The arrival of the still lone-wolf has led to formation of the Pacific Wolf Coalition-

The Pacific Wolf Coalition has issued its first news release. This new wolf advocacy group was formed when the long migration of wolf OR-7 from NE Oregon to Northern California raised interest in restoring wolves to the Cascade Range and adjacent mountains.  The former Oregon wolf is still alone, searching for a mate. Chances are he will not find one, although additional immigrants are certainly possible.

The wolf has kept to himself and caused no trouble except in the minds of some. This region is politically more friendly to wolves than where they were restored, although rural antagonism can be expected.  The countryside is diverse, full of prey, and often heavily forested, reducing the opportunities for poaching.

The new coalition is composed of the following groups. Big Wildlife – California Wilderness Coalition – California Wolf Center – Cascadia Wildlands – Center for Biological Diversity – Defenders of Wildlife – Earthjustice – Endangered Species Coalition – Environmental Protection Information Center – Gifford Pinchot Task Force – Hells Canyon Preservation Council – Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center – National Parks Conservation Association – Natural Resources Defense Council – Northeast Oregon Ecosystems – Oregon Chapter, Sierra Club – Oregon Wild – Predator Defense – Resource Media – The Larch Company – Training Resources for the Environmental Community – Western Environmental Law Center – Western Watersheds Project – Wilburforce Foundation – Wolf Haven International.

Here is their news release.

– – – – –

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— Twenty-five wildlife conservation, education and protection organizations in California, Oregon and Washington today announced the formation of an alliance committed to recovering wolves across the region. The Pacific Wolf Coalition envisions populations of wolves restored across their historic habitats in numbers that will allow them to re-establish their critical role in nature and ensure their long-term survival.

The announcement of the Pacific Wolf Coalition coincides with the one-year anniversary of the first wolf, OR-7, in California in nearly 90 years.   Wolves are making a comeback in the Pacific West.  Here, as elsewhere in the lower 48, wolves were driven to regional extinction decades ago.

The Pacific Wolf Coalition’s mission is to ensure wolf recovery in the West. “The Pacific Wolf Coalition formed to unify efforts to restore wolf populations here in our region and to demonstrate that wolves and people can coexist,” said Josh Laughlin with Cascadia Wildlands. “Working together we can give wolves a fighting chance to naturally return to their native lands in the western states.”

Just one year ago — on Dec. 28, 2011 — a young, male wolf from northeast Oregon’s Imnaha Pack loped across the state line into California, where he has continued to make his home, exploring seven northern counties in his search for a mate and territory of his own.

“This wolf’s journey is our own,” said Amaroq Weiss of the California Wolf Center. “His arrival in California restores a native species to our state, itself a remarkable event. His continued presence for an entire year, roaming landscapes his ancestors once called home, indicates we still have good wolf habitat here. Californians have literally been handed the makings of a conservation success story for our state and for the Pacific West region. We are very much celebrating this anniversary.”

Over the past 13 years, wolves from Idaho and British Columbia have naturally dispersed into Oregon and Washington, forming these states’ first-known wolf packs in decades. Today there are six confirmed and two probable packs in Oregon, and eight confirmed and four probable packs in Washington, with three of those packs residing in the Cascade Mountains. Journey’s trek into California links the third state of the Pacific West into an envisioned region-wide wolf recovery success story, and is a source of great hope and inspiration.

“The return of wolves to the northern Rockies has been a remarkable success story, and now we have a chance to write an exciting new chapter in the Pacific West,” said Pamela Flick with Defenders of Wildlife. “We look forward to using our decades of experience to forge new partnerships with landowners that will allow people and wolves to coexist.”     OR-7 is still capturing headlines with his ongoing travels, despite being caught on camera only once while in California. The GPS collar he’s wearing tells wildlife agency staff where he has been, and the agency periodically releases that information to the public.

“We’ve made tremendous strides in wolf recovery thanks in large part to our nation’s landmark environmental laws. However, recovery remains tenuous,” said Rob Klavins with Oregon Wild. “To make sure there are enough wolves to play their irreplaceable role on the Pacific Northwest landscape, they need to retain the basic protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act.”

The Pacific Wolf Coalition has also come together under less celebratory circumstances. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency charged under the federal Endangered Species Act with wolf recovery, is poised to announce a proposal that could end federal protections for wolves in the Pacific West and elsewhere across the country.

The Pacific Wolf Coalition supports continued federal protections for wolves here in the western states and in other regions across the country where they haven’t recovered.   “Residents and visitors alike love the Pacific West for its natural wild beauty and the wildlife that lives here. Restoring native species is crucial to that wild beauty, and wolves are no exception.

Protections should remain in place to allow these animals to recover,” said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity.   As wolves return to the Pacific West states of California, Oregon and Washington, the member organizations of the Pacific Wolf Coalition believe they do so on a vastly different social, political and ecological landscape than other parts of the country. “We have unique opportunities and challenges here in the West,” said Joseph Vaile with Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center. “The Pacific Wolf Coalition is working together to raise awareness and increase public understanding about wolves and the important role they play in nature, and ensure that wolves will be conserved in our region over the long term.”

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

47 Responses to Wolf OR-7 has been in California for a year now

  1. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Thanks for this update and encouraging news. Perhaps I shall finally see a wolf in Oregon if not in Idaho with their diminishing numbers there.

  2. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Can someone explain the reason that the USFWS is proposing to delist wolves in this region? I have not been keeping up with this other then the news that a delisting is in the works.

    • avatar Kirk Robinson says:

      Louise,

      Here is a cynical, but I think also true, explanation: FWS wants out of the wolf recovery and management business because it is so controversial and the agency would like to be able to devote more of its meager budget to the needs of other species.

      It is also true that some state wildlife management agencies, such as Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources, as well as some governors and senators (e.g., Herbert and Hatch) have, at the behest of groups like the Farm Bureau Federation and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, lobbied hard to have the gray wolf delisted. Utah aims to be a wolf-free zone. Same for other western states, I believe. In short, it’s all politics.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Kirk,

        I have said the exact same thing many times, I have got the information from my friends that actually work for USFWS and it falls on deaf ears.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        yes I understood that Kirk and appreciate the answer, I was just wondering if they had issued an official stance explaining their conclusions. I guess if they can get away with the delisting the Wyoming population under that grossly insulting wolf recovery plan, anything goes.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Ridiculous. All of their furor over one wolf. Meanwhile, there are as many guns as people in this country, and we are shooting each other and our kids. We are nuts in this country. I thought that there was protection in process for this lone creature? What a bunch of wackjobs.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Normally planning to take up arms against your government would be considered terrorism. Yet compassionate people who care about animals are considered possible terrorists. What is wrong with this picture.

        • avatar Robert R says:

          Ida really what is wrong with the whole scheme of things?
          You have naturalist wanting everything protected with little or no management and then you have sportsman wanting the population controlled and then you have agencies doing how and what they want when they want.
          I think I have miss read history of how and who was involved in the hands on of helping animals and there habitat.
          I have been reading and listening to Shane Mahoney on conservation and if you just listen some of your views and opinions might change but probably not.

          This game of trying manage wildlife through force fed agendas to have it the way you see best fit is like any politician trying to get elected. Promises are made but the agenda changes after the election and this happens with everyone involved on both sides.
          If we all had common goal of preserving wildlife and their habitat with some sort of management and yes that means hunting or something like it.

          Maybe they should trap a partner for 07!

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            It isn’t the way I see fit, it is how the ranching, oil, sportsmen and their lobbyists and their lackey politicians see fit. They are the ones calling the shots.

            I have no say in what is going on right now. And I sure thank our forefathers for putting aside the national parks, otherwise they’d be in ruins now too.

            I think some of us have come to the reluctant acceptance of (ethical)hunting, but the vile extremes need to be stopped. We don’t seem to realize the meanings of restraint, or freedom in this country.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              I guess another way of saying it is, if Europe was the mother country for some of us, then America is her wayward teenage child.

  3. avatar Carl Mrozek says:

    Two years ago, while filming a wild horse & burro roundup in the Twin Peaks area of CA, near Susanville, CA I heard what I believed to be a lone wolf howling on BLM land there. I have heard many wolves calling over the years and don’t believe there is any possible confusion with a coyote, -only possibly with a ‘wild dog’ -if there are any there. I actually recorded the audio with my video camera at the time, but haven’t located it yet -as it is just a simple landscape shot, that I have many of. However, I will make a point of tracking it down when I am looking through footage in the coming month.

  4. avatar Gail says:

    Kirk, are you saying Utah wants to be completely wolf-free…the entire state? Then what? Who will ranchers blame alleged depredation on in addition to coyotes, the prairie dogs?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Gail,

      Utah has already passed a resolution to keep the state 100% wolf free.

      • avatar Gail says:

        Wow. I didn’t know that. So who have they chosen for their next “villain”? Certainly every state has one, don’t they?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        SB this is why carnivores need federal protection…..

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Louise,

          What they need and what they get is two entirely different things, you have discussed this at great length, it is not going to happen in our lifetimes.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            Savebears,
            I am not sure if I agree with your pessimism. Once when society sees the link between hatred for an animal and racism it is possible to produce change. It will first happen in more forward thinking (dare I say, usually democratic voting) states, but that will turn the tide. I see a good analogy to wildlife mgmt, would be that the modern version is like letting smokers be in charge of health regulations. In that case, there would be no move to abolish smoking in certain locations, etc.

            Eventually wildlife mgmt will be made more democratic and more users will get a say. Despite the claim that hunting rose from 2011 to 2006 I believe that is just temporary and even if not, there is still much more wildlife generated from wildlife watching and there is no doubt that the older predator hating crowd is slowly losing numbers. Once the tide turns, anything is possible but see the Carnivore Conservation Initiatives first happen in forward thinking states – so yes, WY, ID, MT will likely be down the road but I wouldn’t put the thought off as an afterthought as you obviously have…

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Jon,

              I don’t disagree with much you have wrote. I just don’t see it happening anytime soon. As I have said in the past, there is going to have to be many generations of change before much of this actually happens and is accepted at the norm.

              Changes in wildlife management and who manages wildlife is going to take a long time.

              My optimism started its slow change to pessimism because of my work in the wildlife field. I did try to make a change and got kicked in the teeth pretty hard because I was willing to rock the boat.

              Anyway, have a Merry Day with family and friends and then we can all start the battle again in the New Year.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                By the way, it is not an afterthought, I just don’t see it gaining real support, especially in the west.

              • avatar Jon Way says:

                Thanks Save Bears and by the way, I completely here you when you say ” I did try to make a change and got kicked in the teeth pretty hard because I was willing to rock the boat.”

                I do hope that we are wrong on this one and that change is faster. We’ll have to see but it will have to go national for anything to happen. I believe that is why Mike continually thanks hunters for doing some obviously stupid acts (like posting on Facebook, etc) – ie, it goes national and gives more credence that wolves are not treated like other wildlife (except for coyotes!).

                Hope you had a good Christmas as well…

  5. avatar Gail says:

    So. The FARM BUREAU (farmers/ranchers) and the hunters want the wolves gone. Probably ALL predators as well. Ranchers worried about their livestock and hunters don’t want competition. So the entire country needs to be deprived of biodiversity in order for their needs to be served?

    • avatar jon says:

      It’s only a matter of time before wolves end up in Utah. I expect there will be lawsuits and public backlash if Utah intends to follow through on making Utah a wolf free state. The wolf hating hunters and ranchers and especially the legislatures don’t speak for all of the people of Utah. There is support for wolves in Utah.

      • avatar Gail says:

        >>>There is support for wolves in Utah.<<<

        I see, but are they LOUD enough to have much of an impact?!?
        I was pleased to read above of all the groups getting together to form a coalition. We need more of that in order to be effective.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        jon,

        Wolves have been migrating down into Utah since the late 1990s. This is documented certain. A least one died in a coyote trap.

        One to-be-famous wolf, the 3-legged “limpy” was captured near Morgan, Utah and returned to Yellowstone Park back in the day when they did that sort of thing.

        My contacts even gave me pretty good evidence that packs formed and one had pups, but they all disppeared.

        I would not be surprised if there are a few wolves now, but no one on either side will speak of them given the attitude of the state government.

        I was born and grew up in Utah (and Idaho). Rural Utah is a place with some very insular and backward people.

        Beginning as a teenager I have had more close calls with people in rural Utah than the rest of country (and Canada) put together.

        • avatar jon says:

          The same could be said about rural Idaho and rural Montana no Ralph?

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            I’ve lived in Idaho a long time. I haven’t had problems; rural Montana as well, though I don’t know it so well.

            The Bitteroot Valley in Montana looks dangerous, but I’ve had no problem. It by way, I consider faux rural — people from elsewhere on their 5 and 10 plots pretending they have a farm or ranch.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          I’ve got some friends of many years originally from Idaho, many generations of family there. I met them in St Thomas, as my neighbors. It was kind of bizarre they lived right on the water overlooking St John and the Drakes Passage down island toward the British Virgin Islands through the mountains that make up that tunnel-like sea pass through St John and into the west end of Tortola. Anyway it was about as island like and spectacular as you could get. When I first met them I was taken back by their home, that was filled with western art, so much so that it felt like going into a lodge or cabin in the mountains. It was so oddly put of place in its surroundings. I grew to love them over the years despite their very conservative political views. As we came to know one another we stayed away from some issues including GB and GW, and some wildlife issues. When they moved back to the states it was to Utah, and the last time I visited several years ago, we hiked around a bit and those attitudes did not soften any. Very anti predator, very Utah…. hard for me to reconcile. Unfortunately, Its not just rural Utah.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        It is far past time, that the lawsuits will do any good at all, the lawsuits are going down to defeat quite regularly now on the wolf issue. As has been stated, USFWS really want nothing to do with this issue any longer.

        To much time, to much money has been spent and it is to volatile, other species that need protection are suffering because all the time, effort and money spent on wolves.

        • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

          wolf advocates are more courageous and have more integrity than rancher lobby and hunters combined – instead of confronting real cause for farmer’s tough life (subsidies for agriculture ($ 30.5 billion a year or Wall Street’s American dream)) they all attack the weakest enemy group (wolf defenders) – what a pussies are all these macho hunters and their apologists

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Mareks,

            Calling people names, is not going to change anything, there are others on hear that call hunters names all the time, has not changed a thing.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It’s just so irrational – if the wolf takes up too much of the F&W budget and time away from other endangered species, it is because of our crazy attitudes towards them. Even to have that viewpoint against an innocent creature by the F&W is irrational. They may want nothing more to do with them, the the country does, and they should do their jobs. They are getting pressure from the politicians not to do their jobs.

  6. avatar Kirk Robinson says:

    You can find Utah’s S.B. 36 on wolf management passed in 2010 at this site:
    http://le.utah.gov/~2010/bills/sbillint/sb0036s01.htm

    Among other things, it says the following:

    77 (2) The division shall manage wolves to prevent the establishment of a viable pack in
    78 all areas of the state where the wolf is not listed as threatened or endangered under the
    79 Endangered Species Act until the wolf is completely delisted under the Act and removed from
    80 federal control in the entire state.

    Currently, the gray wolf is delisted in a small part of northern Utah that is within the Northern Rockies Gray Wolf Distinct Population Segment. This part of Utah is bounded by I-80 on the south and I-84 to the west and north, and includes Rich, Cache and Weber Counties, as well as part of Box Elder County. It’s hard to believe this policy WILL change once the wolf has been delisted throughout the state.

    • avatar JB says:

      Kirk’s right. Don Peay wields waaay too much power, and he would never let that happen. He has made no qualms about his biases against wolves and other predators.

      • avatar Kirk Robinson says:

        JB: I’m not saying that Utah will never allow wolves. It is still possible that the state will be forced to accept them. Also, times do change; and even in Utah sophisticated research (surveys in 1999 and in 2004) have shown broad majority support for wolves returning. But it will likely take at least another generation before we have them in any numbers.

        • avatar jon says:

          It’s the ranchers and big game hunters that are saying that Utah doesn’t want wolves. Since when in the hell did hunters and ranchers become the only voice of Utah? These people do not speak for the majority of those that live in Utah.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Jon,

            Since when do you speak for the people that live in Utah?

            It is the legislature that passed the bill. They are the people that the state majority elected to make laws for them.

            You and I have nothing to really say about it, just as with other states, their elected officials are the ones that speak for them.

            • avatar jon says:

              I don’t speak for the people of Utah, but I am getting sick of the anti-wolf forces acting like they speak for all of the people that live in their state. They don’t and this fact should be known. Yes, a lot of the ranchers in Utah and hunters don’t want wolves, but what about all of the other people who live in Utah? Is their voice going to be ignored just because others don’t want wolves in Utah? I hope not!

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                It is up to the law makers that were elected by the majority of people in the state of Utah, if the people don’t like what they are doing, then they have the ability to make a change next time the elections come around.

                The legislature DO speak for the people.

                • avatar jon says:

                  They speak for the people who elected them. In Utah, it’s a republican legislature. For some group or politician in Utah to say, we the people of Utah don’t want wolves is not accurate. Some people don’t want wolves and others do. Utah is a republican state.

                • avatar Savebears says:

                  Jon,

                  They were elected by the majority, and that is the way it is, that is the way our country works! You are being very dense Jon, if you don’t understand the process in this country. We have people that want wolves in Montana as well, but they didn’t elect the right politicians, same goes for Wyoming, same for Idaho.

                  During their terms, they are the voice for the state.

                  I don’t like Obama, but he is the voice of the country right now, nothing I can do about it.

                • avatar Nancy says:

                  Rather dated (the article) but the comments are the same debate as what is heard here on WN:

                  http://mormonleft.blogspot.com/2010/02/status-of-wolves-in-utah.html

                  Can anyone translate margarita armida morales lugo’s comment?

                • avatar ZeeWolf says:

                  Nancy, a *very* rough translation…

                  “The human is a very egotisical being that does not want to share nature with other species. They ought to be more flexible and respect the other creatures that have equal rights to live and besides they were on the earth before us.”

                  I’m sure someone could do a better job, but you get the idea.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Kirk are you aware of any support in Congress against delisting, any acknowledgment that delisting unleashed the same kind of anti predator policy that prevailed in the past? There must be some members that are as appalled as the public at the treatment of wolves since their delisting?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Jack Ryan helped defeat the Lummis rider – do you know of any others that would support protection of carnivores, based on their mistreatment now and historically

        • avatar Kirk Robinson says:

          No, Louise. I do not engage on that level. The big national, and some regional, organizations do. But I doubt that wolf delisting will be considered so important that we will see legislation opposing it. So we will have two choices: litigation and conversion. Litigation is bound to happen; meanwhile, we have to keep working on converting people to our perspective, educating them, and getting more of our like-thinkers elected to state and federal office.

  7. avatar Tsali Ticonderoga says:

    Love it and hope all goes well for him. Maybe time to import some wolves. I love this.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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