January 16, 2013

Oregon's wolves - now 53 and counting

Excerpted from an email from Oregon Wild:

Oregon is now officially home to at least 53 wolves and as many as five breeding pairs! The state announced an official population count today and you can read our reaction here.

It was over a decade ago that a lone wolf crossed the Snake River and shook herself dry. She became the first in Oregon in half a century. It hasn’t always been a smooth road.

However if we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past, 2012 may very well be the year we look back on as the year wolf recovery really took hold.

The announcement comes on the heels of other great Oregon firsts – a wolf west of the Cascades, new pups, interbreeding between packs, and more. It also comes amidst troubling news in neighboring states that reminds us of the tenuous nature of wolf recovery and the tough road ahead.

Other states showed that killing wolves creates conflict. Meanwhile, with Oregon’s wolf killing program on hold, we showed it simply isn’t necessary. With the option to kill wolves off the table, responsible ranchers stepped up, conflict went down, and recovery got back on track!

That’s news everyone can celebrate!

Sadly, we know that for some, old prejudices die hard. Fear and misinformation about wolves remains rampant. Those who oppose wolf recovery as either an attack on their liberty or an impediment to easy profits are as intent as ever to derail recovery.

There are certainly challenges ahead. Some of them are very near.

But today, Oregon can celebrate. We’ve done things differently. With your help, we’ll keep recovery on track. If you have Facebook, you can start by leaving a message for ODFW. Let them know you’re celebrating today’s news and are looking forward to more.

In the coming year, we hope to share even more success stories. But we’ll need your help.

For wolves & wildlife,
Rob Klavins
Wildlife Advocate
Oregon Wild

PS – Oregonians can leave a formal message to Governor Kitzhaber here. Out-of-staters can leave a message for him here. Facebook users can contact ODFW here. Let them all know you support wolf recovery!

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