The 1 million acres of Olympic National Park could sustain as many as 56 gray wolves, says a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report. Yet even though the peninsula provides ample prey and habitat, no wolves will wander the park soon.
The obstacle is Washington Republican Sen.
Slade Gorton, says Gerry Ring Erickson of Defenders of Wildlife.
"He says he won't fund anything for the foreseeable future and
there is little chance that anything will pass." Other barriers are
securing funding for an environmental impact statement and
mobilizing community support.
locals aren't in agreement about bringing back the wolves, a
species absent for six decades. "We can't live with wolves," says
resident Marilyn Lewis, who raises cattle and horses on property
bordering the northern tip of the park. "There is a reason that we
eradicated them in the beginning. They are not the delightful
little animals that people think they are."
Supporters of wolves say they're needed to
restore an ecological balance on the peninsula. They also hope
their presence in the wild will bring in tourist
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
report can be found at