“They Were Everywhere”

Nez Perce fisherman and Tribal Fisheries Technician Levi Carson casts his line into the upper Imnaha River hoping to land an early salmon. The Imnaha River flows directly out of the Wallowa Mountain high country and into the mighty Snake River. Nimiipu Nez Perce tribal members have fished this river for countless generations, and it has long provided sustenance and life for Nez Perce children and families.

When asked about the wolves in Wallowa County and what he knew about their population in Nez Perce times, Levi replied simply “They were everywhere.” Varying sized populations of wolves have likely inhabited Wallowa country and the surrounding areas for millennia. It is rumored by some locals that they have continued to occasionally pass through Wallowa County over the years, even after hunting bountys officially claimed “all” wolves in Oregon. However this is definitely the first time it has been documented that they have taken up permanent residence in Oregon since their extermination.

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