It’s Official: Wolves Are Protected In California!


OR7  – dual citizen of California and Oregon (:

October 9, 2014

Even though, officially, there are no known gray wolves in California, the state extended endangered species protection to canis lupus today. This is critically important, since the USFWS plans to rubber stamp a national wolf delisting plan, removing all federal protections for wolves in the lower 48. Without state protections, wolves across the country will face tremendous risk.

Gray wolves are subjected to persecution in Montana, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, even Washington and Oregon, where they remain listed. Wyoming wolves, until recently, could be shot on sight in 80% of the state. Last week, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson,  placed Wyoming wolves  back on the Endangered Species List. Her ruling was the result of a lawsuit challenging the state’s faulty “wolf management” plan, specifically the predator zone, where wolves could be killed by any means, 365 days of the year, seven days a week. Mexican gray wolves face an uphill battle on a daily basis, as their tiny, inbred numbers struggle to survive, surrounded by thousands of cattle in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery area and hostile ranchers.

Now that wolves are protected in California they can safely disperse from other states, as the iconic Oregon wolf OR7 did ( so named because he was the seventh wolf to be collared in Oregon.) OR7 made history when he set paws on California soil in December 2011, the first wolf to officially do so since the 1920’s, when canis lupus was eradicated from the Golden State, almost ninety years ago.

OR7 dispersed from the Imnahas, his natal pack in Eastern Oregon. OR7’s mother is famous in her own right. Swimming the Snake River from Idaho into Oregon in 2008, B-300 and her mate became Oregon’s first breeding pair in almost sixty years. Her son went on to become even more famous and provided the impetus for the protection of gray wolves in California.

OR7’s Mother B-300 (Sophie) making her way into NE Oregon 2008


ODFW caught the ten member Imnaha wolf pack walking single file through the eastern Oregon woods with at least six pups!! Leading the pack is alpha female B-300. OR7 was born in April  2009, so he’s somewhere in this video. Where’s Waldo? 

OR7 logged thousands of miles on his tracking collar, as he searched for a mate. His arrival in California set off an international sensation. OR7, also known as Journey, moved back and forth between California and Oregon, before finding a mate and settling down in Oregon, now with pups in tow.  If it wasn’t for this amazing wolf it’s unlikely wolves would now be protected in California. It was OR7’s presence in a state long devoid of two of its top predators, the grizzly bear and wolf, that sparked the conversation leading to California’s  decision to right the wrong of almost a century ago. Thank you California. Now lets work on returning your state animal, the grizzly bear, to its native home.

OR7 Pup

One of OR7’s Pups ( ODFW 2014)


California Fish and Game Commission ratifies gray wolf findings

The California Fish and Game Commission held a meeting in Mount Shasta on Wednesday, drawing a crowd for its decision to ratify findings supporting the listing of the gray wolf as an endangered species in California.

By David Smith
Posted Oct. 9, 2014 @ 9:57 am

Alpha male Imnaha pack

Alpha male Imnaha Pack 2011


Top Photo: Courtesy Wiki

Middle Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Bottom Photo: Courtesy ODFW

Top Video: Courtesy YouTube ORWild

Bottom Video: Courtesy YouTube ODFW

Posted in: Wolf Wars, California wolves

Tags: California wolves, Oregon wolves, OR7, B-300, Imnaha pack, California Fish and Wildlife, California lists gray wolves, ODFW

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24 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’d like to believe….

    I’d like to believe that California would be among the first to put the interests of wild life before the corporate and Public lands ‘profits’. We protect our apex predators, more so I think than any other state.

    I was astonished to hear California wildlife agencies stand up to a crowd of frothing ‘ranchers’, threatening Journey with death if they ever saw him. So different from agencies in other states that capitulate and take the path of least resistance.

    His travels through Northern California were exciting and incredibly uplifting (though we were never allowed to see him in ‘real time’). I have a friend who runs a wild horse and burro sanctuary in Lassen County; we were tickled to find that Journey had come within a quarter mile of her property.

    I’d like to believe…a future for wolves in my state. I know this train of thought rambles a bit; it’s hard to express either how or why this touches me so deeply. Perhaps, with hope for wolves in this state, there might be due consideration given to other important species as well.


  2. Well good for CA. now that there are no Grey Wolves left, I guess it’s time to put them on the endangered list, so now if we can get all the wolves to come to CA for protection? So over whelmed with the horror of the killings of these beautiful wild dogs, I don’t know who,or what to trust anymore..


  3. GREAT WORK JAMIE! thank you bruce in boston


  4. I am a California “native” as were my parents and as a child we lived in La Quinta and my father used to give me a piggy-back ride to the back door, before going to bed, to say good night to the Coyote’s. I assume that set the stage for a rabid animal rights adult! I have admired, loved and worried about Wolves and all animals my whole life and can remember reading Never Cry Wolf a long, long time ago. Also remember seeing a magazine titled Alaska back in the early 70’s and being appalled @their treatment of Wolves – I was so incensed I wrote a letter to the editor of Alaska magazine w/ some very unkind words and offered to purchase a hunting lic. to “hunt from a helicopter” the fat, old, white jerks killing Wolves. I don’t think they had ever received a letter quite like that and he was incensed responded w/some nasty comments! The point of the story is not much has changed in over 40years! I cannot believe anyone could kill any animal and do not understand the desire to do so – HOW can they? Thank god for California and a Governor that cares and a public that (so far) has supported many animal protection ballot propositions much to the dismay of Safari Club and their asshole buddies – even getting rid of that fat F&G guy who went to Idaho and bravely chased down a Mt. Lion w/ dogs, treed him and killed him and than took a picture grinning holding a beautiful “dead” trophy. The Fish and Game now called Fish and Wildlife is finally behaving as all agencies in charge of such important decisions should follow I worry about OR7 and his family all the time and am afraid he will be killed – there are a lot of nut jobs all over California – the scary kind that have Coyote killing contests and threatened (the local sheriff threatened!) anyone that tried to stop their “right” to kill whatever they want – unfortunately, the wild life for the most part lives among the killers and not in the city where they have some support. What a horrible, horrible, horrible disappointment Obama has been – as bad as the republicans – no regard for environment or the animals. I can’t wait until he is gone – hopefully Hillary will run, win and clean house!


    • Wow!!!! Thank you! I always say that California is our most progressive state. Some safe places for wolves now.


  5. Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    jinxx xoxo


  6. So much for review of scientific documentation, our govenment is as two faced as they get.


  7. How much proof does USFWS need to prove that wolves should not be delisted? Wyoming had them classified as varmints in 80% of the state. Montana’s new rules allow ranchers to shoot any wolf they see as “threatening”, which means any wolf they see year around, on top of extended trapping and hunting seasons. Idaho was having wolf and coyote contests for cash and hired a hunter to kill a couple of packs arguing that it is in defense of elk herds, and proposes wolf baiting to kill more wolves for sportsmen and elk farming in the wilderness. Wisconsin was using dogs. MT-WY-ID-WI are obviously marginalizing this apex predator which is not good ecology for trophic cascade effects; while hunters (sports killing) and ranchers and these state wildlife agencies have unhealthy effects on ecology. We are rapidly getting back to the 1800’s with wolf massacring states. Wolf management–they do not need general management, should not be by states. The states mentioned are too hostile, biased. colloquial in attitudes and controlled by historic hostile elements. They are promoting two myths despite contrary evidence: Wolves do not kill too many elk and their impact on cattle is less than 0.002%. These states are run by rancher and hunter folklore, myths and lies and their ilk in the state wildlife agencies and legislatures, with so far the only exception being OR and somewhat WA. OR is the model wolf management state, allowing the killing of only chronic offenders, not general wolf killing, and requiring that nonlethal management be in place and tried. The throwback (1800’s) wolf massacre states are mismanaging wolves.


    Landers,Rich, “Court reinstates endangered status for Wyoming wolves,” The Spokesman-Review. 23 September 2014.

    Click to access infographic-wolves_earthjustice.pdf

    MT Stock Loss Board

    MT FWP

    Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

    The Wolf Almanac by Robert Busch

    The Hidden Life of Wolves by Jamie and Jim Dutcher

    Exposing the Big Game by Jim Robertson


  8. Fire the Wildlife Agencies (USFWS, state agencies, USDA Wildlife Services, BLM)
    The US government has long been in the wildlife killing business. It offered bounties on predators, poisoned and gassed prairie dogs, allowed the near extinction of bison, prairie dogs, black footed ferret, the wolf (wolf bounties), wolverine, and marginalized the grizzly, lion, and many others. The war on coyotes has been unrelenting. Hunters and ranchers, bedfellows of the wildlife agencies nearly wiped out most wildlife. With the advent of wildlife agency hunting regulations, the hunter has been somewhat contained; and now even count themselves as “conservationists” because they have essentially farmed game sport (recreational killing opportunities) animals and marginalized predators on the erroneous rationale of less predators to share game with the more game (recreational killing opportunities). Instead of an emphasis on wilderness and wildlife ecology, USDA Wildlife Services kills nearly 4 million animals a year and state agencies millions more in recreational killing opportunities and “management”. State wildlife agencies use hunters to “manage” “sporting” game and predators. Ranchers may tolerate big bird and other sport game birds, elk, bison and deer and antelope; but are very hostile to predators. Ranchers and farmers destroy wildlife habitat with the plow and grazing not only on private land but ever more and more on public land facilitated by the US government in leased grazing, leased farming and leases to extraction industries avenues. Encroachers on public land often, in turn, adding insult added to injury, asks the federal government, such as Wildlife Service, to kill animals that are convincing their encroachment. Conservation efforts and new agencies such as ESA and EPA and private conservation agencies have and are battling for balanced ecologies, the predators, and many animals of no concern to sportsmen, ranchers and farmers, and extraction industries and development interests. Agencies, like the USFWS often cave into ranchers hunters, state wildlife agencies, conservative state legislatures, a government tradition of really prioritizing those interests. The arguments that threatens remaining wilderness and wildlife is as old as civilization, making a buck by the traditional enemies of wildlife. What is not appreciated enough is what little is left: In the US roughly 2.6 % in the lower 48 and another 2.5 % in Alaska; and this is under continuing and unremitting pressure from, guess what, the traditional enemies of wilderness and wildlife, still too often facilitated by the wildlife agencies. Private conservation agencies often find themselves in conflict with wildlife agencies who should be on their side and the side of preserving wilderness, balanced wildlife ecology, and the predators who are essential to the balanced wildlife ecology. The wildlife agencies, state and federal, need firing and revamping to emphasize wildlife preservation, wildlife viewing, and a heritage of wilderness and wildlife in what is left of the available habitat. There is something terribly wrong when we see wildlife agencies aligning with ranchers, farmers, “sportsmen”, conservative state legislatures. It is time for major upheavals of them, their agendas, their heads and replacing them with priorities on preserving, recovering, protecting what is left of wilderness and wildlife, not siding with the traditional enemies of wildlife and wilderness (ranching, hunters, conservative state legislatures and populace, extraction industries, and development and such parochial ilk that echoes their sentiments)

    Wolves do not purchase hunting licenses, and most state wildlife managers draw their pay from revenue derived from sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. That, in brief, is what is wrong with wildlife management in America….Ted Williams, 1986

    Wolves do not purchase hunting licenses, and most state wildlife managers draw their pay from revenue derived from sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses. That, in brief, is what is wrong with wildlife management in America….Ted Williams, 1986

    “To look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul.” Aldo Leopold

    “Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification.”

    ― Farley Mowat, naturalist, conservationist and autho
    r of Never Cry Wolf


    Landers,Rich, “Court reinstates endangered status for Wyoming wolves,” The Spokesman-Review. 23 September 2014.–wolf-kill-brag/article_

    Click to access infographic-wolves_earthjustice.pdf


  9. WA, OR, now CA have conservation minded emphasis; then there is bat crap crazy WY, ID, MT, WI. I feel a bias developing in me: I think it is anti-red. I was leaning toward red for my next truck, but may have to go green.


  10. Thankyou California!!! Wolves are majestic!!!!


  11. Thank goodness, CA said NO to the, foaming at the mouth, cattle ranchers. There are a couple of people I would like to thank because I know how hard they have worked with CA Fish and Wildlife Services to win their votes. Camilla Fox ( Coyote Project), Fauna Thompson, Brian Nowicki (Center for Biological Diversity), and the folks from Humane Society of the US, and Defenders of Wildlife. There were more I should thank but I remember these people/organizations from the Sacramento CA Fish and Wildlife Services meetings.


  12. This is great news California!! Thank you, I hope this will start a trend through out this country & beyond!!




  14. Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game.


  15. Reblogged this on Coalition for American Wildbirds.


  16. […] It’s Official: Wolves Are Protected In California! […]


  17. Very good news !


  18. Yes! Victory goal. I remember 0R7 from when he turned into a father.. Aww memories, 😉 and now we see him in California???? He traveled. Amazing news, nice update on my little favourite 0R7 ^.^ and… Yay on wolves being protected in California!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy,happy,happy so so very happy!!!! 🙂

    For the wolves, for the supporters.
    #HowlingForJustice. ❤


  19. Encouraging and amazing news!! Thank you so much California.
    Hopeful that other states will follow.


  20. Great news!!! ♥


  21. Kudos to California for giving gray wolves the protection that they need! Here’s hoping that wolves make a successful recovery in the Golden State and that the state sets a good model for how wolf recovery and management should be handled!


  22. […] It’s Official: Wolves Are Protected In California! […]


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