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Thank you Oregon Wild!

Posted by Elizabeth Medford at May 29, 2012 12:00 AM |
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Intern Elizabeth Medford reflects on her past three weeks at Oregon Wild

Thank you Oregon Wild!

Thanks to the great people doing great things 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.

 

I’ve been inspired by the staff’s dedication to defending Oregon’s wildlands and wildlife. I hope that wherever I end up in the future I am as passionate about what I do as the advocates here are.  

I expected to learn a lot during my brief but busy time with Oregon Wild. I didn't however expect to become as sympathetic with wolves as I have. I came into this internship believing in conservation but also questioning just what form it should take. Now I know that I can never stop fighting to protect Oregon's remaining wild places or animals like wolves that depend on those wildlands.

The plight of wolves has taken on a deeper meaning for me beyond the majestic pictures or chilling howls we hope our children experience in the future. Wolves have opened up a new career path for me in conservation advocacy that I wasn't considering less than three weeks ago.

Oregon Wild is a happening place and I'm sure I missed most of what was going on during the past few weeks but what I saw was inspiring.

I think that if I return to conservation work in the future I would like to focus more on education about wild places and misunderstood animals like wolves. The children are our future. In the case of wolves, the children are our future conservationists. I want to engage them and get them on the advocacy side early.

It’s time kids learn from an early age that wolves aren't big. bad monsters but rather crucial members of Oregon's natural landscape. The Three Little Pigs is a classic example of how skewed that truth has become in popular culture.

I’m thinking there should be more children’s books about kind, friendly wolves. My dream is to write a Dr. Seuss style story resembling The Lorax with a gray wolf (maybe even OR-7) as the protagonist. Oregon Wild will be the first to know if this actually happens.

I want to thank everyone at Oregon Wild for making this experience possible. I especially wish to recognize Rob Klavins for being such an informative and encouraging mentor.

This has been an experience I will not soon forget.

For a future with wolves,

      Elizabeth Medford

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