August 4, 2016
Re: Colorado Parks officials want reports of wolf sightings.
I am pleased to see Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials take the first step to pave the way for gray wolves to make their way back to Colorado. Our state has some of the best habitat for wolves in the country, and their presence would do much to restore the natural balance to places such as Rocky Mountain National Park, which has seen foliage decimated by years of elk overpopulation.
Polls show 70 percent of Coloradans want wolves to return to our state. However, merely asking citizens to report sightings of the occasional wolves that cross our borders will not be enough to establish a healthy wolf population here.
I and many other Coloradans were deeply dismayed by Gov. John Hickenlooper's decision to refuse a proposal to reintroduce the gray wolf to Colorado, even in the face of scientific evidence that this would be in the best interests of the state. Therefore, Colorado Parks and Wildlife must take a more proactive role in assuring the best possible outcome for those wolves that do make it into Colorado. The public must be educated about wolves (particularly how to tell a wolf from a coyote) and know the penalties that will be incurred for killing a wolf.
Coloradans have a deep love for our wildlife, and I firmly believe that if any state in the union can make wolf reintroduction work, it is Colorado. It will take all of us: biologists, elected officials, environmentalists, ranchers, hunters and others working together to make this successful. If you agree, please contact Gov. Hickenlooper and ask him to reconsider actively returning these majestic animals to our beautiful state.