The western wolves are back, did you notice?

Tensions rise on the range after wolf kills cow in California for the first time in a century:

A wolf has killed a California rancher’s cow for the first time in more than 100 years, raising tensions in the newly reclaimed wolf country in California’s rugged northeastern corner.

California now has two packs in the north. This isn’t world-altering. Perhaps it was inevitable. But sure crept up on me.

Oregon now has nearly 100 wolves. There’s even a pack which wanders the mountains above the town I grew up in!

The gray wolf habitat is forest, so much of California won’t see a swarming of wolves because it is desert or cultivated. But it seems very unlikely that the Shasta pack doesn’t presage an expansion of wolf territory west toward the Pacific, and then down into vast timberlands reaching toward San Francisco. And wolves will surely move south along the western edge of the Sierras.