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Wolves Reverse History in Southern Oregon and Northern California


Wolves are reversing history in Southern Oregon and Northern California.  Intentionally eradicated from the two states by the 1940’s, more than half a century later the grey wolf has returned to the mythical State of Jefferson.

First came OR-7, a young, GPS-collared male that traveled from Northeast Oregon to the Cascades and south to Northern California in 2011.  He found a mate, and they had three pups in 2014. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has officially declared them the Rogue River pack. They live between Medford and Klamath Falls in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

So far this year, the department confirmed evidence of two new wolves near Keno, Ore., and announced a 2-year-old, GPS-collared male that left Northeast Oregon in April had reached Klamath County, Ore., by early June.  He is known as OR-25. The department’s wolf coordinator says more are “out there.”

A department report said in 2014 that it had counted at least 77 known wolves in nine packs in Oregon, including eight successful breeding pairs.

Under attack by hunters and cattlemen, Oregon’s Endangered Species Act protects the wolves, although serious consideration is being given to lifting the restrictions.

Sources: "Wolves in Oregon." Oregon Fish & Wildlife, Wildlife Division. 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 June 2015. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/index.asp; use, Kelly. "OR-7 pack gets company: Another adult wolf has been spotted in Southern Oregon." Oregon Live The Oregonian. Oregon Live LLC, 13 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 June 2015. http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/01/another_adult_wolf_has_been_sp.html; Klamath Falls Herald & News. “Klamath County: New Wolf Shows Up in Southern Oregon." Mail Tribune 9 June 2015 [Medford, Ore.] , e-edition ed. Web. 9 June 2015. .

Kernan Turner is the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s volunteer editor and coordinator of the As It Was series broadcast daily by Jefferson Public Radio. A University of Oregon journalism graduate, Turner was a reporter for the Coos Bay World and managing editor of the Democrat-Herald in Albany before joining the Associated Press in Portland in 1967. Turner spent 35 years with the AP before retiring in Ashland.