Hello Friends, Neighbors and fellow Coloradans!
As election day fast approaches, we will face many important decisions for the betterment of our communities, our state, and our nation. While there is much to consider on this year’s ballot, I encourage each of you to not overlook the importance of Proposition 114. Prop. 114 proposes that Colorado Parks and Wildlife be required to reintroduce wolves into Colorado by 2023. As an avid enjoyer of Colorado’s outdoors, a fifth generation farmer and rancher, and a someone with great admiration and respect for the wolf, I will be voting NO on Proposition 114. Here is why I encourage you to also vote NO on Prop. 114.
Firstly, wolves are already present in Colorado. In 2020, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) confirmed there is a pack of wolves living and breeding in the northwest corner of Colorado. Why should we spend considerable amounts of taxpayer money, and meddle with nature by adding more wolves, when they are already returning to Colorado naturally at a rate sustainable for their needs?
Secondly, it goes against expert advice. CPW, after spending considerable amounts of money and time considering reintroducing wolves, has decided multiple times AGAINST forcibly reintroducing wolves. Instead, they have decided the best course of action is to develop and use management plans to manage the wolves that naturally migrate into Colorado.
Thirdly, in the face of state budget cuts due to the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, this proposition poses an unknown increase in spending. Already, we face cuts to education and transportation, two areas of extreme importance to rural communities in Colorado. Forcibly reintroducing wolves would only increase the current strain on our state budget.
And finally, we cannot ignore the impact of wolves on our rural communities, many of which depend on wildland ecosystems for their livelihoods. We are a state of naturalists, hunters, ranchers and outdoor enthusiasts. Our communities depend on various types of tourism, as well as agriculture. Wolves will have large impacts on our precarious deer and elk populations, as well as the reintroduced moose population. There will be financial, and more importantly, emotional impacts to ranchers who lose horses, cows, calves, sheep and lambs to wolves. Additionally, wolves are likely to come into contact with people frequently due to the developed nature of our state. We have many wildland areas bisected by human development. This contact with humans is certainly not in the best interest of the wolf.
Given that wolves are already moving back into Colorado on their own, that forcible reintroduction goes against expert advice, that our state budget is already stressed, and that much of Colorado provides a less than ideal environment for the wolves’ wellbeing, I encourage you all to join me in voting NO on Proposition 114. For more information on Proposition 114, and wolves in Colorado, I encourage you to visit rethinkwolves.com
Sincerely, Jordyn Neely