California Wolf Center
|Headquarters||Julian, California, United States|
|Key people||Norm Switzer, Chairman of the Board, Executive Director;
Paul Kenis, Founder, Center Historian;
Patrick Valentino, Director of Planning and Development;
Daniel Moriarty, Secretary
California Wolf Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit located 50 miles east of San Diego, near the town of Julian, California. It is a one-of-a-kind, conservation, education, and research center dedicated to wolf recovery in the wild. They are a state-wide organization with staff and volunteers throughout California striving to pave the way for the return of wolves in California. Founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, the Center is currently home to several packs of gray wolves, some of which play an important role in educational programs. These wolves serve as ambassadors representing wolves in the wild. They also host highly endangered Mexican gray wolves, now being reintroduced into the southwestern United States. A visit to the Center provides a unique experience involving one of the most charismatic and controversial species in North American history. The California Wolf Center will feature in the upcoming launch of a charitable mobile application, created by Australian wildlife organisation, My Green World.
The California Wolf Center  is dedicated to the recovery of wolves in the wildlands they once roamed. They envision a landscape where wolves thrives in healthy ecosystems and wolves and people successfully coexist.
They accomplish this mission through:
Conservation: partnering with stakeholders to implement proactive solutions that enable wolves and people to successfully share the landscape and leading the way in endangered species recovery programs.
Education: increasing awareness and understanding of wolves through engaging educational programs and public outreach.
Research: studying wolves' biology, behavior, and history in California.
Mexican wolves once roamed the southwestern United States in countless numbers, but government-sponsored eradication programs almost wiped out this distinct subspecies of North American gray wolf in the lower 48 United States. In the mid-1970s, only seven unrelated Mexican wolves were available to start a captive breeding program. Today, as a result of that successful breeding program, there are approximately 83 free-ranging Mexican wolves living in the wild. However, they remain one of the rarest land mammals in North America.
The Center aims to further human understanding of the key role that wolves plays a in a healthy ecosystem. The Center's goal is to provide the most natural environment for all wolves living at the California Wolf Center, as well as provide information about gray wolves so that people can make informed decisions about the issues that affect humans and wolves.
The Center is home to a pack of Rocky Mountain gray wolves and several packs of Mexican gray wolves, some of whom may be reintroduced into the southwestern United States. These wolves experience very limited human contact to avoid habituation and to preserve their wild behaviors.
The pack of Rocky Mountain gray wolves is an intact pack, this allows thousands of visitors each year to observe the social interactions that occur in a captive wolf pack. It also gives students and researchers opportunities to learn about wolf behavior.
The California Wolf Center participates in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, a bi-national effort to help Mexican gray wolves recover in the wild. Most of the Center’s Mexican gray wolf packs reside in off-exhibit habitats that help prepare them for potential release into the wild. Retaining their wild nature by keeping them off-exhibit will help them to survive if they are selected for release into the Mexican Wolf Recovery Area in New Mexico and Arizona. The Mexican gray wolves that are least likely to be released are one exhibit during educational programs. This gives visitors the opportunity to view the distinctive physical features of this subspecies of gray wolf.
- Raftery, Miriam (2010-02-21). "Call of the Wild: Wolf Center in Julian Helps Reintroduce Rare Breed". East County Magazine. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Lost Lobos: Local Wolf Experts Voice Dismay Over Killing of 3 Rare Mexican Wolves". East County Magazine. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2010-07-30.