For the Love of Wolves
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Greetings from the Pacific Wolf Coalition,
Spring seems to be knocking gently where I reside in Northern California. For others across the Pacific West, spring hasn’t yet surfaced. With seasonal changes afoot, two of the more well-known observances during the month of February is Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day. For the love of seasonal shifts and for the love of wolves, it seems fitting to provide a simple 'Wolves 101' section as a way to help us understand their important role in an ecosystem.

Wolves 101:
TRUE or FALSE: Wolves are the largest and most widespread wild canines in the world.
TRUE -- This iconic species is indeed the largest member of the Canid family and the third largest carnivore found in the Pacific West.
TRUE or FALSE: Wolves travel just a few miles in a day.
FALSE -- On the contrary, wolves can actually travel up to 30 miles in one day. They are capable of dispersing great distances and their territories range from 50 square miles to as much as 1,000 square miles.
TRUE or FALSE: Wolves were reintroduced to the Pacific West.
FALSE -- Wolves are returning naturally from dispersing populations in nearby states and provinces, like Idaho and British Columbia. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service never reintroduced or transplanted wolves into the Pacific West. There are no plans to reintroduce or transplant wolves into the Pacific West.

The Million Dollar Question: Why are Wolves Important?
One of the most recognized and important roles wolves play is that of maintaining healthy herds of ungulate species (elk, deer, moose, etc.). Wolves select young, old, physically impaired, or diseased prey, which in turn can maintain a healthy herd size, disperse herds on the landscape, and remove sick animals. Another ecological benefit of wolves returning to the landscape is elk and deer forage more frequently in protected cover and spend more time on the move, causing riparian areas and aspen groves to regenerate after years of overbrowsing. Recovering riparian areas encourages bird species and beavers to return to previously degraded areas.
Wolves are native to the Pacific West states of Washington, Oregon and California. As a top predator, wolves naturally help keep wild elk, deer, and moose populations in balance with available habitat. At one point in time, wolves were common throughout the North American landscape. Due to a systematic extermination program of trapping, hunting and poisoning by humans, wolves came close to extinction. Wolves continue to make a promising comeback, but they only occupy between 5-15% of their historic range.
Now is the Time! We need you
February has been an incredibly busy month for our member organizations who work countless hours and commit a tremendous amount of energy and passion towards wolf recovery efforts. We can’t do it alone. For the love of wolves, we need you to howl from the mountains, “wolves belong here!” and act today. Right now a pressing issue is building in the state of Oregon and we need your help.
When the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission voted last November to remove ESA (Endangered Species Act) protections for gray wolves in the state of Oregon, this decision was fraught with controversy. Several conservation groups filed a legal action against the Department for its decision, challenging the fact many felt the Commission ignored the science and public testimony. Shortly after the 2016 session of the Oregon legislature convened earlier this month, bills were introduced by Senate and House Republicans to ratify the Commission’s decision. This would essentially block any judicial review of the delisting decision.
This bill is called HB 4040. This bill has already passed in the House and now moves to the Senate floor for a full vote. If this bill passes, it would set a dangerous precedent of blocking judicial review and would inevitably undermine federal efforts to protect this endangered species. This vote takes place TODAY (Fri. 2/26/16), so act now! Here’s how:
  1. Vote ‘NO’ on HB4040. Representative Peter DeFazio (Oregon) is a strong ally, and he and his team have created a petition to defend Oregon’s wolves, so sign the petition here and vote ‘NO’ on HB4040.  
  2. Tell others! Share the news and read Peter DeFazio’s letter here and read the full Press Release from the Center for Biological Diversity here.
Our mission:
To optimize an alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting wolves in the Pacific West. Together, we hold a common vision where wolves once again play a positive, meaningful, and sustainable role on the landscape and in our culture.
You are the voice for wolves when they can’t speak on their own behalf. Our deepest gratitude to you for your commitment and dedication to this cause. From all of us at the Pacific Wolf Coalition, we thank you. Stay tuned for next month’s alert and update.
Kind regards,
Coordinator, Pacific Wolf Coalition
Copyright © 2016 Pacific Wolf Coalition, All rights reserved.

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