Where will wolves go from here?

Is there any animal in the West that elicits more reverence than the Gray Wolf? Their striking nature has spawned more scientific research and fictional stories than any other species of animal. Native, yet exterminated throughout most of the U.S., wolves have begun to make a comeback in the West.

At KS Wild, we have a deep admiration for this creature that so deeply epitomizes the wilderness. Unfortunately, the story of the wolf is one of systematic persecution and deep-rooted mythologies that inspire fear in people. Some say the removal of the wolf is a bitter reflection of our society’s tendency to suppress all things wild; others, want nothing more than to allow wolves to fade into extinction.

The struggle of the American Wolf is far from over. Recently, they were removed from Oregon’s Endangered Species List. Shortly thereafter, in Northeast Oregon, state officials killed OR-4 and his family due to their predation of livestock. The state official’s reactionary action came despite the fact that wolves’ threat to the livestock industry pales in comparison to the tens of thousands of livestock lost to disease, weather events, and even domesticated dogs.

To make wolves the scapegoat, is to ignore the greater forces, like climate change, that threaten all life on this planet. As we enter another phase of American history, we must write a story with new themes that are based in science, compassion, and healthy coexistence with our natural world.