Colorado: First group of gray wolves released as part of repopulation plan

Officials from the agricultural sector, supported by Lauren Boebert, assured that the return of these wolves will pose a danger to livestock.

Colorado wildlife protection and care authorities announced the release of several gray wolves with the aim of reintroducing the species to the state. Colorado's Democratic government thus made it the first state to implement a reintegration program for this species.

The five animals, which come from Oregon, were released in Grand County during an event featuring Democratic Gov. Jared Polis. Gray wolves are present in Michigan, Alaska, Wisconsin, Montana, Oregon and Idaho, as well as Yellowstone National Park.

Their reintegration into Colorado is the result of a recovery plan after several years of work by the state government. In 2021, the wolf reintegration plan was approved through a vote by the citizens of Colorado. It aims to introduce about 10 wolves a year to the state over the next 10 years.

A controversial return

The reintroduction was applauded by conservationists, but criticized by ranchers and residents of rural communities who believe wolves pose a risk to livestock, wildlife and domestic animals.

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert echoed the complaints against the Democratic plan to return these wolves to Colorado. "Today, Colorado becomes the first state in the country to reintroduce gray wolves, despite the fact that the rural American population is strongly opposed to this measure," said the representative on X (formerly Twitter). Boebert called the plan "ill-advised," adding that "instead of giving in to radical environmental groups, we should listen to our ranchers and farmers when they say this is bad for Colorado."

Boebert was among the representatives who voted in November in favor of the "Trust the Science Act," which proposed removing wolves from the list of endangered species.