June 5, 2014

California protects gray wolf

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

Yesterday, the California Fish & Game Commission voted 3 – 1 to list the gray wolf as a protected species under the California Endangered Species Act.  The decision is particularly momentous given (1) the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s recommendation not to list the wolf, in part because there is currently no stable, established wolf population in the state, and (2) the pending federal proposal to delist the wolf from the federal Endangered Species Act.  I would not be surprised if ranchers and others who will be hurt by a resurgent wolf population in California sue to overturn the listing.  (N.B. This AP article says that the listing saves the wolf in California from open hunting season, but that’s not quite right, as the gray wolf (outside of the Northern Rockies and Northern Great Lakes) remains protected under the federal ESA).

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