PLEASE, take the time to make your voice heard.
The following is a message from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF)
After Colorado voters narrowly approved wolf reintroduction in 2020 via ballot measure, which RMEF strongly opposed, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission set up a process for developing a wolf management plan.
A Wolf Advisory Group and a Technical Working Group was appointed, and while RMEF was excluded from the voting bodies, our staff and volunteers offered public comments several times over the year that they met. Despite the process being heavily weighed in the favor of wolf advocates and preservationists the Draft Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan is relatively balanced.
The plan is still a draft, so it could get better, but it also could get much worse. In fact wolf preservationists are fighting hard to change the plan to: eliminate any possibility of hunting as a future management tool, remove declining elk and deer populations as a reason to manage wolves, make lethal harvest almost impossible to address problem wolves, increase recovery goals to levels that may not be achievable and perpetuate permanent “endangered” status.
We are encouraging our members to participate in the Public Comment Process by clicking this link and following the CPW portal. We have prepared these key points that you can include in your comments.
- RMEF has more than 14,000 members in Colorado and has conserved or enhanced more than 500,000 acres of habitat. Hunters are socially, financially, and ecologically important to Colorado.
- The ballot measure passed with less than 51% of the vote. The wolf plan should also be balanced and moderate.
- While restoration in Colorado is required by state law, wolves’ presence in Colorado is not essential to recovery nationwide under the Endangered Species Act.
- The North American Model of Wildlife Management has been successful in restoring and sustaining wildlife because it is built on scientific principle and a sustainable funding model. Wolf management should be consistent with the North American Model.
- According to CPW, 46% of the agency’s license revenue is from elk licenses, but the agency expects the trend of reducing elk licenses will continue particularly after wolves are reintroduced.
- Deer, elk and moose populations need to be closely monitored particularly in areas where wolves are restored.
- Managing wolf populations through lethal harvest in units where ungulate number are below objective is justified.
- After wolves meet recovery goals they should be re-classified as game animals, and science-based regulated harvest by hunters should be used as the primary management technique.
We also encourage you to sign the RMEF petition that will be included with RMEF’s official comments submitted at the end of the public comment process.