So much has changed since the last gray wolf called California home. In early August we heard news that the first resident California gray wolf was captured on camera in 90 years. Talk about a homecoming!
After decades of trapping and poisoning, the last wolf in California was shot in 1924. Since then, roads and highways were built and huge tracts of forest have been converted to industrial tree farms. Today, the wolf re-enters a landscape filled with strip-malls, subdivisions, climatic shifts and severe drought. It will take work with residents in areas where wolves migrate to ensure co-existence.
We have learned a lot in 90 years. We realize that there is an end to the seemingly limitless wilderness. As a society we saw a need to protect species like the wolf and other wildlife, so we passed laws to protect dwindling habitats and clean up the environment for our needs—laws like the Wilderness Act, Endangered Species Act, and Clean Water Act.
With 90 years of fire suppression and industrial logging added to a changing climate, we can expect more forest fires. Your support enables KS Wild to collaborate with tribes and fire safe councils to restore fire-adapted forests. You can help KS Wild stop a plan to convert some of the wildest country in northern California into more tree plantations.
The author Thomas Wolfe was famous for his book, “You Can’t Go Home Again.” While gray wolves will never come home to a landscape unchanged from 90 years ago, they will help restore the balance of nature. What Mr. Wolfe meant was that home is always changing. We are always changing. We are not static and we need to embrace the impermanence of home.
In the literal sense, homecoming is a part of nature. Birds and mammals migrate home, the salmon spawn in their natal streams and species like the gray wolf, long absent from our landscape, can return home.