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Tags: colorado | ranchers | sue | graywolf | return | cca

Colorado Ranchers Sue Over Gray Wolf Return

By    |   Tuesday, 12 December 2023 05:50 PM EST

The Colorado Cattlemen's Association (CCA) and the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association (GCSA) have initiated legal proceedings against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) in response to the impending reintroduction of gray wolves into the state.

In a recent blog post, the CCA and GCSA revealed their legal action filed a few weeks before the scheduled wolf reintroduction, a move prompted by a voter-approved initiative. The lawsuit aims to address concerns related to the release, as outlined in the blog post reported by The Hill.

"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," states the Monday blog post on the lawsuit.

GCSA President Andy Spann, a fifth-generation rancher from Gunnison, expressed the need for a thorough review of the impacts of wolf reintroduction to prevent unintended consequences on the natural environment, wildlife, and local communities.

"We believe that much of our input, and that of many others across Western Colorado, was diminished by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission," Spann said. "We regret that a course of litigation on this and other issues seems to be the only recourse left to have these concerns legitimately addressed."

The blog post underlines that the CCA and GCSA have consistently opposed wolf introduction since it was a proposed ballot initiative. They actively participated in developing the CPW Commission's Wolf Management Plan, expressing detailed concerns about potential impacts throughout the public process.

The reintroduction of wolves became possible after Colorado voters approved a 2020 ballot measure, allowing the return of carnivores to the state. Despite the measure's success, the issue has generated controversy, with urban voters largely supporting the reintroduction despite its more significant impact on rural areas.

"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," stated Robert Farnam, CCA president.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to comment on the ongoing litigation, citing its nature, The Hill said. Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in an emailed statement, mentioned that it is currently reviewing the lawsuit.

This story includes information from the Associated Press.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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The Colorado Cattlemen's Association and the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association have initiated legal proceedings against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife in response to the impending reintroduction of gray...
colorado, ranchers, sue, graywolf, return, cca
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2023-50-12
Tuesday, 12 December 2023 05:50 PM
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