Enviros Seek Gray Wolf Protection

Joseph Perkins:

A single gray wolf was sighted on this side of the California-Oregon border this past December. On Monday, four environmental groups petitioned the state’s Fish and Game Commission to protect that lone wolf — and any others that happen across the state’s northern border — under the California Endangered Species Act.

“The time is now because we have one wolf inCalifornia,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the four petitioning enviro groups. “I just think it’s very likely there’s going to be more wolves inCaliforniain the near future,” he said, in remarks published in the Sacramento Bee.

The Environmental Protection Information Center, the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center and Big Wildlife — which joined the Center for Biological Diversity in seeking state protection for the gray wolf — apparently share Greenwald’s faith that a population of wolves is going to permanently migrate to the Golden State from Oregon, where gray wolves are plentiful.

Such conviction is based not on science, but Greenwald’s hunch.

It makes the cynic in me wonder if some other enviros — not him — would go so far as to catch wolves up in Oregon and release them down here in California — the better to make their case for adding the gray wolf to the state’s Endangered Species Act.

I know that sounds far-fetched, like some kind of cockeyed conspiracy theory. But, in fact, it wouldn’t be the first time radical environmentalists have gone to such extreme lengths to unduly influence land use decisions.

In 2006, one such radical enviro claimed to have discovered a rare and protected flower, the Sebastopol meadowfoam, on a 20-acre site in the Sonoma County town of Sebastopol, where homes were to be built. After a state investigation, authorities concluded that the meadowfoam were deliberately planted on the site and ordered the flowers removed.

The Fish and Game Commission has 90 days to decide if the petitions from the four environmental groups make a case sufficient to justify status review of the gray wolf. If so, the commission will have another nine months to complete that review.

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if, during the next 90 days, California’s gray wolf population suddenly increases from the one lone wolf the enviros sighted back in December to at least a wolfpack.

Feb. 28, 2012




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