A Monumental Step Forward For Conservation As Wolves Will Be Reintroduced Into Colorado At The End Of 2023

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its final environmental impact statement this week and a draft Record of Decision for Colorado Parks and Wildlife to begin reintroducing endangered gray wolves into the state.

Sadly, the decision, if finalized, would allow the killing of wolves that prey on livestock and does not include requirements that livestock owners undertake nonlethal preventative measures.

“When the first wolf bolts out of a portable kennel into western Colorado’s cornucopia of elk and deer, it will start to right the wrong of federal wolf extermination from a century ago,” said Michael Robinson from the Center for Biological Diversity. “After clinking our glasses in a toast to the wolves in their new home, we’ll closely monitor wolf management to ensure the budding population is allowed to thrive without persecution.”

The final environmental statement has just one substantial change from the draft: It limits the killing of wolves in response to “unacceptable impacts,” to wild ungulates, such as deer and elk to tribal lands — whereas the draft EIS would have allowed such killings anywhere in the state.

In comments on the draft, the Center pointed out that failing to require livestock owners to undertake preventative measures incentivizes poor husbandry and opens the door to chronic conflicts and associated killings of wolves. Such preventative measures would include, removing carcasses of non-wolf-killed livestock before wolves scavenge on the carrion in the midst of herds that may be sickly.

“The state wolf plan and this new federal authorization will probably need to be revised before too long to truly protect both wolves and livestock by mandating non-lethal prevention,” said Robinson.

Under a state law passed by initiative in 2020, the release of wolves into Colorado will begin at the end of 2023.

#RelistWolves is a campaign launched by a coalition of NGO’s, scientists, concerned citizens, and political campaign strategists that aims to ensure that all wolves in the United States are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Please take action by asking your representatives to put pressure on Deb Haaland and President Biden to #RelistWolves, HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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