Spring Greetings from the Pacific Wolf Coalition

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Happy Spring To You All,
As we shift into a new season, the season for new beginnings and new growth, something worth noting is the shifts many wild animals make as they, too, embrace a new season. While they may not share the well known routine, such as, spring cleaning, and they may not know about the frenzied energy we often feel with spring fever, many wild animals, wolves included, are changing their behaviors and routines to match the changing seasons. As a matter of fact, wolves spend a good portion of the late winter hunting prey and when spring arrives their success helps prepare them for warmer months ahead. While some wild animals spend a restful winter, wolves are incredibly busy throughout the winter and spring. Can you relate to either a season of inactivity or activity?

How Would You Define a Coalition?
Earlier this month, members of the Pacific Wolf Coalition met together for an annual in-person meeting in Eugene, OR to wrap-up the winter season, reflect on our past accomplishments, and plan new opportunities and goals for the year ahead. Representatives from member organizations from Washington, Oregon and California came together for the full-day meeting which provided an invaluable chance for us to connect in-person to share dialogue and plan. An opening activity: How Would You Define a Coalition?, provided a welcome exercise to pause and reflect on the work we do. We used words that described a coalition and then we drew an image or symbol that would also describe a coalition. This was a welcome reminder to pause and consider how we do this work together.
The Return of Wolves: A Student’s Perspective
Do you remember your first research project and public presentation as a student? Maybe it was in front of your classmates, your classmates and parents, or maybe your classmates, parents and the entire school. This memory likely reminds us of our own nervousness, excitement and deep sense of accomplishment. There is something truly powerful about watching or listening to a student’s public presentation.

I was fortunate to be selected as a mentor for a local 8th grade student and then to attend the final student presentations. Elle Bumgarner is an 8th grade student at Cedar Springs Waldorf School in Placerville, CA and she wanted her final project to focus on the return of wolves to the U.S., specifically discussing wolves’ return to the Pacific West. Over the past six months,Elle reached out to me to learn all she could about wolves and then prepared the remaining components of the presentation on her own. Just a few weeks ago I attended the final presentations and was so impressed and inspired by Elle’s excellent public presentation and her drawing.

What could be even more impressive and important is why Elle chose to research wolves. When someone from the audience asked her that question, she simply said, “Because they’re sort of like dogs, and I own dogs, but so many people are afraid of wolves. I’m not and I wanted to learn why they were important and why people shouldn't be afraid of them. I was just really interested in them.” For a young student to recognize some people fear wolves, but that as a misunderstood species, it's even more important to help inform others is a remarkable recognition on Elle’s behalf.

What an excellent way to educate others and raise awareness about the importance of wolves and their significant positive impact on the health of an ecosystem. Our hats go off to Elle for a job well done. Thanks for being a young ambassador for wildlife.
In Other News:
We are always encouraged by the hard work and positive impacts of our community members, member organizations and many others like yourself. These are the ones who collectively and thoughtfully propel wolf recovery efforts forward in a multitude of ways. However, there are times when our efforts are met with obstacles and we face setbacks that challenge and frustrate us. We continue to need you, your voice and your willingness to get involved and take action. Here’s what’s happening throughout the Pacific West states and here’s how you can help:
  • Oregon: You may recall from last month’s email that a troubling issue was brewing in Oregon regarding House Bill (HB) 4040 which would essentially block judicial review of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) Commission’s delisting decision from November 2015.

    Last week, Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, signed the bill into law. This news is especially challenging for member organizations who have filed legal action against the ODFW Commission challenging the delisting decision in 2015. Now, HB4040 ratifies that decision and blocks judicial review of the decision itself. Here’s a few articles that help provide more background and details of this situation:
  • Washington: Meanwhile, in the state of Washington, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife released their 2015 Annual Survey which revealed exciting wolf population news. At the end of 2015, they recorded 90 wolves, 18 packs and 8 breeding pairs in the state. 

    Additionally, several groups in Washington continue to discuss the management of wolves statewide. Here’s a recent article that provides an overview of this collaborative process:
  • California: Efforts continue throughout the state to finalize the state’s wolf and conservation plan, raise awareness that wolves have returned to California and to raise awareness of the proactive methods available to reduce wolf and livestock conflicts. Here’s a recent article sharing one perspective of wolves’ return to California:

Stay Involved and Informed
If you’ve just joined our email list, welcome! Please visit the News Archives on our website for an archive of our e-newsletters/action alerts and an archive of wolf news in WA, OR and CA. The more you know, the more people you can inform and engage. This is a critically important component to wolf recovery in the Pacific West. 
We also encourage you to follow the Latest News from our website, follow us on Facebook, explore our website and ask questions. Then we encourage you to speak up! Write letters and make phone calls to your local, state and federal representatives. Visiting our Action Toolkit will help get you started. Your willingness to act really makes a difference. 
Our continued gratitude to you for your interest in wolf recovery and for your commitment and dedication to this cause. Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter and action alert.
Kind regards,
Coordinator, Pacific Wolf Coalition
Copyright © 2016 Pacific Wolf Coalition, All rights reserved.

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