Idaho: Washington – Wolf Education Research Center

A chance to learn about the misunderstood wold, which roams wild in the Northwest of the USA

We left our base at Dog Bark Park in Cottonwood, Idaho and went out to explore the area a bit. After a relaxing start to the day it is around lunchtime before we head out so we decided to stay local. Also the weather is once again inclement. Just down the road from Cottonwood is the Wolf Education Research Center (WERC) in the small town of Winchester. The Visitor Center is small with a few exhibits on the wolf packs they have on site. Idaho as a state is not pro-wolf but this land on which the Research Center sits is on the Nez Pierce Indian Reservation – who have a cultural linkage to the wolf and therefore wish to promote the development of wolf packs in the wild. According to the staff at the WERC there are several hundred wild grey wolves in Idaho – despite the hostility of the Governor and other politicians. The original pack of wolves were raised by a couple called Jim and Jamie Dutcher who lived with them in a the wild setting of the Sawtooth Mountains for six years, making a number of documentaries about living with wolves. After the end of the project the wolves were passed into the care of the WERC, but unfortunately many have passed away and only two remain. The last two remaining wolves live in 20 acre enclosure on the WERC site. More recently the WERC were given 7 wolves from another pack, from a private individual who had developed a pack but no longer wished to continue looking after them. This pack is kept in a separate enclosure. So after perusing the Visitor Center we headed out to the viewing areas of both the Sawtooth and the newer pack but unfortunately the wolves were playing hard to get and we disappointingly we did not see a wolf. We did though get to talk to one of the staff on the education side of the WERC and he gave us loads of new information about the nature of the grey wolf.

At the time of writing the WERC is closed for renovation and is planning to move to a new site. So, check the website for more information.

 

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