Two wolves in Mt. Hood

A keystone species returns to the forest...

 

To hear the howl of a wolf on Mt. Hood is an event that many will recognize as a sign of an ecosystem in true recovery. Wolves, seeking their rightful place in the landscape, symbolize why we fight to keep forests standing.

Yesterday, we were ecstatic to find out that two wolves have been documented on the Mt. Hood National Forest, in the area surrounding its southeast boundary with the Warm Springs Reservation. This is the first time that multiple wolves have been confirmed in Oregon’s northern Cascades since they began returning to Oregon in the 2000s, and it happened within a few miles of where Bark held our 2017 Base Camp in the proposed Crystal Clear Timber Sale.

Wolves in our state are traveling hundreds of miles in search of new habitat that could support their return. The presence of dispersing wolves in the north Cascades begs the question – what will wildlife agencies working around Mt. Hood do to support wolf recovery? The Forest Service’s outdated Mt. Hood forest management plan makes no mention of wolves and their habitat. Clearly, a paradigm shift will be necessary to keep wolves around.

Tell USFWS that you support the recovery of wolves in our region!

Wolves in Mt. Hood National Forest and anywhere west of Highways 395-78-95 are currently protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is the lead agency with which the Forest Service, State of Oregon and Tribal governments must work with to ensure wolf recovery in forests surrounding Mt. Hood. Right now, this agency needs to hear from the you. Let the USFWS know they must work collaboratively and transparently with the public to make wolf recovery in Mt. Hood a reality, and that the current Endangered Species protections on wolves in western Oregon are needed for ecosystem renewal.

Bark is thrilled to share that wolves are living in the forest we love. We encourage you to also sign up here to receive notifications from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife about wolf sightings, policy, and public engagement opportunities.

Michael Krochta, Forest Watch Coordinator

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