Remote trail cameras set up in the woods near the California/Oregon border have captured images of, what are believed to be, gray wolves.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed multiple sightings of potential gray wolves in Siskiyou County near the Oregon border. After the initial sightings early this year, the Department set up trail cameras in this part of the state where they were able to capture pictures of wolves on two different instances.
These sightings come after a little more than a year when a wolf, deemed OR-7, that wears a tracking device, entered the state last year, marking the first known wolf visit into the state in 90 years. The wolf has since found a mate and has a known den across the state line in southern Oregon.
Conservations, such as Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity, are excited by the new sighting. However, ranchers are concerned about the return of the wolf and what this could mean for their livestock and livelihoods.
Gray wolves are currently on the endangered species list, leaving cattlemen with little legal ability to protect their herds, says Kirk Wilbur, the director of governmental relations for the California Cattlemen’s Association.
“There is no real animosity toward the gray wolf on behalf of ranchers,” he says. “The concern is with the possibility of gray wolves depredating livestock and ranches not having any recourse.”
The issue could come meet a resolutions in the next couple of months when the state releases a wolf plan.