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Recently we read that Proposition 114 to restore wolves to Colorado is "ballot box biology." Instead, it is direct democracy. Using direct democracy to demand restoration of the wolf is an audacious and yet eminently practical approach for establishing a self-sustaining population of the species to the great public wildlands of western Colorado. Such a population would be the arch stone connecting the species from the High Arctic to Mexico. There is no other place in the world where such an opportunity exists to restore an endangered, much maligned large carnivore across a continental landscape. We could better refer to Initiative 114 as values voting. 

Expressing those same values, the U.S. Senate passed the Endangered Species Act unanimously, and the House passed it by a 390-12 vote. Its purpose is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Wolves were listed under the act shortly thereafter, and were restored to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995-96. Now it’s Colorado’s turn. Our professional wildlife managers at CPW are up to the task, and have a 3,000-page roadmap from the Yellowstone and central Idaho 1994 EIS to guide them along the way.

Your neighbors, Colorado citizens, have placed Proposition 114, Reintroduction and Management of Gray Wolves, on the November ballot. You get to vote on it. If you need more information to base your decision on, go to CSU Extension’s “People and Predator Series” at:

https://sites.warnercnr.colostate.edu/centerforhumancarnivorecoexistence/people-predators/.

A recent CSU poll tells us that 84% of Colorado voters intend to vote for Proposition 114: 79.8% of West Slope residents said they will vote for it, as did 69.5% of ranchers, and 66.1% of those who identified as hunters. Join the club.

Debra Taylor

Denver

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