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News, notes, trip reports, and the lighter side (of the wilder side) of the Oregon environmental and conservation movement.
Wildlife Intern Apple Goeckner shares her experience in Wallowa County, Oregon
Even if I never saw them, I am happy to know for sure that the wolves are out there. I did see recent tracks and their scat, and I also heard them howling.
I headed to wolf country with Oregon Wild to help Channel One News – an educational news program that broadcasts to high school students all across the nation – do a piece on wolf recovery. The network is doing a series on endangered species and extinction, and wanted to tell the positive story of wolf recovery in Oregon.
Oregon's Imnaha and Wenaha packs are home to at least four new pups (each)!
On Monday the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) reported collaring a 2 year old female wolf of the Wenaha pack - now named OR-13. This is the same wolf that was captured and tagged as a pup (she was too small for a collar then, see pictures below) and photographed a year later. But that’s not the big news.
Buried below the headline, ODFW reported that there are at least four known pups in both the Inmaha and Wenaha packs.
This is astounding news! After an absence of over half a century, Oregon’s wolves have produced litters of pups in each of the last four years. This is a positive sign of a healthy wolf recovery in Oregon and a victory for conservation!
Intern Elizabeth Medford reflects on her past three weeks at Oregon Wild
What can one teenage girl possibly accomplish in three weeks interning at a local non-profit? Turns out quite a bit when she’s in a supportive environment working for an organization and cause she believes in.
What an exciting three weeks I have had at Oregon Wild! I came in with little knowledge about wolf conservation and I leave with much. I also didn’t fully understand the way an advocacy organization works. Now, after spending over 100 hours in the office, I feel I have a pretty good idea of what goes on behinds the scenes at Oregon Wild.
Meet Wildlife and Wildlands intern Apollonia Goeckner.
Last August, I left the forests and prairies of Illinois for the Promised Land. I loved backpacking in Illinois’ Southern wildernesses, and I always enjoyed eco-education in the quaint deciduous forests in central Illinois. But I needed something more. I needed to feel the wilderness.
When I was thirteen, I was changed forever. My moment came as quickly and intensely as when Aldo Leopold saw the fierce green fire die in the eyes of the wolf he shot, but my moment came without the carnage. I stepped off of a plane onto the Anchorage runway, and for the first time ever, I saw mountains. As soon as I saw their lush foothills and snow-capped peaks, I knew I could never again live in the flat field that is Illinois. I knew I needed to go West...
Intern Elizabeth Medford relays information about Journey (OR-7)from the California Department of Fish and Game.
While many people know that the wolf OR7 - otherwise known as Journey - has spent the past few months along the Oregon-California border, few know what exactly he has been doing recently.
When on the Oregon side of the border, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife has stopped releasing even the most basic information to the public.
However, thanks to his radio collar with GPS tracking, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) have consistently tracked his whereabouts and shared them (generalized locations) with the public.
During a phone call with CDFG’s Karen Kovacs last week, I learned many details of Journey’s recent activities.
California Agency releases the first color photo of Journey, a wolf that has been traversing Oregon and northern California
Despite being rarely seen, Journey’s story has inspired people around the world.
However he’s been elusive. In his epic journey that long ago exceeded 1,000 miles, he has wisely skirted population centers utilizing Oregon's roadless wildlands. He’s been so elusive that for a long time we didn’t even know what he looked like.
Read about the many adventures of OR-7 on Oregon Wild's page: Don't Stop Believing...The Journey of OR-7
That’s part of why we sponsored an art contest to give him a face. Within hours of announcing the winner, the first real picture of Journey went public in the form of a black and white photo from a hunter's trail camera.
Intern Elizabeth Medford discusses choosing to work at Oregon Wild.
As a final culminating assignment, seniors at Catlin Gabel School participate in internships around the city working for a variety of organizations and institutions. Students choose where they will work and who their mentor throughout the month-long experience will be. Like many students, I formulated ideas about what I would do for my senior project during my earlier high school years when I was bored with schoolwork.
While some students use their May to explore topics they will probably not pursue as a career, I decided to use my time to explore one of my many possible future paths. For me this meant something pertaining to environmental activism and probably working for a non-profit.
As Journey the wolf continues his long journey, NBC's Brian Williams gets in on the news.
By Sean Stevens
We also had no idea how far the brainstorm we came up with that day would go.
We figured OR-7 needed a legitimate name. He'd already become the first wolf west of the Cascades in 65 years (and would soon become the first wolf in California in almost a century). A celebrity of his status needed to be know by a name other than one ascribed by the collar around his neck.
So, we launched a naming (and art) contest to connect people from across Oregon and the world to the amazing journey of this remarkable wolf. Little did we know how far the news would spread.
Not long after we added another amazing chapter to the story of OR-7 (now known as Journey!) as NBC's Brian Williams gave the story national exposure on NBC Nightly News. Watch the video below:
The epic 750-mile journey of Oregon’s history-making wolf has sparked imaginations around the world.
In 1947 Oregon’s last wolf bounty was collected for a wolf killed just outside of Crater Lake National Park.
It took 64 years until the next wolf would be confirmed West of the Cascades. It’s certainly possible other wolves have wandered the Cascades, but in the fall of 2011, a lone wolf brought with it a GPS tracking collar and an international spotlight to a quiet part of Oregon.
In a state that takes pride in its natural heritage, conservation ethic, and connection to the outdoors, the purposeful elimination of wolves in the last century stands as one of our greatest environmental tragedies. The still fragile recovery of wolves stands alongside that of bald eagles and gray whales as one of America’s greatest conservation success stories.
Though conflict and controversy drummed up by old-school wolf haters tends to grab headlines, the story of a lone wolf that traveled within miles of the very spot where Oregon’s last wolf was killed has allowed the conversation to refocus on the real story of wolves.
An old myth brought down with even older information
There’s no lack of anti-wolf myths ripe for debunking. Much like climate change denial has become a cottage industry, the anti-wolf crowd - led by a small group of pseudo scientists, self-proclaimed experts, and anti-government activists – regularly churn out new ones.
Perhaps you didn’t know that wolves are simply the newest tool in a radical United Nations agenda to spread disease and turn rural (or is that “real") America into a playground for latte-sipping liberal elites. Maybe you’d be surprised to learn that wolves made their way to Wallowa County in the back of a government van, a Native American’s motorboat, or a Clinton Administration black helicopter (No joke, these are all stories we’ve heard).
Certainly it should be old news that wolves regularly kill small children for fun after dressing up like their grandmothers.
There are any number of reasons for why such myths exist. Fear generally tops the list – fear of wolves, fear of change, fear of a lack of control. However, recently it’s occurred to me that another factor should be added to the list...