Why Action is Needed
Once common and widespread, wolves were almost completely eliminated from the continental United States by a government-sponsored program of eradication. Their recovery is widely seen as an inspiring and uniquely American conservation success story that has brought with it undeniable social, symbolic, ecological, and economic benefits. However, a continued campaign of misinformation and fear has made wolf recovery a controversial issue in some communities and wolf management a proxy battle for broader conflicts.
Wolf recovery in the U.S. has just barely begun and is far from over! Wolves face numerous obstacles as they return to their historic range. The most serious threats result from interaction with humans. As humans continue to develop and expand into areas in close proximity to wolf territories, wolves will face increasing interaction with people. Retaliation from incidents with livestock and increasing hunting pressure in some states may cause difficulties for wolves as they recover. These pressures in consonance with the recent proposal for stripping wolves of federal protections under the Endangered Species Act will create major barriers for wolves full recovery in the U.S.
As wolves return to the Pacific states of California, Oregon, and Washington they do so on a vastly different social, political, and ecological landscape than elsewhere in the country. This fact creates opportunities and challenges unique to the region. Help the Pacific Wolf Coalition fight for the protection of these magnificent apex predators.
A few ways you can act for wolves in the Pacific West:
Let your national, state, regional, and local officials know that you care deeply about wolf recovery in your state. Additionally, the letter section of local newspapers and magazines are prime locations for raising important issues and will help you reach a broad audience.
Writing letters to these influential people and places will show that you are informed about local issues and holding your representatives accountable for what is happening to wolves in our region.
Important points you may want to include in your letters:
- Wolves perform a crucial role in maintaining wildlife diversity and ecosystem function. Turning our backs on wolves now means millions of acres of habitat will be without the benefits from wolves for years or decades to come – and some areas may never see the return of wolves.
- Wolves west of the Rockies are few in number and at a fragile stage. Any loss of protection could put at risk “seed” packs like the Teanaway and Wenatchee Packs in Washington State that are critical to establishing a viable population in the Pacific West.
- Wolves are still dispersing into their historical range in the Pacific West states of Washington, Oregon and California. In 2011, a lone wolf known as OR-7 dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in Oregon to wander through California’s southern Cascades and Modoc Plateau. OR-7 was the first known wolf in the state of California in nearly 90 years.
- Though some states in the Pacific West region such as Washington and Oregon have state plans that call for recovery in the Cascades/Coast region, California is just now developing its state wolf plan, and many other states with good wolf habitat but no wolves yet are lacking recovery plans altogether.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior – Sally Jewell
Phone Number: 202-208-3100
Department of Interior on Facebook
DoI Twitter: @Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Director – Dan Ashe
Director Dan Ashe on Twitter: @DirectorDanAshe
USFWS on Facebook
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C. Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Regional Director:
911 NE 11th Ave. Portland, Oregon 97232
California Fish and Wildlife Department, Director:
Charlton H. Bonham
1416 Ninth Street , 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814
Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department, Director:
4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE Salem, OR 97302
Washington Fish and Wildlife Department, Director:
600 Capitol Way N. Olympia, WA 98501