Wolf Listing?

Wednesday will be a big day at the California Fish and Game Commission. The commissioners will get a chance to vote on listing the Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf as endangered or threatened in California. It is interesting that this issue is before them as the gray wolf has not been in California for seventy or so years, that is until last year.

One radio-collared wolf entered California from Oregon and subsequently returned after a lengthy visit. The lone wolf apparently did not find what he was looking for – probably a female wolf.

Since the time that wolf entered California, the Center For Biological Diversity (CBD) has petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) for listing of the wolf. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has recommended denial of the petition. For the last six months or so I have been one of the stakeholder representatives who have participated in creation of a wolf management plan, as a volunteer for the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF).

Under guidance from CDFW, many other conservation organizations have expounded on their opinions about wolves as well. Besides MDF, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and California Deer Association have been the represented. But other stakeholders such as the Cattlemen’s Association, the California Farm Bureau and Wool Growers are very involved. Non-hunting conservation groups such as the Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and CBD have also participated.

Although the group is diverse and often has opposing views, the stakeholder group has provided useful comments to DFW in their effort to create a plan.

In my opinion, with no known wolves in California and a wolf management plan nearly complete, a vote for wolf listing on Wednesday would be a sign of incompetence, not just because of the due diligence shown by CDFW.

In support of their position not to list wolves CDFW Director, Charles Bonham, has expressed a very clear and reasoned explanation. Wolves do not need to be listed as threatened or endangered in order to expand their territory and return to California naturally. In fact the last wolf to migrate to California demonstrated that. By giving the gray wolf a status as Species of Concern, wolves will be protected in California until such time as they meet population goals that are currently being developed. To list the wolf as threatened or endangered would only complicate the process of handling wolves.

Some fear that without the protection of the Endangered Species Act, wolves will be shot on sight. That seems unlikely as wolves are very seldom seen, let alone seen by somebody ready willing and able to break the law and shoot them. And, they will be protected by the classification they receive as a species of concern.

Are wolves endangered in California? Are wolves important in California? Does the public care about the cost of managing wolves? How will California wolves enhance our lives? On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in Ventura, five people will decide for us. See the Director’s letter below.

Charles Bonham wolf status letter

Caught In the Middle

I’m not used to losing control, but I have to admit that I have no control over my blog right now. The process of remodeling the site has me pretty confused, so I’m asking readers to be patient. You can go to http://www.hunterlandowner.com and see that something’s going on.

In the end this change will create greater access to material on my blog. In the meantime there will be some confusion.

R

Blog Changes Coming Soon

After more than six years of blogging as a WordPress free blog, I’ve decided it’s time to attempt to make some money by advertising. Who knows how productive that will be, but I’ve been told that there is currently a large enough volume of readership to make advertising worthwhile.

In May I’ll be hanging up my real estate license, so I’ll have time to manage the advertising. Currently I have a technician working on the changes to the blog software. The changes will  put management of advertising and any revenue it generates under my own control.

I’ll also be changing the appearance of the blog and it will be more closely tied to my own web address. Nothing should deter current readers from locating or recognizing the blog, but it will look different. I’d tell you more, but right now I’m struggling a bit with some of the details myself.

However, I have confidence that it will all work out.

One of the issues I’ll be working to resolve is to find out what type of advertising works best to go with my blog and it’s subject matter. I plan to explore several different advertising opportunities. I will work with companies that pay sites per click on the ad, such as GOOGLE. I will work with people who want me to promote their product in return for a fee.

However, I won’t do anything to disrupt the main reason I created this blog and that is to spread the word about land ownership, hunting and conservation. These are the topics that make me tick.

R

Always Set the Parking Brake on Your ATV

Two years ago, a guest at our ranch was helping with some surveys. When he dismounted from the ATV which we provided, he didn’t set the parking brake. When we returned, about an hour later, the ATV was gone, but there was a set of tracks going down-hill for about 150 yards to a ravine. The ATV was found upside down in the ravine, but it still ran.

This year, our buddy Joe was using the same ATV when he stopped to remove a branch from the road. When he turned around, he watched as the ATV disappeared over the hill into a poison oak patch. It rolled about 40 yards down the hill before stopping.

Here is a video of a portion of the recovery, which took about an hour. Joe took the brunt of it, climbing down to the ATV through poison oak. Fortunately he’s never had a reaction to poison oak, at least not so far.

From crash to recovery was a couple hours. We improvised using the winch on another ATV and various other mechanical advantage to pull the ATV up hill through the brush.

The Hairy Woodpecker

While hiking in springtime, I come across the hairy woodpecker often. It is easy to find them in the spring as they are often making their call, which is not really a call, it’s the sound of the bird beating its beak against hard wood.

Yesterday I came upon a hairy woodpecker doing his thing and I had my iPad mini with me. So I may a brief video to share. Here is the link. If you go to full screen mode, you’ll see him, but hearing him is the important part. One you’ve heard him, you’ll hear him again.

When I get a chance, I’ll add a close-up photo, but I can’t find one in my files. Funny how I see some birds a million times, but don’t take a photo.

Africa in 2014 or 2015?

MDF Livermore-Pleasanton will have a trip to Africa in the Live Auction this Friday night, March 14.

Thormahlen & Cochran Safaris, with camps in South Africa and Namibia has donated a seven-day hunt which includes $1,000 credit towards trophy fees.

Go to www.africatrophyhunting.com and read about them.

Do your homework before the dinner, or you’ll have a hard time making a decision.

Here are the hunt donation forms for South Africa and Namibia: Donations SCI SA Nam13

Trophy fees are listed on their web site.

Many MDF members have purchased their first African trip at MDF banquets – I did.

Blue wildebeast are one favorite plains game animal in South Africa and Namibia.

Blue wildebeast are one favorite plains game animal in South Africa and Namibia.

Here’s a flyer. Order your tickets now. Times running out. Click on the link below for banquet info.

Flyer front page      2014 flyer pg 2      2014 ticket order form