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WildEarth Guardians celebrates reintroduction of wolves to Colorado

December 19, 2023
Lindsay Larris, Wildlife Program Director, WildEarth Guardians, LLarris@wildearthguardians.org, Chris Smith, Southwest Wildlife Advocate, WildEarth Guardians, csmith@wildearthguardians.org
In This Release
Wildlife   Gray wolf
#DefendCarnivores, #ForceForNature, #PressStatement
DENVER — This week, following the failure of a last-minute lawsuit attempting to derail the process, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) successfully released five wolves in Colorado. The wolves, which were transported from Oregon, are the first ‘paws on the ground’ of the reintroduction effort, which aims to release at least 10-15 wolves in western Colorado by March of 2024. This week’s release marks the first step in fulfilling state law and the will of Colorado voters who passed Proposition 114 in 2020. CPW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have worked together on plans, rules, and resources that allow for wolf restoration and account for possible livestock conflicts. 

WildEarth Guardians’ wildlife program director Lindsay Larris issued the following statement:

“Colorado is richer, wilder and more resilient today with wolves wandering the land, and it’s worth celebrating their return. This reintroduction is the first step towards not just having a handful of lone wolves in the state, but the re-establishment of a robust wolf population that has been absent for 80 years. Without this reintroduction process, Colorado would never see the ecological benefits of wolves across the state or the key role they play in helping to maintain healthy lands and waters. Now, wolves will be roaming in places where they had been for thousands and thousands of years before we wrongly wiped them out. That’s real rewilding and real progress that was accomplished because of the will of Colorado voters.

The state has done a lot of work preparing livestock owners for wolves as well as ensuring that there will be ample compensation in the event of unfortunate livestock loss. We’re optimistic that livestock owners will utilize the resources at their disposal to foster coexistence. This thoughtful planning will hopefully allow us, collectively, to focus on the positive impacts of wolf restoration across the state. I’m confident that Colorado can and will serve as an example of how the reintroduction of native species can be done to benefit people, wildlife, and the natural world we all rely upon for our survival.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife released five gray wolves onto public land in Grand County,
Colorado on Monday, December 18, 2023. Pictured is wolf 2303-OR.