Colorado governor vetoes wolf management bill

Bill would have ensured that livestock and property are protected while preserving the ecological balance of the state.

May 18, 2023

2 Min Read
gray wolf sitting in grass
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Members of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association say they are extremely disappointed following Governor Polis' decision this week to veto SB23-256, Management of Gray Wolves Reintroduction. CCA says the bill would have provided much-needed flexibility in wolf management practices to protect the livestock industry, and was carefully crafted with input from various stakeholders, including livestock producers and western slope community members. It also had broad bipartisan support.

"The bill would have provided certainty to livestock producers and allowed for a more balanced approach to wolf management while still promoting the recovery of wolf populations in the state," CCA states. "Instead of embracing the opportunity to show support for our state's livestock producers and western slope communities, this veto sends a message that the Governor prioritizes special interest groups over the livelihoods of those outside the Front Range. This decision also ignores the hard work of Colorado's elected officials throughout the legislative session to represent their constituents." 

CCA contends SB23-256 would have provided a balanced approach to wolf management that not only would have helped to mitigate the challenges with wolf introduction, but also would have been reflective of the wolf management parameters when Proposition 114 narrowly passed.

"By establishing clear guidelines for managing wolf populations, the bill would have ensured that our livestock and property are protected while preserving the ecological balance of our state," said Philip Anderson, CCA president. "Unfortunately, Governor Polis' choice to veto this bill will ultimately harm Colorado's agriculture community and eliminate needed assurance for producers."

Although discouraged by this action by the Governor, CCA says it will continue to engage in the wolf introduction process to represent the needs and concerns of Colorado's producers. CCA will exhaust all possible options to defend the industry and anticipates future action to uphold the intent of protecting livestock and livestock producers outlined in Proposition 114.

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