COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Colorado Parks and Wildlife plans to reintroduce gray wolves into part of their native range on the state's Western Slope by the end of the year, but where they'll come from remains unclear.
Colorado has reached out to four western states -- Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington -- to acquire gray wolves; Idaho has declined to provide them and there has been no decision made by the other three states.
On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its final plan for overseeing the re-introduction; it will allow Colorado to bring the wolves back as an "experimental population" and have greater flexibility in managing them.
Essentially, that means CPW will be able to create its own rules for managing gray wolves, to promote coexistence between them and landowners by reducing negative impacts to the latter.
That increased flexibility may allow landowners and ranchers to acquire permits to shoot wolves that threaten property and livestock.
Voters in 2020 statewide ballot measure approved the re-introduction plan; that was followed by statewide public hearings involving experts from states with existing wolf populations and landowners who live in or near the Western Slope.