DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado moved one step closer to wolf reintroduction on Wednesday, with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voting unanimously to approve a Wolf Restoration and Management Plan.
But plenty of hurdles remain before the first paws touch down on the Western Slope.
First and foremost, CPW still has to find someone to donate 30-75 wolves.
The agency has identified Wyoming, Idaho and Montana as preferred options, with Oregon and Washington if none of those work out.
Wednesday, Wyoming Governor Mark Goldon told FOX31’s Evan Kruegel he has no plans to donate any Wyoming wolves.
In a statement, he wrote in part:
Wyoming is opposed to the 10(j) population of wolves in Colorado for a variety of reasons. Our current wolf management plan is working, and it works because it is designed to manage wolves in biologically and socially suitable habitats and to keep wolves out of areas of the state where conflicts would be highest. Our border with Colorado is an unsuitable area for wolves, and that would mean more human conflicts. Resolution of conflicts is almost always deadly to wolves.
Wyoming is opposed to sending Wyoming wolves to Colorado because we carefully and scientifically manage our wolf population. We have target population numbers, and reducing those numbers to support a translocation in Colorado may jeopardize those successful management plans.
Eric Odell with CPW said conversations with other states haven’t formally happened yet, but will shortly.
“We’ve had a lot of informal conversations with other states thus far about them being sources for establishing a wolf population in Colorado, but the formal conversations haven’t happened yet, we’ve been waiting on the approval and finalization of the plan,” Odell said.