The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its 10(j) rule of the Endangered Species Act that will give Colorado flexibility in establishing an experimental population of gray wolves. Among other things, it allows ranchers the ability to kill wolves that attack their animals.
Colorado is moving forward with its plan to place wolves on the landscape before the end of 2023. According to KUSA-TV, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) hired a wolf monitoring and data coordinator and allocated more than $32,000 for 15 GPS collars to place on wolves. What it doesn’t have is any wolves or a place to get any.
Idaho, Montana and Wyoming all rejected Colorado’s requests to trap wolves in their states. Oregon and Washington are both considering similar requests but, if granted, neither would likely occur until after the voter-mandated deadline of December 31, 2023, because it is difficult to find wolves unless there is snow on the ground. According to KUSA, there may be no legal grounds for those in opposition to file suit if the end-of-year deadline is not met.
In July, CPW asked the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho about the possibility of capturing wolves. No word on a reply, however the Southern Ute tribes of the Muache, Capote and Weeminuche of Colorado, were all on record in opposition to the initial ballot initiative to release wolves into the state.
(Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Lori Iverson)