Judge upholds protection for gray wolves in California

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California judge has upheld protection for gray wolves under the state’s Endangered Species Act, rejecting a challenge from ranchers and farmers.

The judge in San Diego ruled Monday that California was right to list the wolves as endangered in 2014.

The California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Cattlemen’s Association sued, arguing that the listing was arbitrary because there are so few wolves in California.

Calls to the groups seeking comment weren’t immediately returned.

A wolf known as OR-7 made headlines in 2011 when it traveled from Oregon — making it the first known wolf in California since 1924. One of OR-7’s offspring has become the breeding male of the only known wolf pack in California.

Ranchers and farmers worry that an unchecked wolf population will threaten their livestock.

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