OR-7 gets state protections – OR-7, California’s lone wolf, can breathe a sigh of relief. On Wednesday, the state Fish and Game Commission voted 3-0 in favor of moving forward with a petition to list gray wolves under California’s Endangered Species Act. That means wolves will get immediate protection while Department of Fish and Game completes a full status review.
For the time being, OR-7 and any other wolves that might wander in California are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act as well. But those protections are likely to disappear if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues a delisting later this year. Additional protections are needed to ensure the long-term recovery of wolves in the Golden State. Read our press release here.
California Department of Fish and Game will now conduct a thorough status review, and a final listing decision will be made next year.
Wedge Pack backlash – Apparently, we’re not the only ones who think Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife acted hastily to remove the Wedge Pack last week. State Sen. Kevin Ranker, chairman of the Senate Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee, openly criticized the department and a local rancher for not working to find a better nonlethal solution. Washington’s Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public meeting this afternoon to figure out what went wrong. You can stream the meeting live from the Seattle Times’ website starting at 1 p.m. Pacific.
Wood River rancher pitches in for reward – Setting differences aside is the key to good collaborative partnerships. At our year-end meeting last week for the Wood River Wolf Project, the Flat Top Ranch offered to match Defenders with $500 for a reward in connection to the poisoning of two dogs in the area. Ranch owner John Peavey says there are better ways to deal with wolves than resorting to poison. “The introduction of wolves has presented our community with many challenges,” said Peavey. “We must meet them within the framework of our laws. Those responsible need to be brought to justice.” (Read more in the Idaho Mountain Express and NBC News.)
Flat Top is the same ranch that lost sheep last spring to wolves because of lambing practices that prevented the use of nonlethal deterrents. Since then, our Wood River Wolf Project team has been helping the Flat Top herders implement nonlethal strategies to successfully protect their sheep from predation.
The hunt is on – Hunters are making quick work of wolves across the Northern Rockies, where the season is now open in three states. The first wolf was killed in Wyoming on opening day on Monday, and another five had been killed as of Wednesday afternoon. As of yesterday, seven wolves had been killed in Montana, including one near Glacier National Park where the season is now closed. Twenty-three wolves have been killed so far in Idaho, bringing the grand total for season to 36 in the three states.