Conservation News

Washington Offers Hikers Chance to Name Wolf Packs

If you find them first, that is.

See a wolf, name a wolf—or so the thinking goes in Washington, where the state’s Department of Fish & Wildlife is offering citizens the opportunity to name any wild wolf packs they find that have not yet been identified.

Nature World News reports that a hiker, a rancher, and a hunter have all gotten the opportunity to name wolf packs thus far. The hiker, Steve Gilbertson, set up motion-triggered cameras on wilderness trails for years in hopes of spying the elusive predators before finally snapping pictures of an as-yet-unseen pack in 2013. Gilbertson named the Carpenter Ridge Pack after Mike Carpenter, a late friend of his that first showed him the region.

Once hunted to the brink of extinction in the continental United States, grey wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 and have been repopulating the mountain west ever since. Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington are all currently home to multiple wolf packs with three members or more. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the grey wolf from the federal Endangered Species List in 2011, though a district court recently reversed that decision in Wyoming.

So while it may take a little dedication on your part, it’s worth putting a little bit of thought into what you’d name your wolf pack (and yes, in case you’re wondering, “Westeros” is already taken.)

Read more: Nature World News