All that to say, being that ballot signatures must be collected in person, I wonder if we can file for a referendum or sue to do so since Colorado Covid restrictions would not have allowed this important citizen right?
Let's just say we were able to get approved for an emergency 90 day veto referendum option? Would we be able to collect approximately 130,000 signatures? It would be tough, record show approximately 102,000 resident big game tags were sold in the 2022 season, it's a lot of signatures to collect within 90 days.
What do we have to lose? Maybe some sportsman dollars donated from partnering organizations? After that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain even if we postpone wolves on the ground and nothing else. I'm reaching out to as many groups as I can with this information Who may have the expertise to come together for sportsman and women
Michael Arnette, Just another concerned sportsman
The world levels out one way or another. Always has and always will
Using COVID as an excuse would be a longshot, since the wolf people gathered their signatures during COVID and seemed to have no problem doing so.
Also this may have come off as overly optimistic. I understand the great personal effort many have made to fight this as best we could. I don't want to take away from that
Very ironic how nicely Covid worked for them.
Realistically it's probably not a viable option, but who knows. Worth mentioning?
As the final pieces of a complicated puzzle fall into place and CPW’s commissioners make final adjustments to the voter-mandated plan to reintroduce gray wolves to western Colorado by the end of 2023, the challenges are mounting. Litigation is simmering that could delay reintroduction for years.
Calls are increasing for federal land managers to launch lengthy studies of how wolves might impact public lands. And pressure is growing from both wildlife advocates and ranchers who don’t like specifics of the draft reintroduction plan, which is supposed to be finalized in May, with a goal of relocating 10 to 15 wolves west of the Continental Divide by next winter.
Ranchers think they should be reimbursed more for livestock that are harassed or killed by wolves. Wildlife advocates don’t want to allow recreational hunting of wolves and want to eliminate a final phase of the draft plan that allows ranchers to kill wolves that are threatening horses, dogs, cattle and sheep.
“Do not turn your back on the law. We voted for wolves. We can all coexist together if we really want to,” Lindsey Craig told CPW commissioners Wednesday.
North Park rancher Dave Gittleson has already lost several cows to wolves that migrated south from Wyoming to his ranch near Walden. He has deployed every possible technique to turn away the animals.
“We would not make it a year with all the non-lethal methods,” he said. “We need lethal control before wolves hit the ground.”
“The draft plan is fatally flawed and should be withdrawn, redeveloped, and re-released for public comment once funding is secured and detailed funding information is publicly available,” read a written comment signed by 51 ranch owners making up the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association delivered last week to CPW leaders.
Erin Karney with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association noted that many CPW programs depend on ranchers who offer public access and help manage wildlife and critical habitat.
“With the wrong plan, or components of the plan, it could jeopardize this historic partnership and the many wildlife species and CPW programs that depend on landowner cooperation,” Karney told the commissioners Wednesday.
The Gunnison County ranchers sent CPW more than comments. Earlier this month the stockgrowers association sent CPW a public records request asking the agency to provide agendas, letters, emails, notes, memos and any other exchanges between CPW staff and state leaders and federal land managers discussing the wolf reintroduction plan and the need for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
The stockholder’s group filed the public records request because Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management officials have told ranchers in the Gunnison Basin that they have not contributed to the reintroduction plan.
CPW’s 293-page draft plan — developed by a 20-member Stakeholder Advisory Group and 17-member Technical Working Group through 47 public meetings involving 3,400 residents — suggests releasing 10, maybe 15, gray wolves a year for the next five years on state and private land. The draft plan does not recommend releasing the relocated wolves on federal land due to the “time and financial constraints” of analysis required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed rule — it’s called a 10(j) Designation — is a sort of partnership that gives the feds and the state “increased management flexibility” under the Endangered Species Act. So where it’s illegal to kill an animal that is officially endangered, the proposed 10(j) for Colorado would allow ranchers to kill wolves that attack livestock. (The service’s proposed rule notes that ranchers killing wolves to protect livestock herds “has had little effect on wolf distribution and abundance” in Minnesota and the Northern Rockies.)
The service’s proposed rule — released last week as a Draft Environmental Impact Statement study under NEPA — also could allow killing wolves that have an “unacceptable impact” on populations of ungulates like deer, elk and moose.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will take public comment on the proposed rule through April 18 with public meetings scheduled in March in Grand Junction, Craig, Walden and online.
Lisa Reynolds, Colorado’s First Assistant Attorney General, told the parks and wildlife commission Wednesday that even though the agency “fully expects” wolves to roam onto federal land in Colorado, the agency’s release of wolves on state or private land “does not require a federal permit and is not considered a federal action so it does not trigger NEPA.”
If NEPA was a factor, that study might have delayed the wolf reintroduction. CPW still have to find a states where they can get wolves to release in Colorado. So far, WY has said, "hell no.". Montana has stated, "not until a Federal 10-j study for Colorado has been approved.
Because of the wolf reintroduction, Ranchers are declining CPW access to their property to land helicopters to transplant / collar moose (which they have giving prior permission) or to land helos after tranquillizing a wolf from the air.
I know this because the CPW calls and asks permission prior.