California releases long-awaited gray wolf conservation plan | SierraSun.com

California releases long-awaited gray wolf conservation plan

Staff report

CDFW captured this image of a gray wolf in August 2015.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking input on its draft conservation plan for gray wolves in the state.

In August, department officials released a photo showing five gray wolf pups joined by a pair of adult wolves roaming around in Northern California's Siskiyou County.

It's marked the third set of photos to emerge since May, in which gray wolves were seen in southeastern Siskiyou County, located northwest of the Truckee-Tahoe region on the southern border of Oregon.

Those photos and other evidence prompted scientists to believe the wolves are among the same pack, dubbed the "Shasta Pack."

In December 2011, the now famous wolf OR-7 made its way into California, last seen wandering toward Oregon more than a year ago.

Wild wolves historically inhabited California, but were destroyed. Prior to the arrival OR-7, the last confirmed wolf in California was in 1924, researchers said.

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The conservation plan released this week is the product of collaboration among Fish and Wildlife scientific and wildlife experts and a diverse stakeholder group pent many hours since 2012 to develop it, officials said.

The group includes Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, California Farm Bureau Federation, Defenders of Wildlife, California Woolgrowers Association, California Deer Association, California Cattlemen's Association and the Center for Biological Diversity, among others.

The deadline for public comments on the draft plan is Feb. 15, 2016. Comments will be accepted via email at wolfplan@wildlife.ca.gov, and snail mail at: Wolf Plan Comments, P.O. Box 26750, San Francisco, CA 94126.

Informational workshops will be held to provide information and hear views about the plan in early 2016 in Yreka, Long Beach and Sacramento.

Read the plan

Visit wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf to download the draft plan and read more about gray wolves.