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This past April, a collared wolf was confirmed in the forests of Mt. Hood! Wolves have been extirpated from the Cascades since 1947 and wildlife advocates around the Pacific Northwest have worked tirelessly to gain protections for their return. Wolves in Oregon are traveling hundreds of miles in search of habitat that could support new packs. Bark defends Mt. Hood’s forests hoping to witness moments like this.
Last year, wolf tracks were confirmed by wildlife agencies in the White River area of Mt. Hood National Forest. The two-year old male wolf that made its way to our forests this year is collared OR-25 from the Imnaha Pack in eastern Oregon (pictured here). Its arrival brings up questions about whether there is suitable habitat to sustain a wolf population on Mt. Hood. With more than 3,000 miles of roads and logging occurring in thousands of acres of our wild lands every year, we need a paradigm shift to keep wolves around.
Wildlife biologists have counted more than four breeding pairs in eastern Oregon for the third straight year, an important population recovery goal under Oregon’s 2005 Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Under the this plan, the ODFW commission can now consider removing the eastern packs from the state’s endangered species list, threatening the species’ tenuous return.
While wolf populations in the eastern part of the state are on the rebound, wolf recovery throughout their entire historical range in Oregon has barely begun. There are just 77 known wolves in the state, almost all of them living east of the I-84 in Wallowa, Union, and Umatilla counties. Strengthening the protections in the state’s Wolf Plan can ensure successful recovery in western Oregon.
Take this moment to defend the incredible recovery of wolves in Oregon. Let ODFW know that you support continued and strengthened protections for our wolves.
P.S. Bark is seeking a dedicated volunteer or intern to do research and public outreach for the return of wolves to Mt. Hood forests! This position will begin in October to work on a three month project starting. Contact email@example.com to set up an interview.