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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