DENVER, COLORADO – A landmark agreement between Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation marks a significant step in Colorado’s gray wolf reintroduction efforts. The collaboration aims to translocate up to 15 wolves from tribal lands in eastern Washington to Colorado, furthering the state’s commitment to ecological restoration.
CPW’s plan, set to commence during the December 2024 to March 2025 capture season, follows the successful translocation of ten wolves from Oregon this season. CPW Director Jeff Davis expressed gratitude to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation for their partnership, highlighting the alignment with the Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan’s goal of introducing 30-50 wolves over several seasons.
Chairman Jarred-Michael Erickson of the Confederated Tribes emphasized their dedication to environmental preservation and shared their enthusiasm for contributing to Colorado’s wolf restoration.
The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, a union of 12 aboriginal tribes in eastern Washington, have a long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship and wildlife conservation. With a rich cultural heritage deeply connected to the land and its creatures, the tribes have been instrumental in successful wildlife restoration projects on their lands. Their involvement in Colorado’s wolf reintroduction plan not only lends expertise but also symbolizes a meaningful collaboration between indigenous groups and state agencies in preserving natural ecosystems.
The tribes will provide essential guidance on selecting appropriate wolf packs, focusing on those without chronic depredation behavior. This careful selection underscores a commitment to balancing wildlife conservation with local agricultural interests.
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE AFTER A SUCCESSFUL 2023 REINTRODUCTION
CPW successfully released 10 gray wolves in Summit and Grand counties between December 18-22, 2023. Although the current capture season permits additional releases, CPW has chosen to pause further translocations to evaluate the initial release’s impact and refine internal processes for managing the wolves’ presence in Colorado.
Reintroducing wolves to Colorado not only restores a missing link in the ecosystem but also brings several benefits:
- Biodiversity Enhancement: Wolves play a crucial role in maintaining healthy wildlife populations, contributing to a balanced and diverse ecosystem.
- Ecological Ripple Effects: As apex predators, wolves influence the behavior of other species, leading to healthier forests and river systems.
- Economic Opportunities: The presence of wolves can boost eco-tourism, offering new revenue streams for local communities.
- Natural Balance Restoration: Wolves help control deer and elk populations, reducing overgrazing and promoting forest and meadow health.
As CPW prepares for the next phase of wolf reintroduction, the public is encouraged to stay informed through CPW’s Wolf Reintroduction eNews. This initiative not only represents a significant ecological restoration effort but also underscores the power of collaborative conservation efforts between governmental and tribal entities.
Stay updated on CPW’s ongoing efforts at the Wolf Management Info page.