DENVER, Colo.—Dec. 10, 2019 —Coloradans Protecting Wildlife (CPW) reaffirmed today their commitment to opposing a November 2020 ballot measure to introduce gray wolves into Colorado. Proponents submitted petition signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State today. “We stand firmly opposed to this dangerous measure. We are prepared to fight to protect our state’s valuable resources and unmatched natural beauty,” said the leaders of CPW.
“For numerous reasons, wildlife experts have advised against introducing wolves in Colorado multiple times over the years,” says Chad Vorthmann, Executive Vice President of the Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB). “The decision about whether or not to introduce wolves to Colorado should be guided by science and left in the hands of experts, not the ballot box.”
The proposed 2020 initiative would ignore long-standing scientific processes, research, and expert guidance by forcing the introduction of the wolf into Colorado without any analysis of the potential negative impacts on Colorado’s environment and ecosystems, or its citizens.
“This measure poses a direct and immediate threat to humans, domestic pets, livestock populations, and wildlife in Colorado,” warns Terry Fankhauser, Executive Vice President of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). “The claim that this will create balance for the environment is misleading. Introducing the wolf will create chaos and conflict with the current ecosystem including harm to threatened and endangered species.”
As responsible stewards of the land, Colorado’s farmers and ranchers have worked collaboratively with state officials, conservationists, and other stakeholders to develop a “free-ranging” wolf plan, including necessary management strategies to ensure gray wolves that enter Colorado from other states are protected yet do not endanger animals or people that they may come in contact with.
Coloradans Protecting Wildlife is building a diverse, robust coalition of stakeholders to educate voters about the pitfalls of wolves introduced to Colorado’s landscapes and urge them to leave species management up to wildlife biologists and the relevant state and federal agencies.
“As partners in conservation, we’re alarmed this ballot measure has no safeguards or protection. Forcing the release of an unmanaged apex predator will cause irreparable harm to our wildlife and our livestock,” says Bonnie Brown, Executive Director of the Colorado Wool Growers Association. “We will fight to protect our members and the valuable habitat they provide to make sure that Colorado remains a safe, beautiful place for future generations to come.”
For additional information about Coloradans Protecting Wildlife, please visit: www.RethinkWolves.com.