Willard: Not supposed to kill wolves
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife plans to adopt a grey wolf reintroduction plan that breaks the law. The language of the law defines the grey wolf this way: “Grey wolf means nongame wildlife of the species Canis lupus.”
This sentence has clarity as nongame species. meaning no one cannot hunt wolves. The law declares the grey wolf is an endangered species, which means it’s protected from killing.
Despite this clear language, the CPW plan includes three ways to kill wolves: lethal control, hunting, and issuing permits for ranchers to kill conflict wolves.
None of these ideas were evident in the language of the law passed in 2020.
There is anguish the law passed by a narrow margin. Many laws pass by a narrow margin, but it still is the law that must be followed to the letter of the law.
At the first virtual CPW commissioners meeting asking for public comment, the vast majority of citizens clearly spoke out against the future killing of wolves.
How can any animal protected by the Endangered Species Act be killed? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can delist any animal using the 10j rule, which gives the power to manage endangered species to the state.
Because of the 10j rule, wolf hunting seasons are management tools in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Wisconsin.
Recently, Idaho passed a law to kill 90% of the wolves. Montana passed a law to kill 85% of their wolves.
One third of the Wisconsin wolf population was killed in the first two days of their first two-week hunting season and this take closed the season early.
CPW began the process to delist grey wolves in August 2022.
How can this be the future of wolves in Colorado?