Proposition 114: Wolves Being Re-Introduced into Colorado?

Increasing population numbers of the Gray Wolf


Depending on how this years ballot goes the Gray Wolves may be reinstated into Colorado.

Elicia Ramu, Staff Writer

Since the beginning of time wolves have been a known species to be living among us whether they appear in a movie or they appear in a dream.  Most people view wolves as dangerous killers. They are animals who will attack anyone in sight just to claim their dominance. Humans have felt threatened by wolves therefore hunting them and relocating them resulting in wolves being endangered. In 1940  Gray wolves, specifically in Colorado, were known to be killed so that they no longer existed in the state. Later in 1973 the Gray Wolves were announced as endangered and put on the endangered species list. Since then the wolf population has started to dwindle downwards. However, within the last few years, that same dwindling population has started to make a comeback. With the populations thriving in the lower 48 states, Rob Edward who is president of the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund, is hoping to bring the wolf population back into Colorado. Will the 2020 Ballot help this dream to come true? 


Some people say yes. Wolves are a species that have helped to restore ecological balances all over the place. One of the biggest success points was Yellowstone National Park. Wolves used to roam the park freely for years before being eradicated from the park in the 1920s. When they were eradicated the ecological balance of the park’s wildlife started to fall apart. It wasn’t until 1995 that wolves were re-established back into the park resulting in the wildlife in the park, along with the park’s ecosystem making a comeback. The original problem in Yellowstone was that the elk population was getting too high. With bringing the wolves back they were able to bring that population number down and bring balance back to the park. Now Colorado doesn’t necessarily have the same problem but there are some things that the wolves can help with. The wolf population that used to be in Colorado used to feed on the state’s vast herds of bison, elk, deer, and many more animals. Although they would sometimes hurt the farmers they helped to keep a balance within the state. 


The other perspective is people do not want them introduced back into Colorado. They believe that wolves should not be reestablished because they are too dangerous. They see wolves as serial killers and a danger to us. With this being said the state’s population is growing rapidly the numbers will most likely end up doubling in the next few years. With the states rapid growth in human population and eventually invading the natural environment of the wolves to make places for people to live. People also believe that this will seriously affect ranchers and farmers from protecting their livestock. Wolves prey on animals they can find. Most animals found on a ranch or a farm are roaming freely (as much as they can be) and are easy targets to wolves. However, what’s to say that another animal like the lynx or the coyotes won’t come and attack them. Both of those animals were also taken out of Colorado and have been re-instated into the state. 


Colorado is the natural habitat for wolves and this should be considered when we are deciding on whether they should be let back into the state.  As said in their article on this topic. There was a survey that took place a few months ago asking people whether they believe wolves should be reintroduced or not. Of the results, two-thirds of the Coloradan voters were in favor of the wolves making a comeback. Fifteen percent of voters were opposed to it. All in all, it’s a close call on whether they will come back or not. 


For twenty-five years there has been a debate about whether they should come back or not. For twenty-five years and even longer the gray wolf species has been set on the endangered species list. The wolves are slowly making a comeback. They are thriving in the lower forty-eight states. Why shouldn’t they be allowed back here? The 2020 ballot will have the question of should the gray wolves be reinstated back into Colorado or not? It took years to get all of the signatures needed just to get this question on the ballot. If the ballot passes the wildlife managers will be required to reintroduce the gray wolves to Western Colorado by the year 2023. If the ballot fails the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund will most likely try again and again. This is the wolves’ native home and should have a right to live here. The decision is up to you. So what do you say, do they deserve it or not?