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The Latest: Judge upholds California gray wolf protection

January 29, 2019
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FILE - This June 29, 2017, remote camera image released by the U.S. Forest Service shows a female gray wolf and two of the three pups born in 2017 in the wilds of Lassen National Forest in Northern California. 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, Jan. 28, 2019 that California was right when it listed wolves as endangered in 2014. (U.S. Forest Service via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a judge upholding California protection for gray wolves (all times local):

8 p.m.

A California farming group says it will work with the state to reduce the impact of wolves on livestock after a judge upheld their protection.

The judge in San Diego ruled Monday that California was right in 2014 to list gray wolves as a state endangered species. There was only one known gray wolf in the state at that time — an immigrant from Oregon called OR-7.

He was the first gray wolf spotted in California since 1924 but produced offspring before returning north.

The California Farm Bureau Federation and a cattle ranchers’ group sued, arguing the listing was arbitrary but the judge disagreed.

Jim Houston, the farm bureau’s manager of legal and governmental affairs, says the suit was filed to give ranchers more flexibility “in co-existing with wolves” but he says it won’t be easy.

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5:45 p.m.

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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FILE - This June 29, 2017, remote camera image released by the U.S. Forest Service shows a female gray wolf and two of the three pups born in 2017 in the wilds of Lassen National Forest in Northern California. 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, Jan. 28, 2019 that California was right when it listed wolves as endangered in 2014. (U.S. Forest Service via AP, File)