Bumper Sticker Activism
One lone grey wolf, code named “OR-7” by biologists, has been roaming through the Cascades of southern Oregon and northern California. It surprises me how this solitary and illusive visitor has stirred up such strong emotions, and how a small bumper sticker can be a catalyst for heated debate. Last year, when the wolf made national headlines, I produced a sticker for the activist group KSWild. A copy has graced the back bumper of my car since they came off the printing press. I remember returning to my car after a summer backpacking trip to find a note taped to my window — a hunter expressed his anger at my support of keeping wolves in the wild with an angry rant. I was a bit disturbed by this, and drove to a nearby town for dinner. A couple approached me as I was getting out of my car. “We were driving behind you and saw your sticker,” the man said. Here we go again, I thought. “We own an animal rescue shelter here in town — can we have one? We love it!” I quickly forgot about the angry note left on my car at the trailhead. And since that summer, I have had so many people ask me about the sticker and express their interest in OR-7, that I keep copies in my car to hand out. Recently, OR-7 has been in the news again when photos revealed he had found a mate. Wolf OR-7, his mate and three pups have been designated the Rogue pack by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and they remain the only known wolves in Southwest Oregon, according to the ODFW.