WildEarth Guardians

A Force for Nature

Select Page

Help ensure the successful reintroduction of wolves in Colorado

From now until February 22, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is taking public comment on their draft plan for wolves in Colorado. Click below to view key talking points and submit your comments to CPW.

Reintroducing wolves to Colorado

Colorado Wolf Restoration

In an historic vote, Coloradans decided to restore gray wolves to the Centennial State by December 2023. The Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission is currently reviewing and taking your public comment on a draft wolf plan. We know Colorado can do this right, but not without your voice!

Elements of a Successful Colorado Wolf Plan

colorado landscape wildearth guardiansColorado’s wolf plan needs to restore a self-sustaining population of wolves to the state. The best available science indicates that a minimum of 750 wolves (or 150 packs) is necessary to meet that legal requirement. And the Western Slope’s large tracts of public lands and huge elk herd can easily sustain such a population. Wolves should be distributed throughout suitable habitat in western Colorado in order to bring about the desired ecological benefit. A half-hearted effort that sees only a token wolf population will fail Colorado and wolves.
cattle wildearth guardiansConflict avoidance needs to be proactive. Wolves are native to Colorado and are highly-adapted carnivores. They are naturally inclined to feed on deer, elk, and other native prey. But when non-native, unprotected livestock are on the landscape, they represent easy feeding opportunities for wolves. State officials and livestock owners should be required to do their part by taking robust, proactive conflict-avoidance measures. A thorough, state-led education and outreach effort is paramount for success.
wolf pack wildearth guardians

Wolf hunting should never happen. Wolves are intelligent, social animals. Pack structures, prey, and territorialism combine to regulate wild wolf populations. Science indicates that there is no need to “cull” or keep a population “in check.” So, any wolf hunting is trophy hunting and only done for sport. Proposition 114 explicitly calls for wolves to be a “non-game species.”

herd of cattle wildearth guardians

Compensation needs to be fair for the Colorado public, wolves, and livestock owners. Livestock owners should be compensated for real, documented impacts to their herds and flocks. But in order to qualify for compensation, the bare minimum should be done to protect livestock. That means removing dead livestock carcasses promptly and having human presence near livestock when wolves are in the area.

gray wolf wildearth guardians

Colorado’s public lands should be managed for use by all Coloradans, the majority of whom voted for wolf reintroduction and believe in coexisting with the state’s native species. Public lands are expected to provide for public values, including habitat for native wildlife species. Wolves should never be killed on public lands except in extreme cases of threats to human safety. If wolves are persecuted and killed on public lands, that calls into question the very purpose of these lands. Grazing livestock on public lands is a privilege, not a right. That privilege comes with the responsibility to coexist. Dead wolves is antithetical to coexistence.

Brave New Wild Blog

Wildlife Press

It’s time to live in harmony with grizzly bears

Missoula Current | Aug 31, 2023

Grizzly bears are slowly reclaiming parts of their historic range for the first time since European settlers nearly eradicated them from the lower-48. And with bear expansion comes great responsibility. We must act as stewards and guardians for bears, especially in places with vast wilderness like Idaho and Montana where the grizzly bear can still roam.

Read more >

All Wildlife Op-Eds

Public participation in FWP’s carnivore management is a sham
Helena Independent Record | Jun 23, 2023
A dancing bird finally gets some protection
Carlsbad Current Argus | Apr 5, 2023

Groups sue Montana over wolf trapping in grizzly habitat

The Missoulian | Sep 20, 2023

Two environmental groups are suing the state of Montana over wolf trapping regulations they say violate federal law by failing to protect grizzly bears from unintentional trapping.

Read more >

All Wildlife In the News