By Cally Carswell, 5280 Magazine, July Issue
Read the full article here: https://www.5280.com/2020/06/should-col ... -november/Around 9 p.m. on January 4, Joshua Carney, half of the Craig Press’ two-person reporting team, got a news tip. A local woman said that while hunting in northwestern Colorado’s Irish Canyon recently, her brother had come across an elk carcass that had been “ripped to pieces.” In the snow beside it, the predator had left a series of tracks shaped like dog paws, save for one distinguishing feature: They were big. Really big. Big enough for a wolf.
Although Carney, 27, had only been on the job a few months, he’d already looked into several similar leads. When he’d called Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), his inquiries were usually met with a chuckle. Yes, CPW had checked it out, and, no, it wasn’t a wolf. “The calls have happened forever,” Carney says. “People can’t tell the difference between a wolf and a coyote.”
Commentary: (Re-posting from July wolf news roundup on WolfQuest Discord server) Wolf reintroduction to Colorado is heating up and you should know about it! I don’t have a strong opinion (yet) on wolf reintroduction specifically to Colorado. However, I am generally opposed to intentional, human-driven wolf reintroduction in the U.S. since while wolves do not occupy their former range, they are relatively stable in most states where they currently reside. Colorado is not the Colorado of the past, nor is it Wyoming. I think Doug Smith says it best:
"Everyone talked about wolves did this, wolves did that,” says Doug Smith, the leader of Yellowstone’s wolf project for the National Park Service. “Well, we have the richest array of carnivores anywhere in North America.” Few other places have three large predators, he explains. “We have six. And we have them all in high density. Wolves did their part to check elk populations in Yellowstone, sure, but they had an assist from grizzlies, black bears, and cougars. That means the ecological lessons of Yellowstone won’t easily translate to Colorado.
There’s also the issue of Mexican gray wolves, which people also want to reintroduce to Colorado. That’s a can of worms, and I wonder if people would realize/eventually get upset over the likelihood that gray wolves and Mexican gray wolves would breed (even though there is no real genetic difference).
As of re-posting this, the citizens of Colorado did indeed vote to reintroduce wolves. Read more here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=88746