A Great Day in California for Gray Wolves: After initial pushback earlier this year, the California Fish and Game Commission has voted to establish state endangered species act protections for gray wolves under the California Endangered Species Act. With recent discussions by scientists and stakeholders about the imminent return of gray wolves to the Golden State, the Commission has taken an important step towards continued wolf recovery in the Pacific West. The Commission will have a second vote in August to ratify this week’s decision; we encourage the Commissioners to stay on course and to keep wolves protected under the California’s Endangered Species Act.…. We’ll keep you update on voting when it occurs in August here.
Pamela Flick, California representative for Defenders of Wildlife, responded to this win for wolves by saying, “The Commission has really shown leadership in wildlife conservation with this decision, which is terrific news for the future of wolves in our state. Gray wolves are just beginning to make their way back to California and these iconic, highly endangered animals deserve as much protection in our state as the law can provide. We are so grateful that the Fish and Game Commission has voted to establish those protections.” This decision comes on the heels of discovering that a new wolf pack is forming in southern Oregon near the California border – see below!
Wandering Wolf OR-7 Fathers Wolf Pups Just in Time for Father’s Day! According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, after more than two years of searching, the lone wolf OR-7 has found a mate, and he recently fathered at least two pups! Not only did OR-7 finally form a pack, but his pups signify the first known wolf reproduction in the Oregon Cascades since the mid-1940s! Previously, OR-7 had been known for being the first wolf in California since 1924. Longtime advocate of wolf recovery efforts in the country, Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon released a statement saying, “This is great news, but the critical federal protections that have allowed OR-7 to start his new pack are in jeopardy. As we celebrate OR-7 and his new family, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is threatening to disregard science and take the gray wolf off the Endangered Species list.” A decision on the federal delisting of gray wolves will be made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service later this year.
Defenders Cracks Down on Governor Otter’s War on Wolves: This week Defenders of Wildlife launched a comprehensive advertising campaign pressuring Idaho’s Governor “Butch” Otter to end his statewide war on gray wolves. The state demanded a chance to manage the wolves within their borders, but they are blowing it! Since Idaho took over the management of its wolves in 2009, the state’s wolf population has declined 23 percent. Defenders’ “war on wolves” campaign includesradio ads, press statements, infographics, a petition letter to Governor Otter, and a new webpage calling attention to the destruction Idaho has brought to its wolf population. Local shop owners in Boise are already showing their support by hanging posters of our infographic in their shop windows. The “war on wolves” is becoming a media hotspot, generating attention from Huffington Post, CNN, High Country News, Living Green Magazine and Boise Weekly. Click here to see what action you can take to support the campaign and say “NO” to Governor Otter’s senseless and costly war on wolves.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Offers Reward for Information on Wolf Poached in the Bitterroot Valley: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is looking for tips on a wolf that was reportedly poached on Saturday, May 31 in the Burnt Fork area of Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Wildlife biologists estimate that the wolf’s time of death was between 6:00pm and 9:00pm that evening, based on what was recorded by the wolf’s GPS collar. The wolf was collared in Oregon in 2013 and had made its way through Idaho and the Big Hole Valley before arriving in the Bitterroot earlier this month. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.