The future of gray wolves in California is hanging in the balance. California advocates for the animals now have to wait 90 days before learning if the wolves will be listed as endangered and be protected.
Ranchers and state wildlife officials are opposing their protection.
The five members of California Fish and Game Commission, voted unanimously to hold off making a decision until they can get a better take on the public’s opinion about protecting the species, which has shown signs of a comeback after being killed off in the 1920’s.
The final decision on their protection is due by the end of this week, after the F&G Commission holds a public hearing to get feedback about whether they should protect wolves under the state’s Endangered Species Act.
— RJ Hayden (@Wulalowe) April 16, 2014
What should be considered as well are the full-time staff biologists and other non-political employees who recommended that wolves get consideration for legal protection last August.
— KCBS 740 AM/106.9 FM (@KCBSNews) April 16, 2014
This decision should also be given serious consideration after they were brought to extinction in California. However, their comeback can be attributed to one wolf, which around December 28, 2011 (via tracking device), wandered 700 miles from northeastern Oregon into the northern California county of Siskiyou. He was the first confirmed wolf in California in over 85 years, and became the focus of the future of wolves in the state.
A group of school kids nicknamed the meandering wolf “Journey” because he lives between Oregon and California. Nobody is really sure where he’ll settle down but Journey needs protection so that their population can exist once again.
Wolves were quite common in a big part of California, where they played an important role in the food chain. During the 20th century, the government extermination programs began, driven by the livestock industry, driving wolves to extinction in the state.
By the 1920s, there were hardly any wolves left in the continental United States, much less California.
Since wolves were brought to Yellowstone National Park in the1990s, scientists have documented that the benefits to the park’s wildlife and vegetation survival and well being, were tremendous.
There are still hundreds of square miles of habitat left for wolves. They will come back, but only if we let them. They will need protection from the outright slaughter that drove them out of existence in the first place.
Gray Wolf listing petition. Personalized comments can be sent to the California Fish and Game Commission at [email protected] before April 16th
— Heather (@cannyhighlander) April 13, 2014
They are our dog’s ancestors, they are an integral part of planet earth, and they deserve their place in the world.
Image via YouTube