Public input sought on proposed gray wolf listing
• California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Attention: Gray Wolf Status Report.
1812 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95811.
Submit a hard copy and a digital/ electronic copy if submitting by surface mail.
The lone male gray wolf known officially as "OR7," and unofficially as Journey, was tracked Thursday traveling through eastern Tehama County.
Now a debate on whether to place Journey, and others of his kind if there are any in California, on the state's endangered species list is growing louder.
In October, the California Fish and Wildlife Commission accepted for consideration a petition submitted to list the gray wolf as threatened or endangered.
This would offer more protections to the gray wolf into the state. The protection would fall under the state's Endangered Species Act.
The Tehama County County Counsel's office received a public notice from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Thursday requesting information regarding the petition.
This isn't the first time Journey has wandered into Tehama County, over the past year he has made this venture on several occasions.
The return of the wolf (Canis lupus) to the state following an 88-year absence, has motivated a wealth of heated debate among state officials, livestock ranchers, and environmentalists.
Journey is completely ignorant to the fact he is the center this debate as he roams the wilds of northern California and southern Oregon.
At 21⁄2 years old, Journey entered the state from Oregon on Dec. 28, 2011.
Wearing a GPS radio collar, the gray wolf is tracked by state biologists at all times.
The only gray wolf known to be living wild in the state, just about everyone has an opinion as to whether Journey is a danger to man and his livelihood, or man and his livelihood is a danger to the wolf.
Since 1973, the gray wolf has been federally listed as an endangered species, but the US Fish and Wildlife Service has removed this protection from many areas of the country, and has turned management of the gray wolf over to some individual states. This has already occurred in Wyoming and several other states amid strong opposition by animal rights activist groups.
The state's Endangered Species Act requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife to notify affected and interested parties that the commission has accepted the petition and is seeking information and comments that will help it in evaluating the petition and deciding whether or not to adopt the listing proposal.
Because the commission accepted the petition for consideration, the gray wolf is now listed as a "candidate for listing."
That leaves Fish and Wildlife 12 months to gather information, evaluate that information, and report back to the commission on whether or not the threatened or endangered listing is warranted.
The public notice from the Department of Fish and Wildlife asks that anyone with data or comments on the historical or current status of the gray wolf, be it biological, management, distribution, abundance, threats, habitat or other factors, to submit that information to the department.
Information received by May 6, will be considered by the department for incorporation in the department's final report to the commission.