The state of Colorado is meant to see a wolf reintroduction program begin towards the end of this year. Proposition 114, passed in November 2020, directed the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Commission to begin the planning process for such a program, and the time to actually bring the animals into the state is coming up. There’s one big problem, though. According to 9News, they don’t have any wolves to reintroduce, and Idaho just joined Wyoming in refusing to hand any over.
“After giving the potential effects of your request careful consideration and conferring with Governor Little, I respectfully decline the request to use Idaho wolves as a source for translocation to Colorado.” – Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Jim Fredericks to CPW.
CPW reportedly requires 30-50 wolves for the reintroduction process set to take place over three to five years. So far, the agency has requested the animals from Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho, and the latter two have turned it down.
“Idaho has declined to participate in providing wolves to Colorado’s effort. Washington’s Wildlife Subcommittee of their Commission has had initial discussions, and it is our understanding that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission are continuing to consider whether they may be able to provide wolves to Colorado in the short term.” – CPW
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game reportedly declined the request out of concerns that the wolves will leave the state of Colorado. Additionally, financial and social costs of the program presented a problem in the decision.
“Strong disagreements over how they [wolves] should be managed have fostered mistrust and social conflict among our rural communities, hunters, trappers, other outdoor recreation users, agricultural interests, wolf advocates, conservation organizations, and governmental entities. The result is a strain on many of the very relationships that are critical to future conservation efforts.” – Jim Fredericks
Despite the lack of wolves promised to Colorado, CPW has already begun releasing tweets to prepare farmers and Colorado residents for the incoming wolf packs.
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