Why Action is Needed
Centuries ago, and in some states much more recently, nights spent outdoors under a star studded sky often included the howls of wolves to match owl calls and other voices of the wild. Wolves were once common and widespread throughout the United States, but came dangerously close to extinction due to human-driven eradication programs. Thanks to the efforts of so many, their recovery in the U.S. has begun, but is far from over.
For many Americans, this conservation success story is widely seen as an inspiring and incredible endeavor. However, a continued campaign of misinformation and fear has made wolf recovery a controversial issue in some communities and right in the tracks of these recovery efforts are undeniable social, symbolic, ecological and economic benefits and challenges. Does this sound all too familiar? The good news is that you can help propel wolf recovery efforts forward.
By taking action in support of wolf recovery, even the small steps count. When we say your voice matters, we mean it. 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 this region. Help the Pacific Wolf Coalition protect these magnificent apex predators by using the information and materials you find on this page – consider it your Action Toolkit.
Here’s some 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 letters to the editor 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 and the Imnaha Pack in Oregon 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. Department of the Interior
Secretary of the Interior: Ryan Zinke
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
Pacific Regional Director: Robyn Thorson
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: Curt Melcher
4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE Salem, OR 97302
Washington Fish and Wildlife Department
Director: Jim Unsworth
600 Capitol Way N. Olympia, WA 98501