By Matt Weiser
Sacramento will host one of three hearings in the West on the federal government’s proposal to withdraw Endangered Species Act protection for the gray wolf.
The hearing will be held Oct. 2 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Clarion Inn, Martinique Ball Room, 1401 Arden Way, in Sacramento.
In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed removing the gray wolf from the endangered species list in 42 states, including California and Oregon. The proposal is based on evidence that the species now exists in sufficient numbers to sustain itself after being reintroduced in several states more than a decade ago.
There are currently no wolves in California. But a gray wolf known as OR7 spent more than a year in Northern California after migrating from Oregon. That wolf crossed back into Oregon on March 1.
Officials at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife expect more wolves to eventually disperse into California. They are working on a recovery and management plan for the species.
Environmental groups have petitioned the state to protect wolves under the California Endangered Species Act, a separate state law. That petition is still pending.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also extended the public comment period on the federal delisting proposal for the wolf. It had been set to conclude on Sept. 11, but is now extended until Oct. 28.
Comments may be submitted online by visiting www.regulations.gov and searching for Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073.