Since 1990, the third week in October has been deemed Wolf Awareness Week. In 2011, Governors in 26 states declared October 16th-22nd National Wolf Awareness Week, providing a great opportunity to learn more about wolves and their role in their surrounding ecosystems, to dispel misconceptions about wolves, and to unravel new truths about the carnivores.
Wolves were once plentiful in Washington and Idaho, but were extirpated as settlers moved west and were thus added to the Endangered Species List. Wolves in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana were recently delisted by an act of Congress, their management left to state control. Part of the Northern Rocky Mountain population falls into eastern Washington, and so is considered federally delisted. Washington State is keeping the wolf state listed in eastern Washington, and they remain federally listed in western Washington.
There are currently 5 known wolf packs in Washington state (click here to see map), and many more in the bordering Selkirks of Idaho. The wolves move from Washington to Idaho to British Columbia, but are managed differently in each area. In each ecosystem, the wolves play a role in maintaining ecosystem health.
Check your local library for special Wolf Awareness Week presentations and events, and please click here to learn more about wolf biology and behavior, management in Washington and Idaho, tips for coexistence and more.