DENVER (CBS4) – The fight over whether gray wolves should be reintroduced in Colorado will be decided by the voters. The Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced Monday that proponents had gathered enough signatures to get Initiative 107 — “Restoration of Gray Wolves” — on the 2020 General Election ballot.

A wild gray timber wolf in Yellowstone National Park.

A wild gray timber wolf in Yellowstone National Park. (credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund was behind the campaign to get the issue on the ballot. In December, they delivered more than 200,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office to begin the process.

On Monday, the Secretary of State’s office confirmed it had received 215,370 signatures and conducted the random sample verification process. Based on the results of the sample, officials projected organizers had gathered more than the required number of valid signatures.

(credit: Rocky Mountain Wolf Project)

Advocates say having gray wolves back in Colorado could restore the state’s natural balance and believe it should be for the people to decide.

John Longhill is the executive director of the Blue River Horse Center north of Silverthorne and says he does have concerns about wolves killing livestock but thinks they should be brought back to Colorado.

John Longhill (credit: CBS)

“I am concerned of having another Apex predator again. There is a larger picture. The fact is wolves are coming to Colorado. Seventy percent of the people of Colorado want them, let’s do it the right way through legislation, mitigate livestock losses, create an awareness.”

RELATED: Some Ranchers Believe Colorado Is Missing A Key Piece Of The West: Wolves

Opponents say the decision should be made by experts with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

(credit: CBS)

Terry Frankhauser with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association says it’s a complex, biological decision that shouldn’t be political. The Colorado Farm Bureau and several counties have also come out against the proposal.

(credit: CBS)

As it stands, the initiative specifies that reintroduction would happen on BLM land in western Colorado where it is more abundant and would include a fund to reimburse ranchers if livestock was killed.




Comments (4)
  1. Mike says:

    There are multiple problems with the idea of wolf introduction. The biggest one for me is the idea that there is not a balance already in Colorado.

    The herds are in great shape, though there is some downward movement due to human activity. Wolves will make this worse.

    This will not fix any problems, just make problems worse.

    We do have some areas that are out of balance, but I seriously doubt that anyone is planning on introducing wolves into Denver city parks. Those are the only places that could use more predators. Perhaps some grizzly bears?

  2. Sam Walker says:

    One more important point not talked about:
    The introduction of the grays caused the extinction of the Northern Rocky Mountain Timber Wolf. If this were truly about a balanced ecology, why did the wolf activists allow this to happen?

  3. Sam Walker says:

    Get your facts straight. This is not a “reintroduction” Timber wolves were the native wolf and were 2/3 the size of the Canadian Gray. This would be an INTRODUCTION OF AN INVASIVE SPECIES.

    It has NOT brought balance when introduced in the other states but created an ecological disaster among the moose, elk and deer in those areas. One elk herd that used to number 11,000 has declined steadily to 2,000 and is now considered not viable because of the calf mortality rate through the winters.. The wolves do NOT “take the sick and weak” but attack the calves and fawns when they are too small to get away. Moose herds that were being re-established in Idaho, are now endangered due to wolf predation.

    Studies have proven this, but the wolf activists will blame it on bears, cougars, the weather, anything else. Yet, the ONLY constant factor since these on native wolves were introduced has been the increase in the wolf population.

  4. Jeff says:

    A fund to reimburse ranchers? Where does that money come from?
    Think people! They’ll have to rob it from another “fund” and/or increase your taxes.
    This is just one of many good reasons to NOT reintroduce wolves to Colorado

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