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August 30, 2018 – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed yesterday that a recently documented pair of wolves on the Warm Springs Reservation in Wasco County had at least two pups this year. The White River Pack pups are the first documented in the northern Oregon Cascades since wolves were exterminated from the state nearly 70 years ago.
“Today, we let out a huge howl knowing that a wolf pack is rightly back on the landscape around iconic Mt. Hood after the species was systematically exterminated decades ago,” said Josh Laughlin, Executive Director of Cascadia Wildlands. “The news is also a stark reminder that we need to ensure strong state and federal protections remain in place for recovering wolves so they can continue to re-occupy their historic territories across Oregon.”
In June, the Trump administration indicated that it plans to issue a proposal to reclassify wolves under the federal Endangered Species Act by the end of the year. All indications point to the US Fish and Wildlife Services removing key protections for wolves across the United States, making it easier to kill the recovering species.
In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is years overdue to revise its Wolf Plan, which guides recovery in the state. Anti-wolf forces are working to weaken protections for gray wolves in this process. Cascadia Wildlands will be present at a stakeholder meeting for the Wolf Plan revision this Thursday in the The Dalles encouraging enforceable protections for wolves as they continue toward recovery.
Per Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife count, a minimum of 124 wolves across 12 packs were documented at the end of 2017.