CFB Policy Watch: Wolf Reintroduction Bill Introduced in Legislature
A measure has been introduced in the General Assembly that sets to “Manage Gray Wolves in Colorado.” This effort is outside of the current ballot initiative that will be on your ballot in November. As introduced, the bill will require the introduction of wolves by 2025, but unlike the ballot initiative, includes provisions to either cancel or postpone introduction if certain criteria are not met:
- The bill calls for the reintroduction to be postponed if a new source of revenue has not been found to reimburse farmers/ranchers for livestock damages caused by wolf predation.
- Additionally, wolf introduction will be canceled if the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has determined that a sustainable population of wolves has been established in Colorado. The CPW must also come up with a management plan, educate landowners on how to avoid and mitigate interaction with wolves, and work with a stakeholder group to figure out the best way to verify and estimate damages caused by wolves.
SB20-121 will not have any immediate effect on the ballot measure as that has been certified to appear on the ballot in November. There is currently no indication that the proponents will pull the measure. If both measures were to pass, there would be conflicting statutes to iron out, likely in the courts.
While some aspects of this HB20-121 are encouraging, CFB remains opposed to introducing the gray wolf based on the policy approved this past delegate session. For more information on the position of the issue committee, please visit www.rethinkwolves.com. An endangered species such as the wolf should be managed by experts rather than at the ballot box or the legislature.