DENVER — Colorado voters could soon be tasked with deciding whether to bring wolves back to the state.
The Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund announced Tuesday that it submitted more than 200,000 signature to the Colorado secretary of state in hopes of placing restoration of wolves on the 2020 state ballot.
Initiative 107 instructs Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop, after public input, a science-based plan for reintroducing wolves to western Colorado by 2023. It also directs the Colorado General Assembly to develop a means to compensate ranchers for the small number of livestock that could potentially be lost to wolves each year, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
“These 200,000 signatures represent just a small sample of the overwhelming majority of Coloradans who support bringing wolves back to our state,” said Sam Gilchrist, a Colorado resident and western campaigns director for the NRDC Action Fund.
The last confirmed wolf sighting in Colorado was in 2015, when a wolf was killed near Kremmling.
The recent sighting of a gray wolf in northern Colorado has only fueled the debate over the future of the animal that once roamed Colorado freely.