Posts Tagged ‘Gray Wolves’

Gray Wolf gets California Endangered Species Protections!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
OR-7's pups_stephenson_usfws cropped

Two of OR-7’s pups peek out from behind the log. Rogue National Forest. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

Great news for wolves! Early this afternoon, the California State Fish and Game Commission voted three to one to grant protections to Gray Wolves under the California Endangered Species Act.

The decision came after three hours of testimony from nearly two hundred members of the public, many of who were dressed in gray and wearing paper hats shaped and painted like wolves. One especially endearing comment, which made the entire hall smile, was delivered by two-year toddler Madrone Shelton who clearly stated to the Commissioners, “protect wolves.”

Cuteness was in the air when a new photo from the Oregon Department of Wildlife surfaced that verified California’s famous wandering wolf, OR-7 and his new mate, had successfully sired a litter of puppies!

This announcement further cemented the need to list the wolf under the California Endangered Species Act. It is likely that OR-7 and his family will travel back into California once the pups are old enough, and protections under the law will help ensure their future safety.

The serendipitous humor of OR-7’s activities could not be better timed. Back in February, the very day that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told Commissioners that listing was not warranted because there were no wolves present, OR-7 jumped the border back into California; and again, as if on cue, today’s news of OR-7’s puppies happened within minutes of the Department’s stating that there is still not a breeding pair of wolves in California and that the other wolf that has been spotted with OR-7, may not be female.

We think OR-7 was trying to tell us something—that California is wolf country and that we will have wolves within our state in the very near future, so be prepared!

Meanwhile, the process for developing a California Wolf Management Plan is still underway. EPIC, and other groups representing a diverse set of interests, are helping the Department of Fish and Wildlife develop a management plan that balances the biological needs of wolves and the needs of society.

For more than two years, we have worked to get protections put in place for Gray Wolves. We could not have done it without you. Together we have sent more than 4,000 comments to Commissioners and today we were delivered a sweet and satisfying victory for wildlife protection.

Let us celebrate this announcement by sending out a collective howl for the future of California’s wolves, “Ahh-wooooooo!”

Wolf Pack 2

Wolf Night Teach-in & Fish and Game Commission Hearing

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

wolf-event-flyer-final-CS5Join us for our “Wolf Night and Teach-in” on Monday, June 2nd, from 6-8pm at the D-Street Neighborhood Center (1301 D Street in Arcata), featuring a film screening, guest speakers, sign making, and tips on speaking to the Commission. This event is designed to prepared people for the upcoming California Fish and Game Commission hearing. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

The California Fish and Game Commission is coming to Fortuna and wants to hear from you. Attend the hearing in person on Wednesday, June 4th, at 8:30am at the Fortuna River Lodge (1800 Riverwalk Drive in Fortuna), and ask Commissioners to give wolves full state protection under the California Endangered Species Act. Come early for a rally starting at 7:30am, bring signs and wear gray to show your support for listing.

All events are kid friendly, free and open to the public.

Hosted by: the Environmental Protection Information Center, Bird Ally X, Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, Center for Biological Diversity, Northcoast Environmental Center.

Speak up for the Future of California’s Gray Wolves!

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

A remote camera captured this photo of OR7, aka Journey, on May 3, 2014, in Jackson County, Oregon.

Take Action: Urge the California Fish and Game Commission to list the Gray Wolf under the California Endangered Species Act.

It is only a matter of time before wolves fully reestablish themselves in California and they need the fullest protection under the law to be able to be able to recover.

We know of one occasional visitor, iconic wandering wolf OR-7 also known as “Journey,” but there maybe other wild wolves in the state that we don’t know about. Coming from Oregon, these charismatic predators will disperse into California’s long unoccupied, high-quality habitat full of deer and other game. The return of wolves to California’s landscape will bring invaluable benefits to ecosystems, and conservation of these apex predators is a must.

Good News:

Lone wolf, OR-7, doesn’t appear to be so lonely any more. Remote cameras in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon indicate that Journey has found a mate and the two have likely denned with puppies. In his travels, Journey has staked out a territory in southwest Oregon’s Cascade mountain range with occasional forays into California. It won’t be long before this new pack travels back into California!

Click here to read EPIC’s comments from March 28, 2014 to the Commission.

Click here to read EPIC’s supplemental comments to the California Fish and Game Commission, May 22, 2014.


Wolf Recovery an Imperative for Ecosystem Restoration

Monday, April 28th, 2014
Remote camera photo from July 21, 2013, documenting three pups in the newly formed Mt Emily pack. -Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

Remote camera photo from July 21, 2013, documenting three pups in the newly formed Mt Emily pack.
-Oregon Fish and Wildlife-

The importance of recovery of viable populations of wolves on the landscapes of Northern California has been clear to EPIC since before the first time the famous lone wolf “Journey” crossed over into California two years ago. Since that moment, EPIC has dedicated important time and resources to engaging in stakeholder processes and endangered species advocacy in order to contribute to a broadly shared conservation community objective of seeing wolves return to the wild and thrive in California. Our organization is part of a petition to the California Fish and Game Commission to have the gray wolf listed as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), and North Coast wildlife advocates will have an unprecedented opportunity to provide public comment in support of CESA protections for the Gray Wolf when the Fish and Game Commission meets on Wednesday, June 4th at the River Lodge in Fortuna. EPIC has also had an active role in a nationwide coalition challenging the scientifically unfounded and clearly untimely proposal to remove Federal Endangered Species Act protections for the wolf throughout the majority of the predator’s current and potential range in the continental United States.

These advocacy actions for the wolf are imperative. At EPIC we see wolf recovery as an important goal of its own accord, as well as being an indispensable watermark for measuring progress towards objectives of true restoration of ecosystems in Northern California. What has become clear to those of us working for the wolf is that wolf recovery is an absolute necessity in California because bringing back the wolf would be one of the most attainable landscape level wildlife restoration accomplishments for working towards the reestablishment of natural processes, including predator-prey relationships, in our extended bioregion.

When comparing wolf recovery with the recovery of wild salmon runs, we believe that there is strong evidence that getting the wolf back onto the landscape is probably going to be much easier than bringing back the salmon. Thus, if we cannot as a society bring back the wolf it is highly unlikely that we will bring back the salmon. And taking this a step further, if we cannot bring back the wolf, and thus cannot bring back the salmon, it is pretty much impossible to contemplate a time in the future when we will be able to restore populations of grizzly bear to California wildlands.

Bringing back the griz would certainly require an amazing amount of preparation and planning, as well as commitment and willpower, on a cultural and political level. We now understand better than ever before, however, that if we cannot succeed in bringing the wolf back to California, then it is impossible to even contemplate bringing back the griz. Thus, wolf recovery is the moment of reckoning for Californian’s, because as goes the wolf so will go the grizzly. With the icon of the grizzly an integral part of state symbolism, especially with the grizzly is so prominently displayed on the state flag, this is not an irrelevant matter. What does it mean to have a world renowned symbol of wildlife on our flag when there is a total absence of vision or commitment on the part of California residents and our state government to make the griz more than just a colorful symbol and to restore the great bear to it’s rightful place on the landscape? This is why at EPIC we believe that recovery of the wolf is so important, because it comes at the crossroads of the myth vs. the reality of our wild California, one in which wildlife is glorified, but little is done to rectify the disappearance and absence of that wildlife from our ecosystems.

It is with a wry smile that we say then that we must bring back the wolf, we must bring back the salmon, and we must bring back the griz — and if we cannot commit to bringing back the griz, let’s get it off our flag! Let’s stop playing make believe games about how wild our state really isn’t. Now is the time. Bring back the griz– or get it off the flag. And the first step to keeping the grizzly on our flag and eventually someday back on to our landscapes is to show our commitment to having top predators in the wildlands of our state, and to commit fully to wolf recovery now. There is not a moment to lose.

SAVE THE DATE! California Fish and Game Commission will take public comment regarding the petition to have the Gray Wolf listed as “endangered” under the California Endangered Species Act when the Commission meets at the River Lodge in Fortuna on Wednesday, June 4. Plan now to come out on June 4th in Fortuna and “howl” for restoring wolves to California wildlands!

Gray Wolf Told to Wait

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt its April 16th, 2014 meeting in Ventura, California, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to delay its decision whether or not to list Gray Wolves as “endangered” under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) for an additional 90-days in order to further consider evidence and testimony.

Recent legislation modifying the California Fish and Game Code allows the Commission to delay its decision-making for 90-days if it is necessary for the Commissioners to further consider its decision.

The Commission will hear further testimony and accept additional comments on the Gray Wolf listing decision at its next regularly-scheduled meeting on June 4th, in Fortuna, California. The Commission will schedule a special hearing date for July, prior to the expiration of the 90-day deadline, to make a final decision whether or not to list the wolf under CESA.

EPIC, along with the Center for Biological Diversity and others filed a petition to list the Gray Wolf as “endangered” under CESA in 2012. In February 2014, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife issued its Status Report for the Gray Wolf, recommending that the Commission not list the species under CESA, citing a lack of scientific certainty. Comments from EPIC and others have challenged the Department’s findings and have encouraged the Commission to list the wolf as “endangered’ under CESA.

Listing of the Gray Wolf under CESA is essential to the survival and recovery of the species in California. With a lack of state protections, and the looming potential of de-listing the wolf at the federal level clearly drives home the urgent need to protect Gray Wolves under CESA.

The Commission has indefinitely extended its public comment period regarding the Gray Wolf CESA listing. Please consider supporting the listing of the wolf under CESA by sending letters to the Commission at: [email protected].


EPIC in review

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Holm_Fay_date2008-04-09_time16.02.45_IMG_8035 copyMuch of EPIC’s work involves staying up-to-date with local, regional and statewide natural resource management decisions and providing public comments to guide decision making in the interest of the best available science and with conservation in mind.

EPIC staff members have contributed the following comments and letters of support in the local, state and national environmental movements over the last few weeks:

*Letter to support the listing of Gray Wolves under the California Endangered Species Act

*Comments regarding waiver of waste discharge requirements related to timber harvest activities

*Letter urging agencies to end ongoing rollbacks of state and federal environmental protections for the Bay-Delta ecosystem

*Letter seeking to improve transparency and develop ecological performance measures for Timber Harvest Plans

*Letter to support a ban to keep super toxic rat poison out of environmentally sensitive areas

*Letter supporting bill that would free Orca Whales from California Amusement Parks

*Letter to ban fracking in Humboldt County

*Comments on Timber Harvest Plan that would log Spotted Owl Habitat

*Letter urging the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to uphold the California’s Ban on Hound Hunting

Take Action Today to Protect Wolves in California

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

brenders_-_den_mother-wolf_family_premier_edition Take Action: Gray Wolves in California may be left without state protections under the California Endangered Species Act if the California Fish and Game Commission were to follow the recommendation of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to not list the species.

On February 5, 2014, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released it’s final status report for the Gray Wolf. It advised the California Fish and Game Commission to not list Gray Wolves as “endangered,” as requested by a petition from EPIC and a coalition of other groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity, because there are currently no wolves in California.

The Department is instead recommending alternative measures to protect wolves. These measures include:

  • The designation of the wolf as a “special species of concern;”
  • The existence of the wolf stake-holder group that is producing a Gray Wolf Management Plan;
  • Commission actions under the existing California Fish and Game Code that would prevent “take” of the Gray Wolf, even in response to depredation of livestock; and
  • The possibility of listing the Gray Wolf under California Endangered Species Act at a later date.

These measures are considered inadequate by our staff at EPIC because they fail to afford the fullest protection of California endangered species law to these imperiled species.

While the Department is charged with conducting the status review, and preparing the status report with recommendations to the Commission, the Commission itself is the final authority as to whether or not listing of the Gray Wolf as “endangered” is warranted. The Commission is tentatively scheduled to hear the Gray Wolf listing and make a final determination at it’s April 2014 meeting in Ventura, California.

Meanwhile, the Federal proposal to “de-list” the gray wolf in the lower 48 states has hit a substantial snag with the recent release of the peer review report regarding the scientific foundations of the “de-listing” proposal. Scientists clearly state in the peer review report that the “de-listing” proposal is not based on the best available science.

For California, the decision as to whether the Gray Wolf warrants state protections must be informed by public opinion as well as the best available science, both of which largely support the “endangered” listing.

Click here to tell the Commission to protect tomorrow’s legacy by listing the Gray Wolf as a California Endangered Species today.