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Colorado wolf initiative makes it to November ballot

Colorado wolf initiative makes it to November ballot

Photo credit: Dreamstime

It’s official: this November, Colorado voters will have the chance to weigh in on whether wolves should be reintroduced to the Centennial State. On Monday, the Colorado Secretary of State announced that the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund (RMWAF) had gathered enough valid signatures to “earn a place [on] the 2020 ballot,” Colorado Public Radio reports. 

Historically, wolf reintroduction efforts follow federal protocol with state wildlife managers going through the required steps outlined by the Endangered Species Act. This ballot proposal makes it the first time that voters would determine a state’s wildlife strategy. If approved, state wildlife managers would be required to “reintroduce wolves to Western Colorado by the end of 2023,” according to Colorado Public Radio.

“We are extremely excited to move into the general campaign and have a full-throated conversation with Coloradans about what it means to have wolves on the landscape again,” said Rob Edward, president of RMWAF.

How the controversial measure-- known as Initiative 107—will turn out once voters hit the voting booths in November isn’t known, but, according to Colorado Public Radio, an online poll recently found that two-thirds of Colorado voters are actually in favor of reintroducing wolves with only 15% opposed to the idea.

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However, Denny Behrens, who serves as co-chair of the Colorado Stop the Wolf Coalition (CSWC), isn’t too concerned. CSWC has already helped 23 rural Colorado counties “pass resolutions declaring their opposition to the initiative” and Behrens says that the group’s next step “is to teach the public about the potential harms of wolf reintroduction.”

While wolf reintroduction efforts have gained support in other states, Behrens says that Colorado is different and the amount of people, pets and livestock within the state make the initiative a bad idea.

“Proponents keep saying Colorado is like Yellowstone National Park and that’s obviously not true,” said Behrens

Behrens points out that deer and elk populations would likely take a major hit and the recent moose reintroduction program would be completely undone once wolves were returned to the state. Also, once passed, a compensation program would need to be set up for livestock owners. Further, according to Colorado Public Radio, reintroducing wolves could cost Colorado taxpayers $5.7 million over eight years just to set everything up and get the effort underway.

What will be the outcome of November’s wolf ballot? Stay tuned to goHUNT for further details.

8 Comments

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Phil S. - posted 1 week ago on 01-12-2020 07:14:35 pm
Casper, Wy
goHUNT INSIDER

Shame about the moose population that's been doing so good in Colorado.

Deercreekranch1
Delbert J. - posted 1 week ago on 01-12-2020 06:56:45 pm
Frederick Colorado
goHUNT INSIDER

They just had a pack in Colorado from Wyoming and others over years have been shot don’t waste your breath on this it is what it is and we are not going to stop it thank god at least Wyoming wolf management is working in Wyoming and we have some of the best elk hunting in years. Colorafo isn’t know for trophy elk but opportunity

Casey Alves_10208669660671292
Casey A. - posted 1 week ago on 01-12-2020 06:14:29 pm
Port orange Florida
goHUNT INSIDER

Such political BS. I don’t understand if you let nature take its course the wolves will eventually make there way to Colorado. It’s not natural to have a sudden reintroduction of an Alfa predator with prey species that has had decades and generations of no wolves.

joshua b. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-11-2020 04:09:52 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Look at the mess is Idaho due to mostly wolves, let alone the weather kill off. The last thing Colorado needs is to nurture a wolf population. These Nany-State lunatics are going to ruin hunting it yet another state.

After they release all these wild dogs are the libs going to walk behind all the wolves and pick up there turds with little plastic baggies?

I would be cynical about this if it weren’t already so damned tragic!

Benton L. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-09-2020 10:38:57 am
goHUNT INSIDER

An ignorant vote is worse than not voting at all.

Barry T. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-09-2020 07:55:23 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Unfortunately this will pass. Much like Oregon, Washington and New Mexico, Colorado's wildlife policy is determined by its left-leaning major metropolitan areas. This State will be hit especially hard as they have already demonstrated an unwillingness to embrace effective management tools, as is seen with their outright ban of trapping on public land and the use of dogs and bait for predators. Ungulate populations will decline and so to will opportunity as wildlife officials will be handcuffed and not able to effectively address rising predator populations. Should they try, they will be hit with countless lawsuits from the likes of Western Watersheds and Defenders of Wildlife.

It's examples like this, that clearly demonstrate that making political decisions based on public land policy alone, is ineffective. Often times those who support public land, fail to support management and use of that land, in a way that aligns with hunter and animal interests. Central Idaho elk and deer populations have been decimated through the re-introduction of an additional apex predator that reproduces at a much higher rate than it's counter-parts, bear and mountain lion.

The only way to allow this predator back on the landscape, is to allow complete uninhibited take of the species by both hunters and wildlife agencies through any means necessary. (excluding poison). The only way to accomplish that, is to end the litigious non-profits that file endless court filings in hopes they will be assigned an activist judge. Sorry for the rant but its sad and frustrating to see people destroy the very things they portend to support.

Aaron D. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-08-2020 05:27:54 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

I'm guessing that Colorado is like Oregon where all of the people that think this is a good idea live in a few counties that vote in all the bad decisions that affect the rest of the state. Most of whom don't even go into the woods, understand or care about the consequences of their vote. Fingers crossed that it doesn't pass.

matthew a. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-08-2020 10:07:45 am
Tampa, FL
goHUNT INSIDER

Us Non Resident hunters have a dog in this fight. We represent millions of dollars in annual income for CPW. This isnt just about residents- make a platform to collate our voices. Show the legistlature the economic fallout as a result of reduced NR licensee sales. Its not just a licensee folks- its gas, food, lodging too.