• More Wolfy Info to Come!
  • More Wolfy Info to Come!
  • More Wolfy Info to Come!
  • More Wolfy Info to Come!
  • More Wolfy Info to Come!

The Rogue Pack of NorCal & Southwest Oregon - a journey for the record books!

Do you know the story of Journey, Sophie, and OR-54?

if not, please set aside three minutes and peruse the below. it's a story of hope, rugged nature, optimism, and of course, great bread!

Extirpation: the act of removing or destroying something completely; local extinction.

Prologue

The result of a 19th century purge led by the big ranchers of the Pacific Northwest, the final Twentieth-Century wolf to touch California soil was felled in 1924. Oregon followed, the extirpation complete by 1947.

The result was indeed a small drop in livestock deaths, and a massive surge in elk and deer communities. but the sword proved double-edged.

An unknown number of shrub and tree species disappeared; willows, cottonwoods, and aspens saw their population decimated. Running without rivals, coyotes thrived and the populations of rabbits, voles, and many songbirds plummeted. The repercussions were born of an ecologic ripple known as the 'trophic cascade', a phenomenon that highlights the delicate balance our environment negotiates every day.

The disturbance continued unabated until well into the Twenty First-Century.

(Image to right from: Adapted from: (a) Beschta (2005) and (b) Ripple and Larsen (2000); Kauffman et al. (2013), and Painter et al. (2014).)

A Positive intervention

Return of the Apex

The turnaround began in 1995, with a Fish and wildlife and national parks service endeavor widely hailed as one of ecology's greatest victories. the organizations re-introduced thirtyone wolves to Yellowstone and Central Idaho, and then stepped back and watched them do their wolf-thing.

The vast majority set up camp within a hundred miles or so and more than a dozen were shot illegally by hunters and over-anxious ranchers, despite an abundance of studies released over the past thirty years uniformly reporting wolf-related livestock casualties as less than 0.009% of inventory (nature.com has great stats on this).

Image to left from: https://goldenageofgaia.com/2019/02/19/trophic-cascades-and-planetary-balance/

have paws, will travel

The GOATS of Wolf Wanderlust

But one small group migrated west, entering the Northeast corner of Oregon and founding the Imnaha Pack. OR-7 was was their progeny, born in 2009 and his wanderlust was unequaled. At the age of two he crested the cascade, followed the Deschutes south and gained the rough shores of the Rogue River. He took this voyage solo, and in doing so won the moniker 'Journey'. Hot on his heels though was his future wolf-wife Sophie, and together they founded a new Wolfpack labeled the Rogue Pack. Having reclaimed southwest Oregon however, was just the couples start.

That same year, after raising their first litter, they brought the family south and east, gaining California in December 2011, and in doing so erasing nearly one hundred years of local extinction for their species.

Image to right: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=164949&picture=wolf

A massive step forward

The Next Generation

It was a massive moment for wolves (and ecologists), but nearly one hundred years of ecologic asymmetry had left its mark, and much of the Southwest Oregon and Northern California remains sparsely underpopulated for several score of trees and shrubs today.

Fortunately, reform was just starting to take hold, and the wolf-story was only getting better. The next generation proved no less intrepid.

In 2017 Sophie birthed her most famous offspring; OR-54. Radio collared as a pup (but never properly named) OR-54 proved testimony to her specie's resilience. Her travels shattered wildlife records, as she crisscrossed Oregon and California and made her way across the Sierra all the way to Nevada City before her collar failed and she was lost to ecologists.

Image: OR-54, Sophie, and Journey at 54's first birthday party, 2019.

A Legacy of Courage worth celebrating

By now you may be wondering why we at Inked talk so much about wolves. Well, it's because they inspire us. Deeply and continually.   

Much like how wolves were for near a century robbed of California and the Pacific northwest, you dear carb-conscious bread eater have been robbed of flavor in your favorite centerplate staple.  And much as Journey, Sophie and OR-54 basically said "F#$! It.  We're going there!" Inked too bellowed "F#$! It. We're going there!"

Journey crested the cascades; we launched Timberwolf Keto Seeds Bread

Sophie and Journey claimed the rogue; we introduced Winter Wolf Keto White.

OR-54 crisscrossed the Cascades; we've brought you Big Bread Wolf Keto Sourdough.   

Wolves are back in the Pacific Northwest, and flavor is back in Low Carb and Keto Bread. 

Thank you Rogue Pack for your inspiration! 

For more information on our canine heroes, and how their regional reentry re-righted our temperate woodland environment, check out California Wolf Center here