HOWL Colorado

Colorado wolves, if confirmed, would get full protection under law

[large thumbnail url=”colorado-wolves-if-confirmed-would-get-full-protection-under-law” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”02″ day=”11″] [thumbnail icon url=”colorado-wolves-if-confirmed-would-get-full-protection-under-law” filename=”news” year=”2010″ month=”02″ day=”11″] The wolf pack which may have taken up residence on High Lonesome Ranch would become fully protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Unlike other Rocky Mountain states, which have a variety of protections offered to the wolves in their state, Colorado would give any wolves that cross it’s borders full protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

How is it different in other states?

Colorado neighboring state Wyoming has been trying to remove federal protections from wolves for several years. Currently, they are considered an “experimental species” which leaves their management in the hands of the federal government. Wyoming is hoping to turn them in to “trophy game animals” in some areas of the state, and “predators” for the rest. Trophy state means the animals can only be killed during specific seasons and with specific permission. Predator status would mean they can be shot on sight for any number of reasons.

Montana and Idaho both manage their own wolves. As the recent hunts in both states indicate, neither state extends the Endangered Species Act protections to wolves. Montana considers the wolf to be a “species in need of management,” but reserve the right to target them with seasonal hunts. Idaho considers the animals as “trophy game animals.”  

In Colorado…

Wolves in Colorado would be completely protected under the Endangered Species Act. This means there are very strict rules on how a wolf can be managed, and under what circumstances lethal means can be used. It also impacts how land can be developed in areas near the homes of an endangered species.

However, Colorado is not unprepared for this. Their management plan treats wolves reasonably, and even to some extent welcomes them.

Colorado is an ancestral home to wolves. There is little doubt they will succeed in the state if given the chance. There is also a strong belief that the presence of wolves will have a positive impact on the overall ecosystem, helping control a very successful ungulate population.

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