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CA Fish and Game Commission to Give Gray Wolf 12 Month Review for California Endangered Species Listing

posted Nov 12, 2012, 6:13 PM by chloe owens   [ updated Nov 12, 2012, 6:14 PM ]

10/3/12 by Jeanne Wetzel Chinn, Director, Being With Wolves (CA)

CA Fish and Game Commission to Give Gray Wolf 12 Month Review for California Endangered Species Listing There has been one wolf in CA, OR7, since dispersing from a northeastern Oregon pack in December, 2012. Historically, it is likely wolves inhabited much of the state.  Previous to OR7, the last 2 wolves in CA were killed in 1922 and 1924.  

Earlier this year four organizations petitioned the State of CA to have the gray wolf listed as endangered under the CA Endangered Species Act (CESA).  On August, 8, 2012, after an internal review, the CA Department of Fish and Game (DFG) recommended to the CA Fish and Game Commission (Commission) that the gray wolf be listed.

 

Today a public hearing took place at the Resources Building in downtown Sacramento.  Over 30 members of the public spoke at the hearing.

 

Without exception, all of the northern county officials present, ranchers and hunters were appreciative and positive about DFG’s proactive stance in contacting them when OR7 came across the Oregon border into CA and in continuing to speak with them.  DFG traveled to each of the northern counties where OR7 has wandered through and met with officials and held meetings to talk with the public. The ranchers at the public hearing today want to continue to move forward with a management plan, but stop the CESA listing process.

 

While the gray wolf is protected in CA under the federal endangered species act, that protection could be taken away at any time. Points against listing include the fact that there is only one wolf in CA, there is no first hand science in CA on important issues such as Range, Distribution, Abundance, Life History, Habitat, Survival/Reproduction, Degree of Immediacy of Threat, Impacts of Existing Management Efforts, and Suggestions for Future Management.

Others spoke on behalf of CESA listing, pointing out that while there is only one wolf present now, there will be more dispersing into CA over time.  In addition, the northern states have more than 16 years of intensive scientific wolf research, data gathering, and monitoring and that, while out of state, that does not invalidate the information and much scientific knowledge can be gleened from these studies.

 

Ultimately, the vote by the Commission was 3-0 in favor of more extensive studies.  The result of the upcoming studies will determine whether or not gray wolves will be listed as threatened or endangered and protected by the State of California.

 

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