Management plan should not delist wolves from protection
The passing of Proposition 114 to reintroduce gray wolves into Colorado caused a worldwide sensation. Once again, Colorado was on the cutting edge and leading the way. We voted to create a statewide sanctuary for an endangered species, the gray wolf, and to reverse our historic role in exterminating wolves from the entire United States.
Coloradans voted on this definition: “Gray wolf” means nongame wildlife of the species Canis lupus, which means humans cannot kill wolves. The gray wolf is protected by the federal Endangered Species
Act. The combination of the words endangered and nongame species meant Coloradoans voted to protect the gray wolf from killing.
Coloradans voted to make Colorado wilder and to show the world our state would protect an endangered species. We voted to keep wolves out of harm’s way.
Fast forward. Two years later, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission (CPW) Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Draft Plan includes the delisting of gray wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act, recreational hunting and lethal control of wolves. The plan is available on their website.
How can killing wolves be possible when the gray wolf is protected by the federal Endangered Species Act? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can delist any animal from the Endangered Species Act. CPW began the process in August 2022.
CPW promises to take into consideration public comments and make changes before they finalize the plan. Public comment closes Feb. 22.
You can make a comment in many ways.
Make a comment on the CPW website, https://engagecpw.org/draft-wolfplan-comments.
Attend a CPW Commissioners meeting and sign up to make a public comment, at https://cpw.state. co.us/aboutus/pages/submit-public-comments.aspx. Write the CPW Commissioners directly. Find email addresses at https://cpw. state.co.us/aboutus/pages/ Commissionmembers.aspx. — Kathleen Willard, Fort Collins