Defenders and Rep.Dicks Call for Forum to Study Wolf Reintroduction at Olympics

(01/27/1997) - U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) and Defenders of Wildlife, a nonprofit membership organization, announced today that they have jointly agreed to sponsor a one-day conference in April to begin exploring the possibility of reintroducing wolves to Olympic National Park in the state of Washington.

Rep. Dicks made the proposal for a joint conference after reviewing an op ed by Defenders' President Rodger Schlickeisen in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and gathering information on eastern timber wolves from Canada's Algonquin Provincial Park which is inhabited by wolves.

Defenders says the first step toward reintroduction would be preparation of a scientific assessment of whether the Olympics provide suitable wolf habitat, and that the forum will gather "distinguished experts to closely examine the relevant arguments from a biological and technical feasibility perspective." Any formal proposal for wolf reintroduction in the area would be open for public input.

Defenders' Schlickeisen, a Seattle native, said today that, "We're not saying to bring in the wolves right away, but we are saying bring in the scientists as soon as possible. Let them determine if the Olympics are suitable for the howl of the wild wolf to ring out once again. If we have a chance to help save wolves from extinction by restoring them to this former habitat, we owe it to ourselves to do so. More important, we owe it to our children and future generations to preserve the wolf and the wild diversity of nature that it symbolizes."

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Contact(s):

Cat Lazaroff, (202) 772-3270