110618 Gray Wolves

Gray wolf

The Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society, with co-host Los Olivos Library, invites the public to learn more about the reintroduction and recovery of gray wolves in California and elsewhere in the West after nearly 90 years' absence in the wild. Pamela Flick of Defenders of Wildlife will present a lecture at the historic Grange Hall in Los Olivos, located at 2374 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Los Olivos, on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Once common throughout much of North America, the gray wolf (Canis lupus) was driven to extinction in most areas of the contiguous United States by the mid-1930s through wildly successful predator control efforts. The last wild gray wolf in California was shot in Lassen County in 1924.

Fast-forward to late December 2011, when a young male wolf known as OR-7 entered our state from Oregon, making him the first known wild wolf in the Golden State in nearly 90 years. In Summer 2015, news rapidly spread that California’s first resident wolf family, dubbed the Shasta Pack, had settled into eastern Siskiyou County. Just last summer, we learned about the Lassen Pack and their pups. Now we know that at least 18 different wolves have traversed northern California since late 2011. Wolves are no longer merely passing through; they’re settling in and making themselves at home here in our state.

Flick’s presentation will provide an overview of the gray wolf's natural history, ecological role, and current distribution and population in North America and California. She will discuss historic reintroduction efforts in the northern Rockies, as well as implications for wolf recovery in the western states with an emphasis on the importance of coexistence and moving beyond myths.

Pamela Flick is Senior California Representative for Defenders of Wildlife based in Sacramento, where she works on federal land management focused on Sierra Nevada national forests and advancing conservation of carnivores, birds, and amphibians. She is a founding steering committee member of the Pacific Wolf Coalition and was an active participant of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wolf Stakeholder Working Group convened to help shape a plan for conserving and managing wolves as they recolonize their historical habitat in our state.

Prior to joining Defenders in 2005, Pam worked for eight years to protect public lands and rivers with the California Wild Heritage Campaign, the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign, and Friends of the River. She is a third-generation California native and hails from Mariposa.

The Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society’s lectures are free and open to all. A list of upcoming lectures and field trips sponsored by the Society can be found at www.syvnature.org. For more information, contact the Society at synature@west.net, (805) 693-5683. The Los Olivos Library can be reached at (805) 688-4214.

 

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