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Environment

Coloradans will decide in 2020 whether to reintroduce gray wolves in the state

The gray wolf has been successfully reintroduced to a number of U.S. states. It was eradicated in Colorado in the 1940s.

Voters late Tuesday were narrowly approving a measure to reintroduce wolves to Colorado. (Photo provided by Grizzly Creek Films)

An initiative to reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado has qualified for the November ballot.

The secretary of state’s office said Monday that backers of the proposal turned in sufficient valid voter signatures to qualify the measure.

The gray wolf has been successfully reintroduced to a number of U.S. states. It was eradicated in Colorado in the 1940s.

Colorado ranchers and other interests strongly oppose the initiative, saying it would threaten livestock as well as elk, moose, deer and other animals.

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund is campaigning for the plan. It says voters have the opportunity to decide for themselves whether to introduce the wolf, whereas efforts in other states are directed by federal wildlife officials.

If passed, the initiative would direct the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to devise a plan to introduce wolves on public land west of the Continental Divide before 2024.

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