The bill authorizes the management and, if necessary, the reintroduction of the gray wolf in Colorado pursuant to a plan adopted by the parks and wildlife commission (commission). The reintroduction is to begin by December 31, 2025, but the reintroduction is:
- Postponed until a new source of revenue becomes available to pay for damages caused by gray wolves; and
- Canceled if the gray wolf already has a self-sustaining population in Colorado.
The commission is directed to adopt and periodically update a plan to reintroduce, recover, and manage gray wolves. The plan must:
- Use the best scientific data available;
- Be developed after conducting a public process to solicit and consider public comments; and
- Not impose any land-, water-, or resource-use restrictions on private landowners.
Commercial livestock owners will be entitled to the payment of damages caused by gray wolves. The commission shall authorize and finance programs to educate livestock owners regarding the avoidance and mitigation of damages potentially caused by gray wolves.
In consultation with the department of agriculture, the commission and division of parks and wildlife shall convene a study group to consider:
- How to verify and estimate damages caused by gray wolves, specifically considering the maintenance of baseline production records for a period before gray wolf reintroduction and the use of brand inspectors to verify and estimate the damages; and
- How to finance the payment of damages caused by gray wolves, including specifically one or more new sources of revenue to pay the damages.
The commission shall submit a report to the general assembly concerning the results of the study group process by January 1, 2022.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)