Top ag organizations form Coloradans Protecting Wildlife to oppose gray wolf ballot initiative |

Top ag organizations form Coloradans Protecting Wildlife to oppose gray wolf ballot initiative

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, and Colorado Wool Growers’ Association announced the formation of Coloradans Protecting Wildlife, an issue committee against a proposed 2020 ballot measure that would require the introduction of wolves into Colorado. The organizations have over 345 years of combined experience working on wildlife and land management issues.

“Organizations across the state are joining forces and encouraging Coloradans to rethink introducing the wolf,” said Chad Vorthmann, executive vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau. “The decision about whether or not to introduce wolves to Colorado should be guided by science and left in the hands of experts, not the ballot box.”

The proposed 2020 initiative would ignore long-standing scientific processes, research and expert guidance by forcing the introduction of the wolf into Colorado without any analysis of the potential negative impacts on Colorado’s environment and ecosystems, or its citizens.

“It’s far too risky not only for humans and livestock populations in the state, but wildlife as well,” said Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. “The claim that wolves will create balance for the environment is misleading. Politically charged wolf introduction ignores the responsible stewardship Coloradoans have worked hard to implement.”

The idea of introducing wolves to the state is not a new one. CCA, CFB and CWGA have previously worked with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop a “free-ranging” wolf plan, including necessary management strategies to ensure gray wolves that enter Colorado from other states are protected yet do not endanger animals or people that they may come in contact with.

Coloradans Protecting Wildlife will educate voters about the pitfalls of wolves introduced to Colorado’s landscapes and urge them to leave species management up to wildlife biologists and the relevant state and federal agencies.

“Wolf introduction in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana has had a devastating impact on livestock producers,” said Bonnie Brown, executive director of the Colorado Wool Growers Association. “We will fight for our members and do everything we can to protect their livelihood.” ❖