Changing Minds about Wolves in Washington

“Ladyhawk”, Female wolf
photo by Samantha Luna

“Lexi”, female wolf
photo by Samantha Luna

“Shadow”, male wolf
photo by Samantha Luna

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in June 2016, there are 19 officially confirmed wolf packs found in Washington state today, compared to when the first pack was confirmed in 2008. Wolf Haven International hopes that success continues through the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The plan is designed to guide recovery and management of gray wolves introduced back into the state through education and community involvement. Wolf Haven hopes to raise environmental literacy among the community and challenge the fear created by myths about wolves. Chris Montero, outreach coordinator for Wolf Haven says “we are in need of a cultural change” referring to the lack of education and understanding surrounding wolves.
To continue the drastic positive change in wolf population and conservation that has happened over the last couple of decades in the United States, it is essential to get youth involved. Montero estimates there are more than fifty volunteers working within Wolf Haven currently. He believes that involvement with both Wolf Haven and its cause is not only beneficial “for biology students” but for students in all fields from law to environmental science. It is essential to get the “student community involved” in the conversation about wolves.
Volunteers work on educating the community through guide positions, prairie educators and outreach. All volunteers are considered ambassadors in the community for the wolves and receive exposure to and education on all subspecies of wolves including the grey wolf, red wolf and one of the most endangered mammals in North America, the mexican wolf. Wolf Haven is also home to wolf dogs and coyotes.
Direct volunteer roles are limited, but there are other ways to participate and help with Wolf Haven’s efforts. Register as a member to receive Wolf Haven’s award-winning Wolf Tracks Magazine along with passes to the sanctuary. All money from membership goes towards Wolf Haven’s program.
Wolf Haven is an amazing tool for the community to educate themselves on these magnificent creatures. “It is an exciting time for wolves” claims Montero. Community enlightenment about wolves today can change how we interact with them tomorrow. Learn more about Wolf Haven International at www.wolfhaven.org. Get the facts about wolves in Washington and the state’s current conservation status by visiting http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/graywolf

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