Photo taken by Mike Eastman
In early April, the Colorado Secretary of State received a ballot proposal – Initiative 79, that would require the State to reintroduce wolves to western Colorado by the end of 2023. The initiative needs 200,000 signatures in order to be placed on the ballot. That should not be difficult.
According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), “extreme environmentalist groups behind I-79 foresee a [wolf] population of at least 1,000 and are firmly against hunting and trapping.”
As usual, the push is coming from outside the state. The Sierra Club, Ted Turner Foundation and others are supportive of this, and Montana senator Mike Phillips, a director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund is advising the two Colorado partner groups behind the initiative, The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project and the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund. The latter group is funded by the San Francisco-based Tides Center.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) came out with a statement in 2016 opposing any intentional introduction of gray wolves to Colorado based on “potential conflict with the State’s livestock industry and current big game management efforts” and citing the conclusions of the Colorado Wolf Management Working Group’s study published in December 2004 in which the group said that natural migration into Colorado was likely to occur.
The wolf does not need any help in spreading. According to 2018 USFWS estimates of wolf populations the northern Great Lakes and the northern Rockies already have well-established populations of nearly 3,765 and 1,782 with populations now in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
Given that, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is in the public comment period until May 14 on its proposal to delist the gray wolf across the United States. You can submit comments on that here. Then click on the Comment Now blue button on the right side.
The war is on in Colorado. The issue will no doubt be on the ballot before long, funded by groups outside the state trying to force Colorado to do what the wildlife agency in charge of studying and managing the state’s wildlife has opposed. The flow of money into the state will build to fund an enormous media campaign aimed at the Front Range population centers in which new Coloradans from California and elsewhere will be encouraged to force the State to bring West Coast politics to bear on wildlife management. If you think this works well, I encourage you to talk to people in Oregon, both hunters and those in wildlife management.
On a hunting trip into the Wilderness in 2004, I was reminded that not very long before then, I was one of the people who voted for the reintroduction of the grey wolf into the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, while visiting the park in 1994. Thinking about being left in the Wilderness in Western Montana with possibly 4 good arrows and 500 pounds of elk meat, while my buddy jogged out to have another pal retrieve the horses and return the next day. I was unnerved. My pal retorted they did not give the wolves a map and to deal with it.
How about this…2 years ago I spotted a beautiful Mexican wolf outside the new Denver International Airport.
Why have buffalo not been reintroduced into Colorado? How about reintroduce them on the eastern plain until they return to historic herd size ? 6 million running wild and free all across the plains. That’s how it was. If they are trying to bring something back bring it all back! Why are we hostage to the ranching industry who now only be forced to raise prices? Used to be great natural system until white man arrived and been downhill ever sense ! This wolf issue is right on par with all the disaster supposed civilized man has brought to fix everything. The problem is human invaders not the wolf. The wolf already lost things have changed the benefit does not outweigh the negative cost ! Period
The animal population in Colorado will not support any Wolves with CWD being one of wildlife’s threats . Wolves do not always go after the sick and weak . I oppose the Reintroduction of wolves . I already see coyotes in town and beloved pets go missing after the sightings Wolves will be the same they are predator’s with no boundaries THEY WILL END UP IN YOUR BACK YARD JUST LIKE THE MOUNTAIN LIONS IN EVERGREEN WAITING FOR YOUR PETS AND CHILDREN CHECK ALASKA REGISTER FOR THE THREATS THEY POSE TO HUMANS . NO WOLVES IN COLORADO .
This Colorado resident opposes the reintroduction of wolves. So strict management efforts to ensure quality hunts and thriving wildlife herds along with the cost associated with those past efforts are void now? The mountain lion population is thriving with quotas in several areas not being met. Bear populations and incidents involving bears are on an spiral upward (mostly in part to no spring bear hunting, no dog hunting, and no bait hunting) and now a few wealthy advocacy programs want to reintroduce another apex predator with no season to keep them in check while they decimate deer, elk, moose and other wildlife populations. I’m sure they will make here eventually, naturally on their own but let’s not put it into the hands of rich, Wolf lovers that are not considering the affect on the ecosystem and the issues that arise from that. Look at the decimation of elk and deer in many areas of Idaho and Montana, then ask yourselves Coloradans if we want that here in our beautiful state as well. I’m not saying wolves are not beautiful creatures but they are a predator and when propositions like this are left up to the public instead of wildlife experts, often times misinformed decisions are made…ie our current bear issue
take em off endangered list so I can legally kill em as fast as I see them
Colorado residents, WAKE UP!!! DO NOT let this happens. They did it to us in Wisconsin & promised to keep the population @ around 350. Guess what?? They are so far out of hand now, and the bunny huggers love it… The wolves have decimated the deer population in a lot of peoples land. The Department of Wildlife did not keep their word on controlling the numbers. It is a constant battle. They are thinking that “maybe” the wolves MIGHT BE deregulated in the future. Guys, look right next door. Do you know what the wolves have done to the Yellowstone herd of Elk?? The Elk numbers there are down by 75%. Just ask Edwin Johnson, an Outfitter who owns a lot of land that borders the Park. Two other times, we trudged up & down Mountains in good Elk territory, & let me tell ‘ya, the numbers are down. Stand your ground and vote “NO WOLVES.”
I hope to god the people of Colorado is smart enough to let the state wildlife department managed the wildlife Not a bunch of out of state bunny huggers that know s nothing about managing wildlife ,other than they’re like teddy bears when they were kids
CO Parks and Wildlife have already come out against the reintroduction of wolves. The problem is that is that if this initiative passes, the agency will be forced to manage a species they don’t want.
The proposal states that the wolves would be introduced only on the western slope. Makes sense since the people that will vote for this live on the eastern slope and won’t have to deal with them.
Years ago I would have said there is no way this would pass but our marijuana law and recent red flag law has proven that we will pass a stupid idea with no way to manage it.
It is gonna happen. I say release the first wolves near the Continental Divide so it is a short walk to Boulder County where they can exercise joggers and eat some little dogs wearing a sweater. That will get their attention since meat comes from a grocery store, not a pasture.
I need to move.
Why do we need to introduce another predator to the equation? So far we have allowed the the predator to be the only investment of concern, what about helping the antelope, deer and elk population along with others to thrive? Once the predator takes control there will be no balance, then what will the predator harvest to survive? I strongly feel that there needs to be a better hunting season for the predator to help this out instead of having the state tax dollars pay to have the problem animals taken care of. Yes I am a hunter, just like my father and grandfather. I am a person who appreciates the outdoors and what god has given us, I don’t think the people making this decision to introduce the predator have any idea of what is at stake, god help us.
the bighorn sheep and the moose will be the first to go
And they will go fast.. Colorado doesn’t have brush to slow their pace. Elk will be forced into the suburbs as they try to escape the wolves ripping the young out even as they calve. A wolf is not a stuffed toy, fricking idiot pavement people.
Good ol republic of kalifornia has a nice population started in north eastern kali
good old republic of kommiefornia has a nice population of human transplants in Denver and the front range….you are doomed to get wolves.
Carry a rifle and a shovel on all your outdoor adventures in Colorado! Problem solved!
I think that we should stop screwing with mother nature. If wolves were meant to be in Colorado they would have migrated in there many years ago.Quit trying to make a better life for one of natures top predators. I live in central Minnesota, wolves have been protected here way to long, they have all but wiped out our moose population, the northern deer herd has been seriously diminished, wolves have been sighted and disposed of already in central and southern Minnesota. I have hunted in Colorado for 40 plus years,you definately do not need another top predator thrown into the mix. LEAVE MOTHER NATURE ALONE. It is only a matter of time before you start seeing GRIZZLIES IN COLORADO. They will be protected also, How much pressure can the elk and deer herds sustain? I would definately vote NO!
If you don’t get the big game tag you want go wolf hunt. Many of the quotas are not being met.
This is noting short of absurd! There are wolves moving into Colorado, already. Any biologist that has spent time studying wolves with an unbiased opinion will confirm that. They aim to insert a certain number of wolves, establish a target number for breeding pairs, then the special interest groups and their lawyers tie the states management plans up in court for ten years. In the mean time the population explodes far and above where any sort of management through hunting/trapping will be effective. That is the same model that has been used in Idaho, now starting in OR/WA. All driven by highly emotional, uneducated folks that do not have to deal with the outcome of an over objective wolf population.
Here’s an idea….. Everyone in the Denver area is aware of the extreme overpopulation of geese. Let’s release the wolves onto the Denver Metro area parks and golf courses. The wolves eat the geese and the general public gets to see first hand how kind and gentle the wolves are.
Consider this; There are five and a half million people in Colorado. There are not even a fourth that many in Wyoming. CPW has admitted they already have a problem with Black Bears and have to put down about 400 a year because of conflicts with humans.What do you think will happen when you introduce a 150 pound carnivore from Canada? I say if the Grizzly Bear has no place left in Colorado the wolf does not have one either. By the way you can’t spit in Colorado and not hit a transplant….I wish they would all go home they are ruining mine.
I’m so sick of Democrats I could puke. Everything they touch turns to shit. They have the chocolate finger.
Is Ted Turner willing to pay to control wolf populations in other states? Of coarse not. They litigate until populations or beyond initial promised goals. Colorado doesn’t need to spend wildlife funds on litigation. Just say no.
They’re already here. A coyote hunter shot and killed one in unit 181. A rancher friend of mine has seen them near gunsight pass. Best thing to do is shoot, shovel and shut up.
wolves are already there,on elk hunt west of Walden last fall our group of 6 saw 4 separate wolves. One pair and 2 loners, one of which had a nice ram pushed up on an isolated peak on a butte in the valley. Isolated wolves are even seen here in SD