In 2011, a wolf labeled OR-7 because he was the seventh Oregon wolf to receive a tag, left the confines of the Wallowa Valley in Oregon's northeastern corner and followed the road of so many starry-eyed ingenues: he headed south to California in search of fame, stardom and miles and miles of wolf ass.
The first two came easily, in part because OR-7 was the first wolf in California since 1924. The third proved elusive for the very same reason. But, at last, OR-7 may have found a paramour. In early May, cameras caught images of a raven-furred she-wolf in the Rogue River-Siskyou National Forest, which is close (in wolf terms, at least) to OR-7. From the Fish and Wildlife press release:
“This information is not definitive, but it is likely that this new wolf and OR7 have paired up. More localized GPS collar data from OR7 is an indicator that they may have denned,” said John Stephenson, Service wolf biologist. “If that is correct, they would be rearing pups at this time of year.”
Translation for OR-7: Two tickets to Poundtown. Awwwwooooooo!
Translation for us: the first wolf breeding pair west of the Cascades since the early 20th century, and many, many, many more stories about wolves as they spread out across the state. Some will say this is a very good thing, that the wolves represent a vital step in restoring Oregon's native biology. Others will call this a Chamberlain-ian appeasement, for the wolves will certainly rise up one day, and the boulevards will run red with the blood of men.
You shot for the stars, OR-7, and you made it. Good boy.
Welcome to the west side of the Cascades. There's water here!