At least two wolves are using an area in southern Wasco County, marking the first time multiple wolves have been confirmed in the northern portion of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains since they began returning to Oregon in the 2000s.
The wolves were documented on the White River Wildlife Area and Mt Hood National Forest and have also been observed on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
Several wolves are known to have dispersed through Wasco County in the past few years. A single wolf was documented in the White River Unit in December 2013. In May 2015, a wolf from the Imnaha pack travelled through the area as he dispersed to Klamath County. Later in 2015, a single wolf was documented in Wasco County.
Wolves in Wasco County and anywhere west of Hwys 395-78-95 are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, so U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the lead management agency.
Additional information about Oregon’s wolf population will be available in March, after ODFW completes its annual winter surveys and minimum population count.