Wolves in California?
Wolves were driven into extinction in California some time in the 1920s. They were wiped out by hunters and trappers due to the prevailing notion that wolves were a great threat to livestock. Now one of the wild wolves in Oregon has been tracked and found to be on a southern course towards California and may be just 30 miles from the border.
In the recent era, discussions about the possibility of reintroducing wolves in California have been conducted. A research study in 2001 found habitat in northern California and southern Oregon – the Klamath-Siskiyou and Modoc Plateau – could support 470 wild wolves.
A very small number of wild wolves have been living in Oregon since they roamed in from Idaho, where they have experienced a resurgence due to legal protections, even though at times their populations have been reduced by legal annual hunts.
“It’s actually a reason to celebrate. I didn’t think I’d see it in my lifetime,” said a Defenders of Wildlife representative. (Source: SacBee) DOF supports reintroduction of wolves to California.The California Dept. of Game and Fish has been working on a plan which recognizes the possibility a wolf or wolves from Oregon could wander into California. “There’s a very high probability, in the next few years, that a wolf will enter California,” explained the man who is managing the plan for the department, Mark Stopher. (Source: SacBee)
A research study found wolves in Yellowstone are associated with about $35 million dollars a year in tourism revenue, due to the large number of park visitors who the desire to see them. If the California government allows a wolf population to live within the state again, perhaps they will also be associated with a particular range or national park. Klamath National Forest might be a candidate for a reintroduction zone, but at this point saying so is merely speculation. This area is about 40 miles north of Mt. Shasta, and is a popular destination for tourists.
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