership/influential groups in the program and participation was high. Attempts were made to involve the "general public" but response to solicitation and participation were low. Participating groups thought the program was of high value and expressed the need for additional information. Attitudes and beliefs of the special interest groups were changed little by the program, but constructive communications between the groups increased and the controversy dwindled. A 17-month survey of livestock losses to predation was conducted as part of the program. Loss rates of livestock to predation (3.9 percent of lambs, 1.6 percent of ewes, and 0.7 percent of calves) agreed with those of studies in surrounding states and provided another perspective for objective evaluation of the predator control controversy by participating groups.