How Wolves Change Rivers

Feb 26 2016

How Wolves Change Rivers

It’s interesting how things so small can make such a huge difference.

Surprisingly Wolves are really important to helping the wilderness stay in balance,  The above video shares how Yellowstone National Park was transformed by the reintroduction of wolves.   Watch the video.  Start to understand how connected our ecosystems is.

We don’t have a lot of wolves in western Oregon yet.  I haven’t heard of any recent sightings in the Willamette National Forest, home of the McKenzie River.  I imagine that in time, we’ll get some.

While the idea of wolves roaming the forest may give pause to the uniformed hiker, knowing the critical role they play, helps us understand why they need to be there – and why we need to make a place for them.

Of course – the reintroduction of wolves is not without controversy.  There are many people who do not want them back and they have valid concerns.  This article is not meant to wade into the debate but to share in the wonder of nature and how all things are connected.

Ultimately, finding balance is important.

Share your thoughts and useful links in the comments section.

More Info:

Wolves Come Home to Oregon

Wolves in Oregon – ODFW

When the Wolves Return to Western Oregon


  • Karen December 8, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I totally agree Chris. There is a balance that predators help to keep with respect to the populations of their prey. When deer and elk are too numerous they can over-browse and reduce the density of certain shrubs and trees. Which can decrease populations of other animals such as rodents, rabbits, and birds who benefit from sufficient food and cover. Plus it would be an incredible thrill for many Oregonians to get even a brief glimpse of a wolf. They are a symbol of the wilderness for many of us.


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