Colorado wildlife officials are reluctant to OK gray wolf reintroduction, so advocates want voters to do it
The Colorado Sun
DENVER — After 40 years of battling to restore wolf populations in the Southwest, Northern Rockies and Great Lakes states, the legal, political and biological war for wolves is coming to Colorado.
But this time it could be voters — not federal and state wildlife managers — pushing the only state in the Rocky Mountains without wolves to welcome the roaming predators.
Jay Fetcher, whose father was a pioneering rancher in the Yampa Valley, runs about 300 cattle on his family’s ranch on the Elk River near Steamboat Springs. While he’s unsure about reintroduction of wolves, he welcomes them venturing south from Wyoming.
“I think they would suffer with reintroduction,” Fetcher said, noting some ranchers opposed to wolves would follow the “shoot, shovel and shut-up approach” to protecting livestock if a wolf came hunting. “I don’t think it’s fair to the wolves. But I’d like to see them. I really would. I know we would have predation of the cattle herd, but I’m willing to tolerate some of that predation as long as there is quick and easy compensation.”
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