The board formally opposed a petition to list the gray wolf under the California Endangered Species Act and stated it doesn't want the animal reintroduced in Tehama County, in a letter being sent to the state Department of Fish and Game Tuesday.
Supervisor Bob Williams was authorized to sign the letter in response to a March petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, Big Wildlife, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center and Brett Harte to list the gray wolf under the state's endangered species act.
Gray wolves are listed under the federal act, but the state listing would create an additional layer of protection for the species.
"The gray wolf once thrived in these lands, however it posed too big of a threat and had to be removed," the county's letter reads.
"Without proper mitigation measures, simply reintroducing the gray wolf to this area can lead to the same issues and threats that caused the gray wolf to be forced out of Northern California to begin with."
Before OR-7, a GPS monitored gray wolf, crossed into Northern California in December, wolves had not been sighted in Northern California since 1924.
According to the DFG, OR-7 made a stop in Tehama County over the weekend. Wolves were common throughout North America before being killed off in most areas of the country by the 1930s.
The board's letter says reintroduction
"Experience in other states suggest that control of wolf populations will become difficult if not impossible because of opposition to wolf control not based on scientific evidence, but rather on ethical and moral concerns," the letter reads.
"The board takes the stance in the letter that gray wolves would be an endangerment to residents, visitors, existing wildlife and domesticated animals.
"There would also be financial responsibilities not limited to acquisition and relocation, monitoring, policing, loss of private property and reimbursement costs."
Using a University of Michigan study, the letter suggests if gray wolves were allowed to repopulate the area, there would be a potential loss of between 132 and 1,184 cows or calves per year.
The cost to replace these animals would be
substantial and since the gray wolf would be an
endangered species, cattlemen could incur substantial
fines and potential jail time by eliminating wolves in
an effort to protect their livestock.