by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
January 23, 2017
Emma Marris’s essay "Why OR7 is a celebrity" in the current edition of High Country News uses the tale of an individual wolf to explain the novelty factor when wolves expand their range and move into a new area.
"At the edges of their range, the wolf frontier, the animals are more likely to be individually known and managed as if each one is precious," Marris writes. "If one finds a mate or has pups, it’s announced in the local paper and even on Facebook."
Marris’s piece notes the fund-raising factor is upped when people connect emotionally to individual animals, but appeals focused on larger groups are not as effective.
Marris noted that while OR7 is famous in Oregon, the novelty is wearing off as the wolf population increases. "If and when gray wolves become well established, they will be managed like black bears, cougars or other animals — as largely anonymous populations."
The essay is incorrect in reporting that wolves are delisted in Wyoming, and subject to hunting and trapping seasons. That is the case in Montana and Idaho, but not in Wyoming.