California Grey Wolf: Should The Wolves Be Protected?
Ellisha Rader Mannering
California is considering protecting grey wolves in hopes that they may reestablish themselves in the state. On Wednesday, the The California Fish and Game Commission decided to postpone their decision on whether or not they should add grey wolves to the Endangered Species list, which would also protect them from being hunted.
Many environmentalists and naturalists want the animals to live in the state of California again and run wild while being protected from hunters. Cattle ranchers and other farmers on the other hand, say that a large grey wolf population would mean trouble for them and their livestock. Wildlife officials are also among the people who believe the wolves should not be protected.
Grey wolves prospered in California until the 1900’s when hunters and farmers began shooting and poisoning the animals to prevent them from killing livestock. The wolves were almost exterminated in California and many other states.
In recent years, several states have decided to protect the animals so populations could build back up again. Many of these states are also in the process of getting these protection laws lifted because the wolf populations have grown so large.
Commissioners heard both sides of the argument on Wednesday but decided they needed to wait to make a decision after they had heard more opinions from the public. The general consensus of most people is that the animals should be protected but not to the point that they are added to the Endangered Species list.
The wolves are reappearing in California and are no longer at risk for extinction. There are ways to improve the conservation of the grey wolves without allowing the population to grow out of control and become a problem for farmers or the residents of California.
Do you think the wolves should be protected and added to the Endangered Species list?