Since the passage of Proposition 114, Coloradans have been eagerly awaiting the return of wolves to the state. However, the formal process led by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has minimized meaningful public input, and instead, uplifted the voices of ranchers, outfitters, trappers, and hunters over all others. This has unfolded in reports and recommendations by the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) and Technical Working Group (TWG) that are likely to limit the possibilities of wolves on the Colorado landscape.
Discussions in the SAG, in particular, have focused on the negative impacts of wolves, while ignoring the multitude of positive ones. The lack of transparency with the prohibition of video and audio recordings and no live streaming of meetings, severely limits the ability of the Colorado public to attend and participate in these meetings. This process is heading in a direction that raises doubts about the success of the wolf reintroduction, and puts the letter and spirit of Proposition 114 behind the concerns of special interest groups.
WildEarth Guardians has not, and will not, sit idle while the voices of the majority of Coloradans who voted for wolves to return to the state are lost to the process. Instead, Guardians has put forth an alternative plan for the CPW Commission to consider—a pro-wolf plan. Our “Colorado Wolf Restoration Plan” is ecologically focused, emphasizing the return of healthy and sustainable populations of wolves to the landscape.
Our plan ensures that wolves are restored throughout suitable habitat in western Colorado, tracks with the best available science, requires proactive non-lethal coexistence strategies, explains why Mexican gray wolves belong in the southern mountains of the state, and is clear that recreational wolf hunting should NEVER happen in Colorado. These are the elements that represent the intent of Proposition 114 and the millions of Coloradans who voted for it.
It is our hope at Guardians that the CPW Commission takes the recommendations from our Colorado Wolf Restoration Plan and implements a thoughtful, compassionate, and science based approach to the Colorado wolf reintroduction. For more information, and to see what actions you can take to make Colorado wolf reintroduction a success, check out this Colorado wolf resource page.