California delays decision on gray wolf protection

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FRESNO, Calif. — A state board says it needs more time to hear from the public before deciding whether to list gray wolves as an endangered species in California.

The California Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to delay a decision by 90 days on whether to grant legal protections to the species that’s showing signs of a comeback after being killed off in the 1920s.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Chuck Bonham says he doesn’t support the listing because there haven’t been wolves in California for decades and there’s no scientific basis to consider them endangered. He supports other conservation efforts.

A renewed interest by advocates to protect the species started in 2011, when a lone wolf from Oregon was tracked crossing into California. Ranchers oppose protections, saying wolves threaten their livestock.