Restore the Howl!
Backers of a proposal to reintroduce gray wolves to western Colorado turned in 211,000 signatures for a measure that would put the measure on the ballot.
The Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund said in a Tuesday news conference that the measure has ‘widespread bipartisan support,” claiming two-thirds of the state supports wolf reintroduction. “This marries wildlife, conservation and direct democracy,” said Rob Edwards, the head of the group.
Its the first ballot measure seeking the reintroduction of an endangered species, he said.
The initiative directs Colorado Parks and Wildlife “to develop, after public input, a science-based plan for reintroducing wolves to Western Colorado by 2023.”
Gray wolves, an endangered species, haven’t found a home in Colorado since the 1940s, according to Joanna Lambert, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Should voters approve the measure, Colorado would be the last state to restore the species to its public lands, she said. This would bring back a “true American species,” Lambert said, and in a way that is “respectful to the needs and concerns of all Coloradans.” Read more at Outdoor Colorado
What you need to know about a ballot effort to bring wolves back to Colorado
Should voters make this call of the wild?
By Alesandra Tejeda The Cololrado Independent
Over the next month, an army of volunteers will continue fanning across the state making sure they’ve gathered enough signatures to put a much-debated question on the November 2020 ballot: Should voters reintroduce gray wolves onto public lands in western Colorado where they once roamed but haven’t since the 1940s?
If volunteers successfully gather the necessary 124,632 signatures by Dec. 13, you could get a shot at deciding whether Colorado gets its wolves back along with whether to re-elect President Donald Trump or send a new U.S. senator to Washington. A group backing Initiative 107 says it already has enough signatures, but is gathering more just to be safe.
If the question makes the ballot, it will be the first time voters anywhere in the nation will decide whether to reintroduce gray wolves.
What would the proposed ballot measure do?
If it passes, the new law starts a series of steps that would end with some eventual number of wolves being introduced onto public lands in the western part of the state. The ballot language also provides compensation for those who lose their livestock to wolves.
Initiative 107 would direct the Parks and Wildlife Commission to develop a plan to introduce wolves here “using the best scientific data available” and also to hold public hearings to gather “scientific, economic, and social considerations.”
The commission would have to figure out the details — how many wolves exactly, where they would come from, how they’d be managed, what the compensation program would look like — based on these hearings and testimony. The commission also would have to develop methodologies for determining when the gray wolf population is sustaining itself and “when to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered or threatened species” as provided by state law.
The plan would be to start reintroducing wolves to Colorado by 2023.
To read the full article click here.
Learn more about the plan at The Rocky Mountain Wolf Project Click here.