California grants endangered species protection to gray wolves

California grants endangered species protection to gray wolves

The California Fish & Game Commission recently voted to extend endangered species protection to gray wolves in the state, a move that disappointed many in the agriculture industry.

No wolves are known to exist in California, but their return is quite possible as their population has been growing for the last twenty years after they were re-introduced in and around Yellowstone National Park.

California's wildlife officials voted 3-1 on Wednesday to extend endangered species protection to gray wolves. The officials didn't follow the recommendation of the Department of Fish & Wildlife, which argued that a pending wolf management plan was enough to protect the animals while also allowing flexibility for ranchers and others who say wolves kill their farm animals.

Noelle Cremers, of the California Farm Bureau Federation, said, "I was hopeful that the commission would place a lot of value in that recommendation." The California Farm Bureau Federation is one of the many farming-related organizations that opposed wolves' inclusion in list of endangered species.

But the California Fish & Game Commission claimed that it cautiously held a series of public meetings to make sure that all interested and related parties had a say.

By extending endangered species protection to gray wolves, California successfully joined Washington and Oregon that are already providing safe passage to the wild beast.

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