Oregon Wolf Recovery Chronology

2016
November 2, 2016:  California Department of Fish & Wildllife has confirmed the presence of two gray wolves in Lassen County. DNA samples confirm that the male is a two-year old who dispersed from the Rogue Pack. The female is not genetically related to wolves from Oregon, which is great news for the gene pool and genetic diversity.
 
OR-17 with a 2013 pup of the Imnaha pack. Photo by ODFW.

OR-17 with a 2013 pup of the Imnaha pack. Photo by ODFW.

August 4, 2016:  OR-33 continues to inhabit the areas of SE Jackson and SW Klamath counties. This is the same area inhabited by the Keno pair. OR33 is still traveling solo, so it is likely he’ll head to another area in search of a mate.
 
July 28, 2016:  Summer pup surveys done by ODFW and USFWS have shown at least two pups for the Rogue Pack caught on trail cameras.
 
In addition, it has been revealed that OR-28, a three year old female who dispersed from the Mt. Emily Pack has paired up with OR-3, an eight year old male from the Imnaha Pack in 2011. It is believed they produced one pup this year.
 
July 21 , 2016:  Since January 2016, two wolves have been photographed occasionally in the area previously used by the Umatilla River Pack. In late June, reproduction was confirmed via remote camera photographs of two pups. The AKWA map  shows the area typically used by wolves north of the Umatilla River where they are confined by geographic features and established neighboring wolf packs. Biologists will continue monitoring activities to learn more about these wolves.
 
July 21, 2016:  In early March 2016, four wolves were found within the traditional Imnaha Pack wintering area.  A 10-month-old pup was radio-collared and released.  That wolf dispersed from the area in mid-April.  DNA analysis showed that the wolf was not related to any Imnaha Pack wolves, likely indicating that a new group of wolves were using the area.  What is now believed to be the entire Imnaha Pack was removed in late March 2016 in response to chronic depredation.  As of July, resident wolf activity has been documented again in the area.  Biologists will continue monitoring activities to learn more about these wolves.
 
July 6, 2016:  Oregon Court of Appeals allows lawsuit against ODFW to go forward.
 
June 28, 2016:  Since May 2016, radio-collar locations show OR-30 primarily using a large area in the Starkey and Ukiah Units that he also frequented in summer 2015.  He also infrequently visits the Mt Emily Unit and is believed to be alone.
 
June 22, 2016:  OR-33 sighted by numerous people near Ashland.
 
June 2016:  Updated scat analysis on the Shasta Pack in California reveals that both the breeding male and female were born into the Imnaha Pack in NE Oregon. The pack also consists of one female and three male pups.
 
May 2, 2016:  Cascadia Wildlands files an ethics complaint to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission alleging false statements and misrepresentations by state legislators which led to the passage of HB4040. This bill legislatively removes gray wolves from the state endangered species list.
 
May 2, 2016:  OR-33 is tracked by USFWS to be near La Pine in central Oregon. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in November 2015 and has since traveled though 13 counties in Oregon.
 
April 26, 2016:  OR-37, an adult male, was radio collared in January 2016.  He crossed the Snake River to Idaho within 3 weeks, and later returned to Oregon at the end of March.  He has since used the area shown on the AKWA map and appears to be alone.
 
April 12, 2016:  Guest editorial by scientist, Adrian Treves, in Eugene Register-Guard that criticizes ODFW delisting decision. 
 
April 5, 2016:  OR-7, whose radio collar died in 2015, is seen on a trail camera for the first time since last year in a remote area of Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest.
 
April 1, 2016:  OR-29 and OR-36 have been traveling together since February, 2016. OR-29 is a radio-collared male that dispersed from the Meacham pack in December 2015. OR-36 is a radio-collared female collared in the neighboring South Snake pack, who appears to have dispersed also.
 
Walla Walla pack wolf in 2014. Photo by ODFW.

Walla Walla pack wolf in 2014. Photo by ODFW.

March 31, 2016:  ODFW guns down four members of the Imnaha Pack  for livestock depredation: OR-4, the alpha male of the pack and the father of OR-7 (Journey), OR-39, the likely pregnant alpha female of the pack, along with two of their yearling offspring. Four members of the pack remain. OR-4 was instrumental in wolf recovery in Oregon. He and his original mate, OR-2, created what became known as the Imnaha pack back in 2008. Since then he has fathered countless pups, all of whom inherited his strong, tenacious and vibrant genes.
 
A beautiful eulogy for OR-4.
 
One more eulogy.
 
Another remembrance of this magnificent wolf.
 
Article about killing of Imnaha pack in relation to state wolf plan.
 
Another commentary.
 
March 2016:  Oregon State Police continue to investigate wolf poaching cases from 2015. [OR-34 was shot in Sept. 2015 and OR-31 was shot in December 2015]
 
March 2016:  Gov. Kate Brown signs HB4040 making the ODFW delisting decision a state law and preventing the lawsuit brought against ODFW from proceeding. Guest editorial in response published in the Eugene Register-Guard.
 
February 29, 2016:  Annual ODFW Wolf Report for 2015 released today shows 110 known wolves in the state comprised of 12 packs, four pairs of wolves traveling together and four individual wolves. Eleven successful breeding pairs had at least 35 known pups that survived through the end of 2015. [A breeding pair is considered to be adult make and female with at least two pups that survive to the end of the year that they were born.]  A copy of the ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
Feb. 3, 2016:  Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the federal wildlife-killing program, Wildlife Services, in any future attempts to kill Oregon’s remaining wolves.
 
February 2016:  Oregon State legislature passes HB4040, a shocking move that ratifies into law the ODFW delisting decision and sets dangerous precedent by removing the public’s right to demand accountability of state agencies.
 
February 2016:  OR-33, a two-year old male who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack last month, is now in Klamath County. He seems to be traveling solo and since dispersing has made his way west into the Columbia Gorge, south into the Ochoco Mountains, moving through Fort Rock Valley and then heading south to the east side of the Cascades in Klamath County.
 
January 7. 2016:  OR-25 who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in March of 2015 is documented in Modoc County, California.
 
January 2016:  In late 2015, OR-28, a 2 year-old female from the Mt. Emily Pack dispersed to Umatilla County and then traveled on to the area of Klamath and Lake Counties. There is evidence of another wolf using this area. [To see a map of wolf territories in Oregon, see page 7 of the 2015 ODFW Wolf Report]
 
January 2016:  ODFW has designated the Shamrock Pack in NE Oregon, originally called the Chesnimnus Pair. OR-23, a female from the Umatilla River Pack, and a male wolf produced three pups that survived through 2015.
 
2015
December 23, 2015:  OR-31, a yearling of the Mt. Emily Pack, is shot by a poacher near the boundary of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
 
December 2015:  A legal challenge has been filed by Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild to contest the removal of state endangered species protections for gray wolves by the ODFW Commission in November. The suit states that the decision was not based on verifiable, best available science and that Oregon’s wolves are not recovered and thus, it is too soon to remove protections.
 
December 2015:  OR-28 has been detected in Lake County. She spent time in Klamath County last month.
Another wolf is in the same area as OR-28, a two-year old female from the Mt. Emily Pack in Umatilla County, as documented by this ODFW trail camera.
 
November 20, 2015:  ODFW updates their list of non-lethal measures to minimize wolf-livestock conflict.
 
November 10, 2015:  The ODFW Commission votes 4-2 to remove endangered species protections for Oregon's wolves. Commissioners Greg Wolley and Laura Anderson are the only ones to vote against the delisting. Over 90% of public comments submitted were overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining protections. More than twenty wildlife scientists submitted extensive testimony; all stating that removing protections would be premature.
 
October 29, 2015:  Scientists slam Oregon’s ‘fundamentally flawed’ proposal to strip wolves of state endangered species protections.
 
October 28, 2015:  OR-7’s radio collar is no longer functioning.
 
October 9, 2015:  Thousands of people submit written testimony, many show up in person to testify and more than twenty scientists submit detailed testimony at the ODFW Commission hearing to express their outrage at the possible delisting of wolves from the state endangered species list.
 
October 2015:  Scat analysis reveals that the alpha female of the Shasta Pack in northern California dispersed from the Imnaha Pack.
 
October 2015:  OR-22 was shot by a hunter who believed the radio-collared animal with ear tags was a coyote. The hunter turned himself in and was later fined, ordered to pay restitution and forfeit his rifle to the state.
 
October 2015:  OR-3, one of the brothers of OR-7 who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in May 2011, has been documented in Central Oregon. He had not been seen since his dispersal.
 
September 2015:  OR-34, a female from the Walla Walla Pack, is shot by a poacher.
 
August 2015:  California is home to its first wolf pack in over 90 years! Named the Shasta Pack, they are comprised of two adults and five pups. These wolves dispersed from Oregon and are living proof that wolves are returning to their historic ranges.
 
August 2015:  OR-25 is now in Klamath County. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in March this year. He is covering a lot of ground, as is common for dispersing wolves.
 
July 2015:  A trail camera/video from USFWF and ODFW show the yearling pups of the Rogue Pack playing. This brings the Rogue Pack to at least seven wolves, including five pups, OR-7 and his mate.
 
May 2015:  Cascadia Wildlands and Western Environmental Law Center file a Freedom of Information Act request to see all Forest Service plans for protecting wolves while selling off timber and building roads in Oregon and Washington’s national forests.
 
April, 2015:  OR- 25, a two-year old male, who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack last month is documented in southern Washington and then on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
 
February 2015:  Annual 2014 ODFW Wolf Report released this month shows 77 known wolves in the state comprised of nine packs, five pairs traveling together, and two individual wolves. There are eight documented breeding pairs that had 26 known pups that survived through the end of 2014. A copy of the ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
January 28, 2015:  ODFW announces it is moving into Phase II of the Wolf Management Plan in the eastern portion of Oregon when state wildlife biologists confirm there are seven breeding pairs in Oregon in 2014. This means livestock producers have more management flexibility in dealing with wolf-livestock conflict.
 
January 2015:  OR-7, his mate and almost yearling pups, three of whom survived the winter, have now been named the Rogue Pack.
 
2014
December 2014:  Wolves continue to be federally protected west of Oregon highways 395/78/95. Wolves east of this designated federal protection area are still protected under Oregon’s state Endangered Species Act. The state Wolf Plan sets a conservation population objective of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon. This is the first year this objective has been reached and thus entry into Phase 2 of the Wolf Plan begins. To review the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, click here.
 
By end of the year, nine packs are documented, eight in NE Oregon and one in SW Oregon) and includes two recently formed packs, the Meacham and Rogue Packs. Six new pairs of wolves were documented this year with a minimum total population estimated to be 77 wolves.
 
September 2014:  Genetic testing on scat samples reveal that OR-7’s mate likely comes from either the Snake River or Minam Pack.
 
July 2014:  It has been confirmed that OR-7 not only has a mate, but they have had their first litter of pups! The images via trail camera show OR-7, his mate and two pups. They are the first known wolves breeding in the Oregon Cascades in almost a century.
 
May 14, 2014:  CBC Radio interview with John Stephenson, ODFW wolf biologist about OR-7, his mate and probable pups.
 
May 2014:  This marks the third year in a row that ODFW has not killed any wolves for livestock depredation.
 
May 2014:  After traveling thousands of miles since his dispersal from the Imnaha Pack in December 2011, making his way into California and back up into Oregon, it appears that OR-7 may have found a mate. Trail cameras reveal a second wolf in the area where OR-7 is living. It was confirmed that she is female when the camera caught her squatting to pee.
 
February 2014:  The Wolf Conservation and Management Report is released by ODFW. Annual report for 2013 shows 64 known wolves in the state comprised of eight packs, four of whom include breeding pairs, and including two new packs (Mt. Emily and an unnamed pack in the Catherine Creek/Keating WMU). All packs are located in the far NE corner of the state. A copy of the 2013 ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
2013
December 31, 2013:  At the end of year, ODFW determines that there are seven packs, of which four are breeding pairs, plus three individual wolves, accounting for an approximate increase of 15 wolves in the overall population in the state.
 
December 2013:  Based on information from his radio collar, OR-7 took a day trip into northern California and then returned to Oregon.
 
August 30, 2013:  Conflict Deterrence Plan released for the Umatilla River Pack. Under new wolf management rules, ODFW and livestock producers are required to develop and publicly disclose Conflict Deterrence Plans in Areas of Depredating Wolves.
 
July 30, 2013:  There are two documented pups for the Mt. Emily Pack. As of today, there are pups confirmed in the Imnaha, Minam, Mt. Emily, Snake River, Umatilla River, Walla Walla and Wenaha Packs!
 
July 2013:  ODFW officially passes the new administrative rules that amend the management of wolves in Oregon.
 
May 30, 2013:  It is determined that the cause of death of OR-19 is complications related to canine parvovirus. This disease is common amongst domestic dogs, but can also affect coyotes, foxes and wolves. It is the first documented case of parvovirus in Oregon wolves.
 
May 28, 2013:  In relation to the court-ordered stay issued by the Oregon Court of Appeals in October 2011, administrative rule changes in the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan have been agreed upon. During 2012, all parties (ODFW, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, and the Center for Biological Diversity) were in negotiations on changes to rules in regards to lethal control of wolves.
 
The rule changes included agreement on the following (CBD withdrew from negotiations in fall of 2012):
1. Before ODFW can employ lethal controls, it must confirm four qualifying incidents within a six-month period.
2. Requires the development and public disclosure of wolf-livestock conflict deterrence plans that can be implemented by livestock producers.
3. Requires that these non-lethal measures be implemented prior to a depredation in order for the depredation incident to qualify for lethal control.
4. Adds a rule that any ODFW lethal control decision lasts for a 45 day period.
Rules changes in their entirety can be read here.
 
May 19, 2013:  OR-19, a female from the Wenaha Pack who had been collared six days previously, is found dead of unknown cause.
 
March 2013:  OR-7 returns to Oregon from California and is seen in Jackson County.
 
February 2013:  Annual ODFW Wolf Report for 2012 released this month shows 46 known wolves in the state comprised of one non-breeding pair, two individuals and six packs that produced at least 22 pups that survived through the end of 2012. All packs are living in the far NE corner of the state. A copy of the 2012 ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
2012
December 31, 2012: The court-ordered stay issued by the Oregon Court of Appeals on Oct. 2, 2011 preventing the lethal removal of depredating wolves remains in effect pending resolution of litigation filed by Cascadia Wildlands and allies challenging the Commission’s authority to authorize the killing of listed wolves under the Commission’s “chronic depredation” take rules.
 
December 21, 2012: Coinciding with the year anniversary of OR-7 setting paw in California, the Pacific Wolf Coalition is formed. Comprised of twenty-five wildlife conservation, education and protection organizations in California, Oregon and Washington, they are committed to envisioning populations of wolves restored over their historic habitats in numbers that allow them to re-establish their critical role in nature and ensure their long-term survival.
 
December 19, 2012: OR-16, a 1½ year old wolf from the Walla Walla Pack crossed into Idaho. He was shot by a poacher in Idaho less than a month later.
 
December 2012: OR-7 spent much of this year in California, becoming the first documented wolf in that state in 90 years.
 
November 2012: DNA analysis of scat confirms that OR-12 is the breeding male of the Wenaha Pack. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack and is the first wolf born into a pack in Oregon who dispersed and successfully bred with another pack in Oregon.
 
September 2012: ODFW confirmed pups for the Walla Walla Pack documenting two black pups traveling with the pack. OR-10 and OR-11 are also traveling with this pack bringing the pack number to 10 wolves (8 adults, 2 pups).
 
August 31, 2102: A new wolf pack, including a pair of adults and five gray pups, have been observed in the Upper Minam River drainage area.
 
August 2012: A survey on US Forest Service land southeast of Joseph revealed at least six pups for the Imnaha Pack this year.
In addition, the Wenaha Pack now have seven documented pups. The Umatilla Pair have at least two pups, which makes them an official pack now.
 
July 2012: The Snake River Pack has at least three adults and three pups. Here is video footage of the pup howling and the pack returning the howl. This is a major way in which the packs communicate with each other.
 
June 2012: There are four pups observed for the Imnaha Pack for this year.
Biologists also confirm at least four pups in the Wenaha Pack.
 
May 4, 2012: As of today, based on state government data, 254 wolves have been shot and 124 have been trapped in Idaho this hunting season. In Montana, 166 wolves have been killed this season.
 
May 2, 2012: The wolf found dead in early March near Cove, Oregon in Union County is  confirmed to be a poaching by Oregon State Police and ODFW. The investigation of the crime continues. Genetic testing showed the wolf was from the Imnaha Pack.
 
April 17, 2012: OR-7 returns to California.
 
March 14, 2012: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the district court ruling and allows the delisting of gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain states of Montana and Idaho (wolves are still listed in Wyoming due to the state's egregious management plan). Gray wolf hunting resumes.
 
March 7, 2012: Bill to overturn the ban on killing Oregon's endangered gray wolves is defeated in Salem.  Cascadia Wildlands and allies spent considerable time in Salem educating policy makers and testifying against this the reckless legislation.
 
March 1, 2012: OR-7 crosses back over into Oregon and is spending time in Klamath and Douglas counties.
 
February 2, 2012: Oregon Cattlemen's Associationbrings a bill to the state legislature to overturn the recently issued injunction that prohibits killing Oregon's endangered gray wolves.
 
2011
December 30, 2011: OR-7, or Journey, makes his way into California from Oregon, becoming the first wolf to return to the state in nearly 80 years. 
 
December 28, 2011: Oregon's four known wolf packs, the Imnaha, Wenaha, Walla Walla and Snake River packs, all had pups this past year. Oregon currently has approximately 29 confirmed wolves in the state according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. A copy of the entire ODFW 2011 Wolf Report can be viewed here.
 
December 12, 2011: Dispersing Imnaha Pack wolf, known as OR-7 (Journey), travels 730 miles  to southwest Oregon searching for mate and territory.
 
November 14, 2011: Oregon Court of Appeals extends ban on killing endangered Oregon wolves.
 
November 1, 2011: OR-7, who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in September is located in the Umpqua National Forest. This marks the first confirmed wolf in the Oregon Cascades in over 60 years.
 
October 5, 2011: Oregon Court of Appeals grants emergency stay of execution of two Imnaha Pack wolves.
 
October 5, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a legal challenge in state court to immediately halt the state killing of two of the remaining four Imnaha Pack wolves.  A memo on our lawsuit is sent to Governor Kitzhaber and key legislators.
 
September 26, 2011: At least two pups documented in the Walla Walla Pack by ODFW.
 
September 23, 2011: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife issues a kill order for the alpha male (pack leader) and a yearling in the Imnaha Pack after a confirmed livestock depredation near Joseph, OR, deeming the situation as "chronic."
 
June 6, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies send a letter to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife about the recent lethal control of two Imnaha Pack wolves, kill order for up to two more wolves, and the issuance of 24 "caught in the act" kill permits to private landowners.
 
May 18, 2011: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife kills second Imnaha Pack wolf in the past three days after attributing recent livestock depredations in Wallowa County to the pack.
 
May 3, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a legal challenge against US Fish and Wildlife Service's order to kill two Imnaha pack wolves. The kill order is issued after the death of a calf on May 1st  in Wallowa County is confirmed as a wolf kill.
 
April 14, 2011: Congress legislatively delists gray wolves in the northern Rockies from the Endangered Species Act as part of a rider attached to the federal budget bill. In addition to removing federal protections in Montana and Idaho, the unprecedented action also strips protections for wolves in eastern Oregon, eastern Washington and northern Utah. The delisting will likely mean sport hunting for wolves in Montana and Idaho this fall.
 
March 30, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands presents testimony in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the Oregon Legislature on a number of bills affecting Oregon's recovering gray wolf population.
 
March 18, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and eight co-plaintiffs settle our legal challenge to the Obama administration's Northern Rocky Mountains gray wolf delisting from the Endangered Species Act.
 
March 1, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands delivers a memo to all 90 Oregon legislators describing anti-wolf bills that have been introduced into the 76th session in Salem.
 
March 1, 2011: Yearling female from Oregon's Imnaha pack is  found dead. The cause of the death of the collared wolf is unclear.
 
2010
December 2010: Idaho and Montana senators propose to legislate delisting of gray wolves in the Rockies.
 
October 8, 2010: Conservation groups offer $7,500 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the person/s responsible for killing an endangered gray wolf from the Wenaha Pack in eastern Oregon.
 
August 5, 2010: Federal district court judge Donald Malloy in Missoula rules in favor of Cascadia Wildlands' lawsuit challenging the government's delisting of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act in the northern Rocky Mountains. Cascadia was one of 13 co-plaintiffs and was represented by Earthjustice in the case.
 
July 8, 2010: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a lawsuit and halt the hunt of members of Oregon's Imnaha wolf pack.
 
2009
Fall-Winter 2009: Over 250 gray wolves are killed in Montana and Idaho during sport hunts after wolves are delisted by the Obama administration.
 
September 8, 2009: Federal district court judge Donald Malloy in Missoula rules against Cascadia Wildlands' request for a Preliminary Injunction but suggested in his ruling that we are likely to succeed on the merits of the lawsuit. The lawsuit will likely be heard in early 2010.
 
September 5, 2009: Two wolves in Baker County's Keating Valley are killed after repeated depredations of livestock. The two wolves, which are apparently not part of an organized pack, represent approximately 20% of the known wolves in Oregon today.
 
June 2, 2009: Cascadia Wildlands and 12 conservation partners represented by Earthjustice legally challenge the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Idaho, Montana, and eastern Oregon and Washington.
 
April 2, 2009: The Obama administration's US Fish and Wildlife Service removes gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act, finalizing an effort initiated by the Bush administration. Idaho and Montana begin to plan a wolf hunting season.
 
2008
July 18, 2008: Federal District Court Judge Donald Malloy issues a preliminary injunction halting the gray wolf delisting in the Northern Rocky Mountains. This is not a ruling on the merits of the case, rather a placeholder while attorneys argue the claims.
 
April 28, 2008: Following up on its February 27 notice of intent to sue, Cascadia Wildlands and 11 co-plaintiffs file a lawsuit and preliminary injunction request to halt killing of gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Since the delisting occurred in March, dozens of wolves have been killed by sport hunters.
 
February 27, 2008: Represented by Earthjustice,  Cascadia Wildlands and 11 co-plaintiffs file a 60-day notice of intent to sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service over the removal of the Northern Rocky Mountains population of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act. The delisting will turn over management of the species to states in the inter-mountain West. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming all have management plans in place that would permit rampant killing of wolves.
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