Colorado cattle industry sues over reintroduction of gray wolves

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The Colorado cattle industry is suing over the reintroduction of gray wolves into the Centennial State.

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association (GCSA) are taking legal action against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) “regarding the pending release of gray wolves in Colorado,” according to a blog post on the lawsuit from the CCA and GCSA, filed a couple of weeks before the wolves’ reintroduction as a result of a voter-approved initiative.

“The decision to pursue legal action comes after extensive discussion and consultation with CCA and GCSA members, who are deeply committed to the prosperity of Colorado’s agricultural industry and the well-being of their livestock,” reads the Monday blog post on the lawsuit from the CCA and GCSA.

“Both organizations, CCA and GCSA, have opposed wolf introduction since it was a proposed ballot initiative and were involved in every step of the process,” the blog post continues. “CCA and GCSA actively participated in developing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission’s Wolf Management Plan as members expressed detailed oral and written concerns regarding the scope of impacts associated with the potential release.”

Voters in Colorado approved a ballot measure in 2020 to allow the reintroduction of the carnivores. Despite the measure’s success, there has been contention around the wolves’ return to the Mountain West state, with those living in the city mostly voting in favor of doing so despite the issue not affecting them as much as those living in rural areas.

A spokesperson for the FWS declined to comment about the ongoing litigation, according to The Associated Press. 

“We regard this path of litigation not out of a desire for conflict, but rather as a testament to our unwavering commitment to supporting Colorado’s agriculture community and producers of the western slope,” Robert Farnam, CCA president, said in a statement in the aforementioned blog post.

The Hill has reached out to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

The Associated Press contributed. 

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