LETTER: Wolves not extinct in Olympic National Park

In regards to Michael Carman’s Dec. 23 Peninsula Daily News article, “Wolves roaming further afield.”

He makes a reference to a recent sighting of a grey wolf along the trail to Shi-Shi beach.

I personally saw evidence in the early 1980s that supported the existence of wolves still roaming in their native range in the Olympic National Park.

I was on a backpack trip that I had taken with another individual up to Crystal Peak, located in the headwaters of Godkin Creek in the early 1980s.

Crystal Peak is about as wild and remote an area as any in the Olympics.

After leaving the Elwha River Valley downstream of Godkin Creek, my hiking partner and I hiked for two days cross-country, meaning no trail utilizing topographical maps with which to reach our destination.

The second day of our cross-country hike, we spooked a herd of elk and we decided to follow them just below tree line along what appeared to be a generational elk trail heading toward our destination, Crystal Peak.

As we were hiking on a well-worn elk trail we came upon a set of wolf tracks that were fresh, firm and had good definition to them and we followed the wolf tracks for approximately a thousand feet in distance toward our destination.

It was unequivocally clear to me what the tracks were right away when I first saw them.

I, like many people, assumed that wolves in the Olympics were extinct but obviously they are not.

Rick Sindars,

Port Angeles

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