Energy & Environment

Advocates say they have enough signatures for ballot measure to bring wolves back to Colorado

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Proponents of a ballot initiative that would bring wolves back to Colorado say they have collected more than enough signatures to have the measure appear before voters next year.

Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund in an announcement Tuesday said it submitted more than 200,000 signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State to get the measure on the 2020 ballot.

If the signatures are validated by the secretary of state, the measure would ask voters in Colorado whether to require state wildlife commissioners to reintroduce gray wolves on designated public land in the western part of the state by the end of 2023.

Rob Edward, president of the action fund, the leading group behind the initiative, said the enthusiasm from voters to give their signatures shows residents want the wolf reintroduced to the state.

“The enthusiastic response from voters all across the state to this initiative is not a surprise, since poll after poll during the past 20 years has shown that Coloradans want to bring back the wolf,” he said in a statement.

Backers of the measure say bringing wolves back will restore ecological integrity to the state; however, the move is opposed by livestock groups that fear the threat the wolves could present.

“We’re looking forward to helping wolves restore the balance to Colorado’s public lands,” Edwards stated.

The initiative would need to have at least 124,632 signatures validated by state election officials in order to appear before voters on the ballot next year, according to the Denver Post.

The news outlet noted that wolves roamed western Colorado freely before ranchers around 1900 hunted the animal away in an effort to promote and protect livestock.

Tags conservationism Gray wolf
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