Pack has declined from 16 to 4, with 2 on death row-

The execution of two members of the Imnaha Pack has been stayed by the Oregon Court of Appeals. They wolves might yet be put to death. With just 2 wolves remaining after that the Imnaha Pack would very likely disappear, especially because one marked for execution is the alpha male.

The state’s known wolf population has dropped a great deal from 2010, from 21 to 14.  There is more hope than some have indicated, however, because there are several other  packs, one new pack, and several dispersing wolves known in the states. A wolf pack can grow very quickly, just like it can decline in a blink.

As mentioned above, there are four wolves left in the Imnaha pack; four in the Walla Walla pack, 2 pups were confirmed in it this year; four in the Wenaha pack which has stayed “out of trouble”; and two wolves are dispersing as lone individuals.

I wrote this story like a stay of an execution of a prisoner because most “wolf control” is more like execution than removal of an animal that has troubled some livestock owner. Consider the appeals, the emotion on both sides, and news attention. It is also like a lynching because the guilt of a particular wolf is rarely established.

There are numerous news accounts of the stay on-line. This event seems to have unified and galvanized Oregon wolf conservationists.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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October 2011


‎"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."

~ Edward Abbey