Colorado Eyes Reintroducing Wolves

Colorado Eyes Reintroducing Wolves

Rick Worthington
Rick Worthington
Colorado Eyes Reintroducing Wolves

Sunday the 12th marked 25 years since wolves were reintroduced in Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho.

Meanwhile, Colorado voters will consider the program when deciding on Initiative 107 on the November ballot.

The measure would direct Colorado Parks and Wildlife to create a plan to reintroduce wolves by December 2023.

Ranchers are naturally skeptical over the idea of re-introducing wolves.

Jonathan Proctor is with Defenders of Wildlife, said the work in Yellowstone offers a blueprint for bringing the predator back to its historic habitat.

"We have 25 years of experience and data and facts to understand the benefits of wolf restoration to the northern Rockies," Proctor said. "We can use those lessons learned and finish the job here in the southern Rockies."

Most hunters oppose the measure, citing concerns about the potential loss of elk.

Ranchers also have voiced a great deal of concern about the potential loss of livestock.

However, Proctor says Initiative 107 would include compensation for ranchers.

"And although we expect the losses to be very, very small in the region of Colorado, if we compare that to what's happened in the northern Rockies over the past 25 years, those losses are real to individual ranchers, and we should take that very seriously," he said.

He said ranchers in Wyoming are also ready to share strategies that have helped them avoid losses altogether.

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