Rushed Colorado Senate Bill Seeks To Delay Wolf Reintroduction
While CO rep. Lauren Boebert has been attacking endangered species on the national front, wolf reintroduction could be in danger on the state level in CO as well. The recent introduction of Senate Bill 256 in Colorado has raised concerns about the state’s ability to restore wolves to their natural habitat. Senate Bill 23-256 was suddenly introduced Mar. 27, 2023 (a late session bill), and then a hearing was scheduled on Mar. 30, 2023. The bill, if it passes, could delay the reintroduction of wolves by at least six years, despite Colorado voters approving a measure to restore wolves in November 2020 and the CPW committing to start reintroduction by the end of this year. This delay, if passed, would be unnecessary and counterproductive, as wolves play a crucial role in maintaining healthy ecosystems and preserving biological diversity. The bill is now before the Senate Approps committee and CO residents should let their representatives know that they don’t support SB-256.
SB 256 Subverts The Will Of Voters
As stated by the Polis administration, the most favorable course of action to fulfill the wolf restoration statute (CRS 33-2-105.8) is through the reintroduction of wolves via a 10(j) program that is a joint effort between CPW and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Fortunately, this collaboration is currently in progress and both state and federal processes needed for the authorization of a 10(j) program are being carried out responsibly. These processes are scheduled to be completed with ample time for CPW to perform initial reintroductions by December 31 and we wrote about the latest hearings back in Feburary. Therefore, SB-256 is unnecessary and should be dismissed. At best, the bill proposes a solution to a problem that does not exist and will postpone reintroduction by at least six years. At worst, it is an attempt to disrupt the efficient administrative processes and enable legal action that could delay reintroduction for a decade or more.
When reaching out to your representative, it could be helpful to stick to a few key talking points. You can find those here:
If you or someone you know lives in Colorado and supports the wolf reintroduction efforts members it’s imperitive you request that the CO state senators vote “no” on SB-256 due to it’s subversion of a ballot initiative voted on by the citizens of the state.