Colorado county passes resolution to block ’artificially introduced wolves’

Rio Blanco County fired the first salvo in the growing battle with the reintroduction of wolves Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, the Rio Blanco County Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to reaffirm the county’s opposition to wolf reintroduction to become a Wolf Reintroduction Sanctuary County. Rio Blanco County is the first in the State to adopt a Wolf Reintroduction Sanctuary Resolution since Proposition 114 passed Nov. 3.

Previously, Moffat County was one of the first counties to oppose the reintroduction of wolves in Moffat County in early 2020. However, Rio Blanco becomes the first county in the state to make a move towards blocking the reintroduction of wolves within the county.

Through the resolution, Rio Blanco commissioners stated the county would allow for the natural migration and repopulation of Gray Wolves, but would not allow for artificially introduced wolves, further stating that “designated lands” for artificial reintroduction must not include Rio Blanco County or any other county in the state that adopts the Sanctuary County Resolution.

Proposition 114 narrowly passed in the statewide election; however, of the 64 counties in the state, just 13 received an affirmative vote. Additionally, just five counties on the Western Slope approved the proposition.

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