There are times when I wonder whether or not wolves read newspapers. I ask myself this as OR-7 the wandering wolf known as Journey took time out of his busy schedule looking for love to leave Oregon on December 7th to visit his old haunts in California. He then cruised back to Oregon. He did so on the heels of the State of California determining that protection for gray wolves is not necessary because the state lacks a population per se.
While California is factually correct in their assertion about an extant population, their position is certainly not remotely visionary or even realistic in nature considering the current trends and documented prospects of re-colonization. And OR-7—being the wolf that he is and true son of OR-4—probably left organically derived punctuation points at strategic points in northern California. These editorial comments left by OR-7—if read correctly—call for some fortitude and foresight on behalf of wildlife officials in the state. And if they are not up to that within their own process, the only prudent recourse for them would be to call on the federal government to maintain federal protections for the future wolves that are clearly coming.
As a multi-generational native Californian, I would hope that the state will take heed of OR-7’s territorial nudge and do the right thing. Giving them and the USFWS a nudge might help as well.