It took a while, but Colorado finally secured a source for its wolf introduction effort.
After rejections from Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced a one-year agreement with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to source up to 10 wolves in Oregon and release them in Colorado. The project will happen sometime between December 2023 and March 2024.
Coloradans passed a citizen ballot initiative by less than two percent in November 2020 to forcibly introduce wolves into the state despite 39 of 64 counties adopting resolutions in opposition. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation strongly opposed the initiative citing the recklessness of ballot box biology in undermining the authority of Colorado’s wildlife professionals who stated multiple times over decades that such an introduction was a bad idea.
CPW aims to begin trapping operations in December by contracting helicopter crews and spotter planes. Wolves will be tested and treated for disease at the source sites and outfitted with tracking collars. CPW says it will make efforts to transplant wolves not involved with repeated depredations in Oregon. It plans to release them in northwest Colorado.
(Photo source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)