The Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Colorado Wool Growers’ Association are baring their teeth at a proposed ballot question next year to reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado.
The organization, called Coloradans Protecting Wildlife, argue the proposal lacks the backing of scientists and state officials who have opposed the reintroduction of the predators. Opponents say reintroduction ignores risks to the existing wildlife, habitats and humans.
“The decision about whether or not to introduce wolves to Colorado should be guided by science and left in the hands of experts, not the ballot box,” Chad Vorthmann, the executive vice president of the Colorado Farm Bureau, said in a statement.
Terry Fankhauser, executive vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, said bringing wolves back to the state is risky to humans and livestock, in addition to wildlife.
"The claim that wolves will create balance for the environment is misleading," he said, calling the issue "politically charged."
Colorado is part of the gray wolves' natural range, but the species was eradicated by the 1930s.
The collaboration of the state's best known agriculture advocacy groups says it will educate voters and urge them "to leave species management up to wildlife biologists and the relevant state and federal agencies."
“We will fight for our members and do everything we can to protect their livelihood," stated Bonnie Brown, executive director of the Colorado Wool Growers Association.