At least three gray wolves have roamed Northeastern Oregon since 1999.

The first confirmed wolf rambled around southern Baker County and Grant Count during February and March of 1999.

That wolf, an almost two-year-old female, migrated to Oregon from Idaho, where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released wolves in the mid 1990s in an effort to restore a population of the predators in that state.

Fish and Wildlife Service officials knew the animal in Northeastern Oregon was a wolf because they had caught it in Idaho and put a radio collar around its neck.

That collar emitted a signal which Fish and Wildlife workers could home in on as they flew over the area in an airplane.

The agency captured the wolf in late March of 1999, using a net fired from a helicopter.

Fish and Wildlife Service employees returned the wolf to Idaho, where it eventually found a mate.

About 14 months later, in May 2000, a wolf was found dead beside Interstate 84 several miles southeast of Baker City.

That wolf, an adult male, also was wearing a radio collar which Fish and Wildlife Service workers had fitted in Idaho.

Officials determined, after examining the carcass, that the wolf was hit by a vehicle.

Then, in October 2000, someone found a dead wolf near Ukiah. That wolf, which was not wearing a radio collar, had been killed by a gunshot.

Because the wolf lacked a collar, Fish and Wildlife Service officials couldn't say for certain where the animal came from.

They suspected, though, that the wolf, like the two others, crossed into Oregon from Idaho.