I’ve spent a lot of time in wolf country and even more time advocating for wildlife in offices and meeting rooms. Still, I’ve never seen an adult wolf in the wild before. With only 21 wolves (now 20) in the state, not many Oregonians have. In fact, as our friend – photographer Joe Whittle pointed out, as far as we know, no one outside of ODFW has taken a picture of an Oregon wolf.
The rural-urban divide may be as real in Oregon as anywhere in the United States, and the existence of native predators like wolves, cougars, and bears is just one of many potential flashpoints. Portland’s Forest Park may not be wild enough for wolves, moose, and cowboys. Enterprise may not be big enough for the Blazers, ballet, and hipsters. Still, Oregon is big enough for all of those things, and whether hunter or hippy, some things do unite us all – or should.