NewsCovering Colorado


Colorado wolf reintroduction plan nearing completion

Posted at 7:02 PM, Feb 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-22 21:02:34-05

COLORADO — The process of bringing wild wolves back to Colorado is proving complex.

The final public comment session on wolf reintroduction happened Wednesday.

“I wonder if there might be a compromise to the compromise,” said Commission Chair, Carrie Besnette Hauser.

The commission worked to fine-tune the document based on all the feedback from a series of public comment sessions, along with each member's personal concerns.

Voters passed Proposition 114 in 2020.

The wolf reintroduction measure means, like it or not, gray wolves have to be reintroduced to Colorado by the end of 2023.

One of the most prominent disagreements has to do with the lethal management of wolves.

Part of the proposal says that special hunts could be considered as a management tool if wolf numbers ever get too large.

Many commenters wanted the option removed from the proposal.

Commission members decided to add what the called “neutral” wording.

It says hunts may or may not be used in the future based on scientific studies after wolves are back and well-established in the state.

At the same time, there is evidence that wolf advocates will use aggressive measures to stop wolves from being killed.

“Pushing for a more protective plan,” said Center for Biological Diversity, Carnivore Conservation Program Director, Collette Adkins.

The wildlife advocacy group just announced the intention to sue the U.S. Forest Service if it does not create a policy prohibiting the killing of wolves on Forest Service land.

The suit stems from three wolves that were killed when they wandered from the Colorado side of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest to the Wyoming side.

“Right now we're starting with that National Forest that straddles the Colorado-Wyoming border,” said Adkins, “But we do think that federal land managers have a role to play to create areas that can be a refuge for rare wildlife.

Wyoming law allows wolves to be killed, while it is not allowed in Colorado.


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