Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Roberts’ bipartisan bill to restore wolverines in Colorado clears committee

March 21, 2024, 4:38 pm

National Park Service photo of a wolverine — proposed for reintroduction to Colorado.

The Colorado Senate Democrats on Thursday issued the following press release on a bill to reintroduce wolverines to the state:

Bipartisan legislation that would restore the North American wolverine in Colorado cleared the Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee today.

SB24-171, sponsored by Senator Dylan Roberts, D-Frisco, and Senator Perry Will, R-New Castle, would authorize Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) to reintroduce wolverines and enhance Colorado’s biodiversity. 

“Wolverines were a natural part of Colorado’s landscape for centuries and it’s long past time for us to bring them back and help play our part in restoring this threatened species and improving the health of our mountain ecosystem,” Roberts said. “This is the right way to do wildlife reintroduction – backed by science, supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders through years of deliberation, proper legal protections for agriculture and business, and with bipartisan support.”

“During my storied career as a game warden, I fell in love with our state’s beauty and I developed a great respect for Colorado’s wildlife,” Will said.“I am always a strong proponent for the reintroduction of wildlife species to our ecosystem as long as it is done responsibly by wildlife experts. The introduction of any species should not be done with ballot-box-biology. This bill ensures the reintroduction of wolverines is done responsibly in a process that is science-based and transparent.”

Wolverines are the largest terrestrial species of weasel in the world and live solitary lives in high alpine regions, meaning Colorado provides some of the best remaining wolverine habitat in the United States. Wolverines were listed as “threatened” in 2023 under the Endangered Species Act. 

The bill would also require CPW to create rules for providing payment of fair compensation to owners of livestock for losses caused by wolverines and to create a robust public communications plan. Reintroduction would be contingent on the federal government designating wolverines as a “nonessential experimental population” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

SB24-171 will now move to further consideration before the Senate Appropriations Committee. Track the bill’s progress HERE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *