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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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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Wolf once graced the Mountains and Valleys of California................Hats off to the California fish & Game Commission for putting the Wolf on the states endangered species list..........With Oregon Wolf OR7 siring pups in the southern Cascades of southern Oregon, dispersing wolves only need travel 50 miles south before they potentially create a breeding population in California............ Clear historical records from 1750 to 1850 indicate that wolves were once present in the Coastal Range from San Diego to Sacramento when Europeans first began exploring and settling these areas (Schmidt 1987, 1991)...............From 1850-1900, wolves were seen in Shasta County and in the central Sierra Nevada (Schmidt 1987, 1991)................. These historical reports of wolves appear in divergent areas of the state; reports surfaced in different areas over time as Europeans shifted from coasts toward inland forests, mountains and plains................The wolf was known among many California tribes statewide, as demonstrated in language, artwork, ceremonial garb, and creation stories (Geddes-Osborne and Margolin 2001)................... For example, more than 80 distinct tribal languages were spoken in California when Europeans first arrived and most had clearly differentiated words for wolf, coyote, fox and dog.............I look forward to writing one day soon about the howl of the wolf in the great state of California

State Board Votes to Protect California Wolf

Gray wolves roaming into California from Oregon will have added protections now that a state board has listed the species as endangered despite other parts of the country relaxing rules on hunting the iconic predator.
The California Fish and Game Commission's vote Wednesday came as biologists announced that an Oregon wolf famous for hopscotching between the two states has fathered pups within about 50 miles of the border, making it a matter of time before more wolves make California home.
That wolf — known as OR-7 and carrying a GPS tracking collar — forced the debate in California that has pitted cattle ranchers against those who wish to see the packs flourish after a long hiatus. Ranchers view the predator as a threat to valuable herds.

"This is a red-letter day in the history of wolves for this state," said Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity, which pushed for listing.
The discovery of the pups marked the farthest west and south a wolf pack has established itself since the animals were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies in the 1990s, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist John Stephenson said.
Nationwide, bounty hunting and poisoning drove wolves to widespread extermination in the early 1900s. The animals have rebounded in recent decades after being reintroduced into the Northern Rockies, leading officials to lift federal protections in the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes.
But with the resurgence have come more livestock killings and declines in some big-game herds that wolves prey on.
Idaho and Montana have responded by adopting aggressive hunting programs to bring down the predators' numbers in an effort to reduce attacks on livestock and big game. But in Oregon, ranchers must adopt nonlethal measures to protect their herds before the state will kill wolves that attack livestock.
Any wolves that inhabit western Oregon or California are still covered by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to decide in December on a proposal to lift that protection.
The game commission in California voted 3-1 to list wolves as endangered. State game officials recommended the commission adopt a less restrictive wolf management plan being developed by stakeholders.

Weiss said the listing requires state officials to do more. "They actually have a duty to enhance and restore, not just to conserve and manage them," she said.
Kirk Wilbur of the California Cattlemen's Association said wolves not only kill livestock but also stress the cattle that survive, hampering their health and the rancher's profits.
Wilbur favored a management plan that would give ranchers the ability to shoot a wolf that attacks and kills livestock, or at least shoo them away. That may no longer be an option, he said.
"Something as benign as chasing a wolf off your property could be a violation of the law now," Wilbur said.
Wolf advocates at the Center for Biological Diversity filed the petition made final Wednesday two months after OR-7 was discovered crossing into California.
On Monday, biologists in Oregon said they discovered a den on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest east of Medford and took photos of two pups peering out from a pile of logs.
State and federal wildlife agencies said there might be more young. OR-7 and his mate were absent, Stephenson said.
"It was pretty exciting seeing the pups," he said. "OR-7 was probably off getting some food. We saw a couple deer (and elk) legs that had obviously been getting chewed on."
In 2011, OR-7 set off in search of a mate, covering thousands of miles from his birthplace in northeastern Oregon to Northern California, and back.
OR-7 became famous as his tracking collar chronicled his lonesome wanderings across deserts, highways and mountains. Last winter he began spending time in a limited area, typical of a wolf that has found a mate. Trail camera photos confirmed it last month.

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