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California Wolf-protection Decision Postponed 90 Days by Commission

Public Comment Period Will Reopen; New Hearing Set for June

VENTURA, Calif.— After hearing several hours of public testimony from an overflow crowd of more than 200 people and receiving more than 2,600 pages of comments, California Fish and Game commissioners voted on Wednesday to postpone until July their decision on extending state Endangered Species Act protections to gray wolves. In the surprise decision, the commission said the law allowed it the option of deferring the decision for up to 90 days, during which the public-comment period will be reopened and an additional public hearing held June 4 at Fortuna, in Northern California.

“This is a huge victory for gray wolves who are clearly trying to return to California where they lived for generations,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity. “It gives me great hope that rather than simply rubber-stamping the state’s recommendation not to protect wolves, the commissioners wisely decided to take a broader look at making sure wolves get a chance to recover here. I think the Commission realizes that’s what’s right, that’s what Californians want and that’s what the law says.”

The postponement came after a discussion that included consideration of the controversial recommendation by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife that, rather than protecting the wolf under the Act, the Department could consider designating it as a species of special concern and then, as needed, the Commission could enact rules and regulations that would prevent wolves from being killed in California. That option did not sit well with some conservation groups.

Read more.

Learn more about wolves on the West Coast.

Contact: Amaroq Weiss

 
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Media Contacts:
Mike Stark, Communications Director
mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252 ext. 315

Andy Parker, Media Specialist – Endangered Species
aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569

Patrick Sullivan, Media Specialist – Climate Change
psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316

Russ McSpadden, Communications Associate – Media Photos
rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo © Paul S. Hamilton; gray wolf from Imanha pack courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Game