Conflict over the gray wolf’s endangered status ignites new legal battle in Colorado

Colorado conservation groups are upping the ante to protect the gray wolf, filing a lawsuit to re-list the species under the Endangered Species Act after the US Wildlife Service denied their initial petition.

Colorado conservation groups are upping the ante to protect the gray wolf, filing a lawsuit to list the species under the Endangered Species Act after their initial petition was denied by the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service prompted them to pursue legal action.

Speaking to local news outlets, a member of the Western Watersheds Project emphasized the urgency of their cause. With less than 60 days until the issue escalates to federal court, the group is determined to secure protections for the gray wolf.

The absence of federal protections poses significant challenges for farmers and ranchers, who may find themselves grappling with increased threats to their livestock from wolf predation. In the absence of safeguards, managing these conflicts becomes increasingly complex.

Colorado recently gained additional management authority over gray wolves with the introduction of the 10(j)” rule under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This rule grants the state the power to make decisions regarding wolf management, particularly in cases where wolves are caught in the act of attacking livestock or are engaging in chronic depredation.

The lawsuit underscores the ongoing debate surrounding wolf conservation and its impact on various stakeholders. While conservation groups push for increased protections, farmers and ranchers seek effective measures to safeguard their livelihoods in the face of potential wolf encounters.

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