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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

PROJECT COYOTE, THE CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY and other environmental groups were not able to get the California Game Commission to cancel a Coyote killing contest scheduled for this weekend in Modoc County............It is legal for hunters to kill wildlife that cause crop and livestock damage in California............With the lone Oregon Wolf still wandering in northern part of the state(OR7) and with it being protected under the federal endangered species act,,,,,,,,,,,,many people fear that hunters can easily mistake the Wolf for a Coyote and therefore the hunt should be canceled...........As PROJECT COYOTE President, Camilla Fox states so correctly-----"the hunt is inhumane, and wanton(Coyote) slaughter is contrary to scientific wildlife management practices that show the predators play an important vermin-control role in the ecosystem"

California state game commission won't intervene in controversial coyote hunting contest

The Associated PressBy The Associated Press

or7.jpgView full sizeIn this May 8 photo, provided by the California Department of Fish and Game, OR-7, the Oregon wolf that has trekked across two states looking for a mate, is seen on a sagebrush hillside in Modoc County, Calif. 

The State Game Commission failed to intervene in a controversial coyote hunting contest, although members did ask for a legal opinion on whether the board has authority to regulate contests in the future.

Hunters are set to fan across Modoc County on Saturday and Sunday to see who can kill the most coyotes in a contest sponsored by a gun club. The winner will get a silver belt buckle.

Animal welfare advocates argued before the Fish and Game Commission that the hunt is inhumane, and wanton slaughter is contrary to scientific wildlife management practices that show the predators play an important vermin-control role in the ecosystem.

"It's ethically indefensible and suggests wildlife has no value other than targets in an outdoor shooting gallery," said Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote.
Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham said it's legal in California for hunters to kill wildlife that causes crop or livestock damage.

The board took no action because the hunt was not on the agenda. However, newly elected commission President Michael Sutton asked staff to clarify the board's authority to regulate the contests.

Fox said after the meeting that it's an open question whether coyotes to be targeted along the California border with Oregon have caused damage.
"It's a question the department should be looking at. How often is damage demonstrated?" Fox said.

A letter previously sent to the agency said 20 organizations want to protect a wolf known as OR7, which became the first in the state in nearly a century when it wandered across Oregon and into California a year ago. They fear other wolves could be in the area.

Opponents of the coyote hunt fear that participants won't be able to readily tell the difference between a coyote and a wolf. OR7 is larger than a coyote, but because it mingles with coyotes, animal advocates wrote letters and collected petition signatures asking the state to call off the coyote hunt.

The gray wolf is a federally protected species in California, and wildlife authorities are in the process of determining whether state protections should be offered as well.
Bonham said wildlife officials will be at the hunt to educate participants about the physical differences between a wolf and a coyote.

The ability to hunt predators is important to ranchers, said Margo Parks of theCalifornia Cattlemen's Association. She said coyotes are responsible for $4 million in damages annually. "OR7 is a poorly disguised excuse to further chip away at hunting rights," she said

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