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Putting Out the Welcome Mat for Gray Wolves in CA

PHOTO: The California Fish and Game Commission is considering whether to protect gray wolves under the California Endangered Species Act. A decision may be announced when the commission meets in Ventura on Wednesday. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

PHOTO: The California Fish and Game Commission is considering whether to protect gray wolves under the California Endangered Species Act. A decision may be announced when the commission meets in Ventura on Wednesday. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


April 15, 2014

VENTURA, Calif. - Wolf advocates in California are urging policymakers to welcome the animals back to the Golden State. The California Fish and Game Commission is expected to announce Wednesday if gray wolves will be getting protections under the California Endangered Species Act.

According to Pamela Flick, California representative for Defenders of Wildlife, it's vitally important that wolves get state protection, especially if the proposal to strip nearly all gray wolves of federal Endangered Species Act protection becomes a reality.

"Wolves may one day return to their rightful place on the California landscape, but, you know, the chances for wolves surviving in California are quickly diminishing with the federal proposal to delist wolves," she declared.

Nearly 90 years ago, wolves were driven into extinction in California, but that all changed when a lone wolf from Oregon roamed into California more than two-and-a-half years ago.

Flick said the visit by that animal, known as OR-7, or Journey, excited wildlife enthusiasts.

"Ten years ago, the idea of gray wolves in California was a faraway dream, but when OR-7 crossed into our state in late December of 2011, his arrival really sparked the imagination of wolf advocates."

OR-7 has continued to roam back and forth between California and Oregon. A rally for wolves will be held Wednesday morning in Ventura before the Fish and Game Commission meeting begins at 8:30 a.m.

More information is at Defenders.org.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA