California releases draft wolf management plan

State to take public input through Feb. 15

A wolf in Yellowstone National Park. (Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park)
How will California manage a growing population of wolves? Photo courtesy Yellowstone National Park.

Staff Report

A new draft wolf management plan for California aims to conserve biologically sustainable populations of the predators in areas where there is adequate habitat, while minimizing conflicts with livestock.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife developed the plan in the past few years after wolves recolonized the far northeastern corner of the state. Wildlife managers say they will communicate to the public that natural dispersal of wolves into and through California is reasonably foreseeable given the expanding populations in the Pacific Northwest.

The draft plan is open for public comment through Feb. 15, and watchdog groups say they’re generally pleased with the first draft. More information on the draft plan and public involvement opportunities is online here.

“We support the plan’s initial emphasis on conservation and management of wolves using nonlethal tools and strategies, but we’re quite concerned about how quickly the plan would allow wolves to be killed,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Science shows that nonlethal deterrence methods are more effective at protecting livestock than killing wolves. We’d like to see the state stick with these proven methods.”

Specifically Weiss said the group is concerned that the state could seek to remove protections and allow killing of wolves after the population reaches the low threshold of just 50 to 75 animals — a number that might not be biologically sustainable in the long run.

The plan proposes a phased adaptive management approach, where after establishment of five wolf packs the state will consider more aggressive management to respond to conflicts.

After establishment of nine packs, consisting of just 50 to 75 wolves, the state will seek to remove endangered species protections. The plan fails to explain why such a small, fragile population should have protections removed, simply citing other states that adopted similar approaches.



2 thoughts on “California releases draft wolf management plan

  1. The return of Ma Cha Shi the Mt. Dog is very important to the Karuk Tribe. My Grandfather Shan Davis, Sr. was a Karuk Tribal Medicine Man. Our Grand mother Dora Davis was a Indian Doctor a (Healer) of the injured and sick on the upper Klamath River. This lone wolf has touched our spiritual being. Ma Cha Shi travels between the real world and the spirit world of the people. All NATIONS in one way or another both honor as well hold the wolf in high esteem. It is the SPIRITUAL factors that I wish to convey to the regulators and the various land user groups. I recently fought a like battle on the Klamath River concerning the Traditional Net Fishery at Ishi Pish Falls. That is recognize the Native Americans that live and know the ways of the returning wolf. Recognize the people of the Klamath River as the true stewards of the land. We can all co-exist! Many years ago I was asked to Bless the return of the wolves at Yellowstone. I have never forgotten that event! I dreamed of the day that Ma Cha Shi would return to our traditional home lands. There BLESSING was delivered two weeks ago.It is essential that the uniformed people and the land users reach an understanding of the wolf and its traditional relationship to the Tribes. Its not just a decoration! Its not something that you should hang on a barb wire fence to show people who the boss is! It touches the living being of the river people.Its is a messenger between the real and spiritual world. Ma Cha Shi the Mt. Dog has equal standing with the otter/deer/elk/bear/and Eagle. It is a BLESSED four legged one that can travel anywhere! Chitcus Karuk Tribal Medicine Man.

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