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Kickstart the 1,200-Mile Trek Following a Wolf to Advocate for Coexistence

jay simpson

April 15, 2014

In late 2011, a lone wolf walked across Oregon and entered California, becoming the first wild wolf in the state in nearly 90 years.

He was called a hero, a killing-machine, a rogue, a beacon of hope, a foreign invader from Canada, and school children named him Journey. No matter his name, he came to represent the return of wolves to their historic rangelands in the American Pacific Northwest.

Everything we know about this wolf comes from his GPS radio collar tagged “OR-7″ (as the 7th wolf tagged in Oregon). But now that the radio collar is over three years old, it is expected to lose power and stop functioning this year. As state biologists lose their ability to monitor Wolf OR-7′s movements, the Wolf OR-7 Expedition sets out to retrace his 1,200-mile journey to bring awareness to the challenges faced by wolves returning to their historic rangelands and the work completed by people working together that made his journey possible.

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  • Barbara Hail

    I have supported this project and I believe in its worth.

  • lamorgana

    Hmmm, I saw what I was positive was a wolf in the June Lake loop area, about 40 years ago, when I was backpacking way up in the remote highlands there. He was loping across the meadow in a little valley below me, and the sight took my breath away. This makes me wonder how do we know that this is "the first wild wolf in the state in nearly 90 years"?

    • jay simpson

      Good Question and what an incredible experience! First, I'd like to rephrase my statement to "first wild wolf known in the state" because it would be very difficult to be sure there haven't been other wolves in California post 1924. But, that "known" part is really the crux of your question... how do we document or verify these findings? I'll add it to our growing list of questions at so that we can try to find an expert to answer that for you. Thanks for writing!

      • lamorgana

        Thanks, Jay, I just signed up for the email updates. I'm glad there are people like you who think that peaceful coexistence is a good goal, and I look forward to hearing anything you learn on the Journey. :)

  • Tom Maybrier

    This is a cool project - tracking wildlife in a public fashion is really important, it helps city folk (who may never see an open space larger than a public park) understand the size and scope of the challenges that face wildlife trying to adapt to a changing world.

    • jay simpson

      Very valid point as over half of the world's population lives in cities! Thanks for writing and I hope you enjoy following along.