Colorado’s Controversial Wolf Plan has ‘Feet on the Ground’ by Year’s End
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has announced that wolves will be on the ground in Colorado by December 31, 2023.
According to a press release from the agency, the CPW Commission approved the final Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan on Wednesday (May 3), which "clears the way for CPW biologists to introduce wolves in the Western Slope area."
The Commission also passed a resolution reaffirming the "successful implementation" of Proposition 114, a 2020 measure that requires CPW to reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado.
"This science-based plan is the result of months of planning, convening stakeholder and expert working groups, and offering live and public comment opportunities, while factoring in the biological needs of the species, and creating the best possible chance for these amazing animals to be successfully restored to our state," said Gov. Jared Polis in the release.
CPW Commission Chair Carrie Besnette Hauser added: "Throughout the process, the Commission also relied on talented experts and scientists, and remained cognizant of the impacts the plan and wolf reintroduction will have on Colorado's Western Slope where reintroduction will occur."
The finalized plan addresses livestock compensation for ranchers who lose animals to wolves and raises the compensation cap to $15,000 per animal.
Colorado Public Radio said the plan states Colorado shall release 10 to 15 wolves annually over the next three to five years; however, the station notes that a pending bill could impact CPW's reintroduction goal.
The plan also states that Colorado's wolves would ideally come from Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming, but 9News reports that those states haven't agreed to give wolves to the Centennial State.
CPW says it will provide the public with updates on the plan's progress "at least annually."