Story Map: Oregon’s Famous Wolf OR-7

Wolf OR-7 Story Map  by the Wild Peace Alliance Wolf OR-7 Expedition.  View Map.

In 2012, a male gray wolf left his pack, crossed Oregon, and, upon entering neighboring California, became the first known wild wolf in the state since 1924. He’s called “OR-7,” as he was the seventh wolf tagged with a GPS-location tracking collar in Oregon. Since then, he’s returned to Oregon, paired up with a female wolf, and fathered two pups. Known now as the Rogue Pack (officially designated due to their location within the Rogue River catchment area—but maybe Wolf OR-7 had a sense of foresight in where to den), the pack exemplifies the story of wolves in the 21st century returning to their historic rangelands.

Produced by Jay Simpson with artwork by Emma Munger. The Wolf OR-7 Story Map by the Wild Peace Alliance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

As part of our Wolf OR-7 Expedition, a 1,200-mile adventure that follows in Wolf OR-7’s tracks, my team and I mountain biked and hiked across Oregon and northern California to retrace the lone wolf’s general route.

Our expedition aims to share Wolf OR-7s story as wolves like the Rogue Pack redefine the borders of “modern wolf country.” And we’re experimenting with how we can use stories to reshape perceptions about wolves and educate ourselves about ways to coexist with these large carnivores.

The Wolf OR-7 Story Map is one of these experiments.

Simplified map of Wolf OR-7’s route. (Image by Orygun, Finetooth; and Ruhrfisch; Creative Commons;

The first time I encountered a news article about Wolf OR-7, it included a simple map of Oregon that had an erratic, mysterious line crossing the state. These maps, like the one pictured at left, have become a way to relate to and understand the story of Wolf OR-7. Maps are also used —> Read More