RMEF Warns of Colorado Wolf Reintroduction Ballot Initiative

Gray wolf. Photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS
Gray wolf. Photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS

MISSOULA, Mont.-(Ammoland.com)- The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is signaling a warning about an organized ballot initiative effort just underway in Colorado seeking to forcibly introduce gray wolves into the state.

“To be clear, RMEF strongly opposes the forced introduction of gray wolves to Colorado,” said Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO. “We have witnessed 20 plus years of lies and litigation in the Northern Rockies concerning wolves. This Colorado effort is driven by the same groups using the same tactics to accomplish their agenda.”

In the Northern Rockies, initial recovery goals were established and agreed upon for the introduction of gray wolves that took place in 1995-96. Those goals were reached in 2002 but final delisting did not occur in Idaho and Montana until a congressional fix in 2011. Wyoming did not receive the ultimate ability to manage wolves until 2017. Animal rights and environment extremist groups used litigation and propaganda to delay the delisting time after time. (Go here to view a full listing of lawsuits and a timeline.)

Fortunately, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is already on record in opposition to a forced reintroduction. CPW has a wolf management plan in place and is prepared to effectively manage the already occurring natural colonization of wolves to Colorado. The ballot initiative is nothing more than a propaganda and fundraising-based effort by environmental extremists.

“A forced introduction of wolves to Colorado would cost untold amounts of taxpayer dollars, redirect already limited wildlife management resources and would have a significant negative economic impact to the state,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “In Colorado, you are dealing with about a third of the land mass of the Northern Rockies’ states but almost double the human population. A forced reintroduction would trigger the potential for real issues in the state.”

In addition, elk populations in southwest Colorado are already struggling. Researchers are working to find the cause of poor calf recruitment and low elk numbers. A forced reintroduction of wolves would be catastrophic to this work and the established elk and deer herds in the area.

Environmental groups continue to claim wolf reintroduction would “restore natural balance,” yet science shows that is anything but a given. Research also directly disputes the assumption that reintroducing wolves trigger what is termed trophic cascade or that the wolf’s presence automatically benefits biodiversity.

“It is one thing if wolves naturally return to Colorado, but it is something completely different if they are artificially placed on the landscape to complicate a system that is already complicated by human population and development,” added Weaver.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 235,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.4 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org, elknetwork.com or 800-CALL ELK.

  • 33 thoughts on “RMEF Warns of Colorado Wolf Reintroduction Ballot Initiative

    1. IMOA taxpayers shouldn’t have to shoulder the full financial burden for the wolves reintroduction, spread the cost out between the conservationist as well. Pro’s a con’s are sketchy at best from what I could find.

      1. Thanks for the information. I live in Park County and love seeing and living with the wildlife. Im doing my research about wolf reintroduction and find there are so many pros and cons. I have so many questions!! I do have a friend that works for the forest service maybe that is a good place to start.

    2. You should see the idiot liberal articles condemning RMEF. Maybe we should just let the wolf overrun these liberal state’s? Once they decimate the big game and destroy ranchers and farmers way of life, they will eat big pets, etc in Urban areas? These idiots will have no clue what to do. The only sad thing is that the West will be destroyed. That may be a part of the ESA agenda from the get go. That corrupt agency has pocketed so much money from this wolf fiasco.
      Good luck liberal Colorado, Washington, Oregon, California and New Mexico.
      I guess the Western way of life will be limited to Wyoming, Idaho and hopefully Montana 🙂

    3. I live in rural Colorado and would be overjoyed to see both the gray wolf and the Mexican lobo returned to their native lands here. Too many people believe all the myths and lies about the apex predator the gray wolf. The wolves do not want to eat you and your kids, in fact they prefer to avoid humans. They are essential to maintain a natural balance in the circle of species and also sustainment of a healthy eco-system. The RMEF I use to respect twenty-thirty years ago was all about conservation of wildlife, but recently has turned into a private trophy hunting group whose main obsession these days is to eliminate wildllife predators ignoring that they themselves have become the worst predator of the elk and deer for the simple pleasure of taking out the biggest healthy bulls and bucks for simply a trophy. Do your homework and acknowledge that your actions far deplete the herds, not the wolves, bears or big cats/ and the Cronic wasting disease is inflicted on the elk by feeding stations not the wildlife predators, who in fact would keep CWD from exploding in the herds. Sometimes i think the hatred for the wolf is the resentment of the trophy hunter who spends big money on the fancy rifle to hunt the elk and the wolf does not need a weapon to take out the necessary food source for their family.

    4. I notice that there is a significant lack of wildlife biologists responding to this article with hard science, but a plethora of PETA members, ignorant green eco do-gooders and emotionally charged anti-wolf folks. I have lived in and spent lots of time in areas with Timber wolves (Idaho & Montana) and have lived in and currently reside in the Southwest (Arizona & New Mexico) where we have introduced Mexican Gray wolves. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is a propaganda machine more than a wildlife/fish protective agency and is more a Federal Law Enforcement Agency (a la BATFE), than a public/wildlife friend. There are major flaws with the logic of introducing wolves into areas where they no longer exist and the majority of the public (both pro and con) has no idea what those problems are and only act on feelings and Federal/Green/anti propaganda and not facts. It would be nice to see some intelligent, educated, professional comments from individuals who work with or have direct knowledge of the facts.

      1. Actually, there are volumes of research statistics on the value of Wolf Re-Introduction. Scientific research.I urge readers to read “Awakening Spirits” Edited by Richard P. Reading , Brian Miller, Amy Masching, Rob Edward and Michael K Phillips. Scientists that care about our Colorado Rockies and keeping our land healthy and filled with wildlife for all of us to enjoy forever. Another book full of scientific research is “wolf Nation” by brenda peterson.
        Not crazy wolf lovers, as you would spit out but people who live and raise our families in the Rockies.
        It is time our voices are heard especially when we see the un-truths by people like the above commenter.
        We can live side by side with wolves . It is time. It is past time. The more you attack us the stronger we will become.

    5. if you are so sure that we In Colorado don’t need the wolves back. then why do we have so many mule deer that are not very healthy. why are people complaining that we are so over run with the mule deer. I live in Colorado and I see so many mule deer every where. if we were not over populated with them we would not have this problem would we. just hunting is not solving the problem. I have been to the meeting where the people complaining about them all the time. we do need the wolves here in Colorado. get over it.

      1. I don’t live there, although it is beautiful. I live in WA State. But wolves are meant to control disease and population of ungulates they prey on. So you are probably correct. The RMEF is just a hunting club that wants to kill all the animals themselves. It gives them some perverted thrill. Our Apex Predators can manage an ecosystem just fine without man’s interference, but we’ve messed with it so much, I don’t think anybody knows anything for certain anymore. I do know the wolves would help control the deer population though.

        1. Hi Doreen – First, RMEF does not align itself with “hunters” with any more vigor than they do with ANY other organization or recognized group because RMEF is focused on “HABITAT ENCROACHMENT, MANAGEMENT and PRESERVATION” first, foremost and without waver
          Second, as a lifelong HUNTER I take issue with YOUR SINGLE MINDED “perverse thrill” comment as a direct insult that I’d love to do more IN PERSON if you and yours were not such a cowards
          Third, and probably most significant for obvious reasons, REINTROCUCTION of “wolves”, or any apex predator for that matter, should, no MUST, be carried out by BIOLOGISTS and SCIENCE and not hysterical vigilantes who have continually proven to be dishonest and clandestine by nature AND practice

    6. Wolves need to be in Colorado! You are right, nationwide wolf and wildlife protectors are collecting comment cards to keep wolves protected. There are many more wolves activitsts then hunters, as represented in 2013 when the bill failed to remove them from the protections due to support from the general public. Myself and many others in Colorado and across the nation are working hard to bring them back!

      1. Hi Tara – I must add comment here simply because you are WRONG in your stated “factual” numbers as “wolf advocates” are far outnumbered as proven by FACTUAL numbers in all Rocky Mountain and West Coastal states with the exception of California due to it’s overwhelming vote capabilities brought to bear due to illegal immigrants largely ignorant of what you actually do – The reason you can be so bold in your mistruths is that MOST LEGAL CITIZENS must carry on “mundane” activities ie; earning a living, caring for children, tending to daily home chores/duties, and myriad “other” time consuming activities associated with life in these GREAT United States rather than attend rallies, demonstrations showing civil disobedience, openly illegal trespass activities and many other reprehensible behaviors, not to mention supporting lobby activity that was “supposed” to be stopped by former President Obama and his minions

    7. John from Arizona and other idiots think the wolves only prey on sick or the old elk. The wolves, by nature, are like DEMOCRATS. All they do is what they can do and that is kill. Democrats do not care about America the same way wolves do not kill ONLY to eat. DEMOCRATS only care about themselves and their socialist/communist ideas the same way wolves kill to kill and do not always eat their victim. In the northwest where idiots like John have introduced the wolf have discovered wolves kill only to kill not to eat. Since the wolf has returned, with DEMOCRATS blessing, the elk, moose, mountain lion and other species are dropping in numbers. Especially the mountain lion. The only numbers that should be dropping is that of DEMOCRATS and morons but I believe they are one in the same, right?

      1. That’s right! Blame the Democrats for EVERYTHING! But who are gonna blame for your false “facts” and ignorance!

        1. OH NO Connie ! We “blame” Democrats for “everything” because MOST of what plagues AMERICA and the U.S. Constitution, in practice, can be directly associated to DEMOCRATS, AND it is growing worse by the hour …

    8. Thank you John Steele as your input states the reason for a healthy eco system. Dave based on your sadistic killer comment you are wrong to engage that scenario. They hunt for food. What do you call going to the store to buy meat? Have you seen treatment at slaughter farms?

    9. People of Colorado, think twice before you vote on reintroducing these killers back into your state. Here in Oregon where they were reintroduced they are causing all sorts of problems with local ranchers. There is nothing that will scare them away from their herds short of killing them. There is a reason they were hunted to extinction. They are nothing but sadistic killers.

    10. I’ve been a Member of “The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation” for over 25 years and I’m sorry, but I have to disagree on your position of re-introducing wolfs to their old areas of occupations.

      I live in Arizona, in the Coconino/Apache Sitgreaves National fores areat where wolves were re-indroduced over 35 years ago. I’m also an avid elk hunter and daily have bulls and cows occupying my land.

      In my neighborhood, their are many residents that feed and water these wild beast, year round, and thus kill many more elk just in 2000 residential acres than all of the elks killed by wolves in the whole state (See AZFGD reports for exact numbers).

      The evidence says that wolves prey on sick and old elk. This helps the the herd health just like human hunting.
      So before you try to save the herds that badly need thinning for their own good, and also puts money in the your coffers, please be ‘elk Intelligent” and research before you write opinions.


      1. “Environmental groups continue to claim wolf reintroduction would “restore natural balance,” yet science shows that is anything but a given. ”
        Wolves were part of extirpating the last of the Mtn Caribou in the US in the last year.
        Wolves would be helpful in controlling the wild horse herds tho, in other parts of the country.
        They need to be managed just like any other species.

        1. Why do chimpoids so often seem to think that without THEIR unwanted interference (management, which only OUR species needs, since there are over 7.5 BILLION of us infesting the planet, is NewSpeak for ‘killing’ or, in the case of other species, ‘murdering’), all ecosystems, everywhere, would collapse into a state of terminal decline ?? You may recall that when Europans showed up, uninvited, on Amerikan shores, the Plains were literally BLACK with Buffalo, Wolves and Bears were everywhere, and everything was hunky-dory. By YOUR reasoning, there would have been nothing left of Wildlife when your ancestors stole the continent, because the predators would have wiped out the herbivores, and would then have started to eat each other, out of sheer desperation – but Nature doesn’t work like that !!
          Another example of your crass stupidity was the near wiping out of the Buffalo, only to replace it with a tenth-rate, tasteless ‘meat’, which is so dumb, thanks to GM breeding, that it could scarcely survive in the Wilderness on its own, without a bevvy of wetnurses looking after it !! Moves to reintroduce Wolves are just that – RE-introductions: YOU destroyed ’em, in their OWN LAND – YOU bring ’em back again, so we who are NOT Nature-haters can be spiritually uplifted by the biodiversity that once was. There is more to Life on Earth than chimpoids, just as there is more to happiness than merely filling your belly – AND with something you weren’t physiologically designed to eat, to boot !!

          1. The Buffalo’ actually Bison, were slaughtered for the express purpose of starving the Plains Indians into submission. It was not so much for food purposes, as it was for a created market for the hides. and , the a fore mentioned purpose.

        2. Hi Julie – thank you for your well balanced and INTELLIGENT response – I have grown to believe with deep fervor that what is needed sorely is for our numbers of hunters, fisherpersons and outdoors aficionados is to become ACTIVISTS in “reintroduction” of the apex predators to be FAIRLY AND INTELLIGENTLY dispersed not only in the open spaces of our wester U.S. BUT ALL OVER AMERICA – Before rampant settlement that soon morphed into widespread “development” were there not wolves, bears and mountain lions in every corner and region of these United States ? Why is it that wolves are ONLY being released into the last areas of wild non-developed spaces then ? What is wrong with Upstate New York, Central Park, NY, areas in outer Chicago, Forest Park at Portland Oregon (the largest city park in the nation BTW) and so many other APPROPRIATE and PERFECT wolf habitat areas ?

      2. “The evidence says that wolves prey on sick and old elk.” Until they don’t!

        Then when they kill your pets then kill, women joggers, “whoops all that already happened‘ and next children, that will all be on your and “Julie of the wolves” and “Monika Fisher” heads and hearts. I hope you can live with your selves after that gruesome ending.

        1. There have been only 2 incidents of wolves attacking people in Alaska. One was.tied to a person feeding an entire pack of wolves. The other a higher was attacked outside a remote village in Alaska. There have not been any incidents in the lower 48 states ever. The hysteria that went on in Wyoming when wolves were reintroduced was, “Kids will be eaten at bus stops” when waiting for the bus to go to school. Never happened Many attacks by mountain lions and bears have occurred. Wolves are elusive by nature and shy away from people. Wolves don’t attack people. As far as the Elk organizations. They don’t want to llose even one elk. Because that means they can kill the elk and make money doing it. Their arguments and “crying wolf” don’t cut it anymore. People are smarter and more well informed. The so called “Mansgement’ of wolves or any other animal is just another word fpr murdering them…like they do the elk. Must ask USDA Wildlife Services that habe killed 34 million animals in the last decade!

          1. Laura – you leave a key word from you “facts” (which are untruthful and misguided) THAT key word is DOCUMENTED and it would serve you well to study it and think deeply on what that means ….

        2. This is mot science bit again false scare tactics. Wolves have not attacked in the lower 48 even though they have been there all along. Elk foundation likes to throw their weight and money around and use falsehoods. People now k ow enough to educate themselves. So much scientific research done on the reintroduction to Yellowstone wolves. A huge success!

      3. John, there is a BIG difference between the Mexican Gray wolves introduced into Arizona and New Mexico and the Timber wolves they are planning to introduce into Colorado. They grays are the size of coyotes, the timbers make a German shepard look like a cocker spanial in comparison.

        1. thank you JPM ! I was just about to make that very important part of this discussion that the “wolf activists” would just as soon be left out of the dialogue

      4. Wolves prey on what ever they can catch. They start with the calves who are practically defenseless against wolves their first year. The herd sizes drop dramatically because few caves survive. Winter kills most of the old and sick. We don’t need wolves to do this. Everyone says how wolves bring back a more natural order. There is nothing natural about miles and miles of subdivisions occupying the the landscape that is critical for elk to maintain the numbers they need to counter such an efficient predictor. If we all want our echo systems to return to normal then there is a lot of people who need to remove their homes and restore the range land so that elk can have the range they need to build the numbers they need to withstand these apex predators. True conservation was brought about by people like Teddy Roosevelt and those how truly cared for wildlife. The people who know animals and wildlife are those who live with them not city dwellers who think they have found a righteous cause. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife understand the impact Canadian Wolves will have on the ungulates and they oppose any re-introduction. Wolves do not belong in a state such as Colorado that is so densely populated by humans. People from all over the world come to Colorado to see and hunt the elk that we have. If you bring Canadian Wolves the herds will drop in numbers to such an extent that all of the resources that we spend improving habitat and caring for the abundance of wildlife that we have will all be spent trying to control the Wolf Problem that you all want to bring to Colorado. They already shoot wolves in Canada because there are too many and the all of the prey species are declining (reindeer for example.https://thenarwhal.ca/how-canada-driving-santa-s-reindeer-toward-extinction/). Stop this madness. Wolves do not need recovery.

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