by Skie Bender – Education Outreach Specialist, Wolf Haven
On a warm winter night in San Diego, California, Wolf Haven International teamed up with California Wolf Center at the Adventure 16 outdoor recreation store to present an evening about wolves.
Adventure 16 was started by a few young Explorer Scouts whose leaders were involved in river running in the early ’60s. The Scouts made 16mm adventure films. By the late 60’s their love of outdoor adventure evolved into a business – Adventure 16 – which now specializes in outdoor gear for backpacking, hiking, camping, climbing, mountaineering and adventure travel.
Adventure 16 currently hosts educational programs at all four of its Southern California store locations, which include San Diego, Solana beach, Tarzana and West L.A.
The California Wolf Center (CWC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to wolf recovery in the wild. Founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, the physical center near Julian, CA is home to several packs of gray wolves. Through the years, CWC has grown into a state-wide organization striving to pave the way for the return of wolves in California.
An Evening About Wolves – Adventure 16
Among backpacks, tents, hiking shoes and freeze-dried food, the full room of attendees sitting in fold-out chairs were eager to learn about wolves. Though it was promoted as ‘Family Friendly,’ it was primarily an adult crowd.
Wolf Haven presented facts about wolf behavior, biology, negative perceptions, predator control programs, ranchers and nonlethal control measures and much more.
California Wolf Center told the exciting story of the infamous OR7, aka Journey, (a wild wolf that trekked all the way down to CA from his natal pack in northeast Oregon.) He was the first documented wild wolf in CA since 1924. CWC showed the importance of wolves as a keystone species in an ecosystem, and presented in-depth information about the Mexican gray wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) recovery program (they currently house 19 Mexican gray wolves.)
Both California Wolf Center and Wolf Haven are involved in the endangered Mexican wolf recovery program; in fact, in years past, our organizations have exchanged highly valuable genetic animals for breeding. The result was pups.
The evening at Adventure 16 was full of facts and fun.The room broke into laughter as we watched video footage of wolves proudly urinating (scent marking) on their food, and wolves frolicking playfully and pawing one another. It was certainly not the usual perception that the general population has about wolves.
Teaming up with California Wolf Center at the Adventure 16 store made for a well-rounded evening because it was analogous to an informal panel discussion between the two facilities. It was great for the conservation-minded, outdoor-recreation attendees to be able to ask questions about wolves in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, and have both Wolf Haven International and California Wolf Center answer from our own experiential and philosophical expertise.
The program truly was a success for all involved.
A Win for Adventure 16 ~ A Win for the audience ~ A Win for wolf education ~ A Win for the wolves
For more information about these groups, visit websites listed below:
- Adventure 16, San Diego, California – adventure16.com
- California Wolf Center (CWC) – californiawolfcenter.org
- Wolf Haven International – wolfhaven.org
To contact Skie Bender about scheduling a Wolf Haven presentation in California: Call 714.336.5798 or email firstname.lastname@example.org