DENVER — As Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) puts together the state's formal wolf re-introduction plan, an advocacy group prepared its own, saying CPW has been too secretive about details.
According to the plan from nonprofit conservationist group WildEarth Guardians, the state's focus has shifted too far toward limiting the wolf population, compensating livestock owners and how to kill wolves.
"Discussions have focused on the negative impacts of wolves rather than positive ones. In critical ways, the spirit, and even the letter of Proposition 114, have been lost or undermined," the written plan said.
Colorado voters, mostly those in urban areas, approved Proposition 114 in November 2020. The legislation allows for the reintroduction of gray wolves in rural parts of the state, with implementation to begin by the end of 2023.
Since then, CPW has heard from various groups, including ranchers, hunters and wildlife conservationists.
WildEarth Guardians wants CPW to focus more on helping the wolf population thrive. Their proposal would set up 12 zones in western and northern Colorado that are suitable for wolves, like Rocky Mountain National Park, Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness and the White River National Forest.
"We also want to see them across the state in various zones, not sort of in a few pockets and calling that 'recovery,'" WildEarth Guardians wildlife program director Lindsay Larris told 9NEWS. "That won't build a self-sustaining population over the long term. It will have a number of wolves in various areas, and we won't see those ecological benefits we really know that wolves can bring to a landscape."
The group eventually wants to have 150 packs of wolves, or about 750 wolves, scattered across the state. They said CPW is considering 150 wolves in total.
Their proposal also outlines guidelines for compensating ranchers.
Wild Earth Guardians shared its plan on Monday. The group will present it to the CPW commissioners in Edwards this Thursday.
A group of wolves does live in Colorado now. A pair came down from Wyoming in 2021 and had six pups.
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