21 August 2015Written by Melanie Gade with contributions from Courtney Sexton and Haley McKey
Gray Wolves Love California… That’s Why They’ve Come Home! We couldn’t be more excited to learn and share wonderful news about California’s new resident wolf pack. Our hopes for restoring wolves to the Golden State have been steadily building since “OR-7” first visited in 2011, and now it looks like they are coming true! Yesterday the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released photographic evidence of a new pack of gray wolves established in northern California. The pack has been named the “Shasta Pack” and consists of two adults and five pups, all captured on camera. The pups are approximately three to four months old and all appear to be healthy. This news comes just weeks after officials announced sightings of a suspected wolf caught on trial cameras in May and July. The presence of a whole pack in California affirms that wolves know there is suitable habitat in the state and are ready to use it! And California is ready for wolves! Last year’s California listed wolves as endangered under its state Endangered Species Act, indicating that the state is ready and willing to protect this iconic species as soon as they cross state lines.
The most important thing to remember as we welcome wolves back to the Golden State is that we must help people and livestock live with them in harmony. As Defenders’ California Representative Pam Flick recently wrote, “California, along with Oregon and Washington state, has an important role to play in setting the standard for managing wolves in a more principled, ethical and sustainable manner, avoiding the ruinous path followed by other western states where slaughtering wolves is considered wildlife management. I believe California can lead the way to peaceful wolf restoration and recovery.”