Elk NetworkDoes Colorado’s Wolf Introduction Plan Face a Huge Hiccup?

General | July 21, 2023

7/21/2023 update:

Chalk it up as another swing and a miss. Colorado struck out with a second state in its quest to find wolves for its introduction efforts. According to a recent report, Idaho rejected such a request, following suit with Wyoming before it (see below).

“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,” said Jim Fredericks, Idaho Department of Fish and Game director, according to KUSA-TV. Washington is reportedly mulling a request as well.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a wolf management plan and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) claims the project is on schedule to place wolves on the landscape by the end of 2023.

“This wolf reintroduction effort will be undertaken by CPW in cooperation with federal agencies, potentially affected Tribes, and the states of Idaho, Montana and/or Wyoming from which wild wolves will be transferred via agreement,” the plan states.

Or will it? A Denver media outlet reports there may be a hitch, a rather significant hitch. It reports there is no agreement in place with Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. And Colorado’s northern neighbor is not only adamant that it has not spoken to Colorado but stands in steadfast opposition to wolves being placed in Colorado.

“Wyoming is opposed to sending wolves to Colorado. Our current wolf management plan is working, and it works because it is designed to manage wolves in biologically and socially suitable habitats and to keep wolves out of areas of the state where conflicts would be highest,” Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon told KUSA-TV. “Our border with Colorado is an unsuitable area for wolves, and that would mean more human conflicts. Resolution of conflicts are almost always deadly to wolves.”

Officials in Idaho and Montana say they are not involved in any such talks either.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recently called on Colorado Governor Jared Polis to sign a bill, passed by both legislative branches, that supports CPW and sound wildlife management.

(Photo credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)