Colorado Wolf Reintroduction Starts by End of 2023
Wolf reintroduction plans in Colorado have just received official approval, allowing the state to implement them by the end of 2023.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission finalized its adoption of the Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management plan on Wednesday.
Ballot Initiative 114, which was overwhelmingly adopted by urban voters in 2020, is detailed in the 261-page booklet. It demands that the western side of the Continental Divide of Colorado have gray wolves again.
Wolf Reintroduction by 2023
By the end of 2023, CPW intends to reintroduce wolves. But getting wolves will be the first problem with implementation.
The first step of that, according to Eric O’Dell, manager of CPW’s species conservation program, is figuring out where wolves will come from. He stated that although formal discussions have not yet taken place, their team has already had numerous informal discussions regarding other states serving as potential sources for creating wolf populations in Colorado.
According to the CPW’s draft plans, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, or Washington would be involved in the collaboration. However, representatives from those states either denied having formal discussions with Colorado or claimed they have no interest in supplying wolves.
According to O’Dell, they do not import animals from other states. To catch those animals and get them to Colorado, they are cooperating with other states, possibly individual trappers, and other groups. They lack specifics about how that will appear. There are many operational costs, such as those associated with gathering the animals, collaring them, treating them for disease, and gathering all the genetic data, but the team lacks a definite cost estimate for these charges.
Bringing New Wolves to Colorado
According to Reid DeWalt, the assistant director for CPW’s wildlife and natural resources, trading wildlife species with other states is frequent. Whether they provide the necessary species to Colorado or Colorado provides them. It frequently happens between states or wildlife management organizations. The state continues to do this with wolves as well as other species because it has a history of doing so.
Prior to ultimate approval, the state spent months hearing from the public about this idea. Ranchers have been quite worried about what the wolves will do to their livestock and pets throughout that process.
According to the finalized proposal, ranchers will receive up to $15,000 in compensation for each animal of their livestock killed by wolves, CPR reports.
Before additional wolves can be introduced to Colorado, a couple of other things must take place.
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The federal government could agree to label gray wolves as “experimental” instead of “endangered,” giving Colorado more flexibility over wolf population management. This would affect when and how someone may kill a wolf.
Since CPW requested the modification, the state anticipates receiving the amended regulation from the federal government by the middle of December.
Additionally, unless the federal regulations are altered, state officials are not permitted to introduce wolves into the state, according to a law that the Colorado state legislature is close to passing.
Wolves are already present in Colorado in limited numbers. A couple naturally traveled to Colorado two years ago, according to CPW, and gave birth to a litter of wolf pups. The Coloradoan reports that the couple had another litter of puppies the previous year.
Two of the male wolves living in Jackson County were collared by CPW in February, 9News reports.
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