COURTS & LEGAL

Federal judge denies cattle industry’s request to temporarily halt wolf reintroduction in Colorado

Dec 15, 2023, 8:54 PM | Updated: 8:54 pm

A gray wolf is seen in a trail camera image on the Sherman Creek Ranch, March 26, 2023, near Walden...

A gray wolf is seen in a trail camera image on the Sherman Creek Ranch, March 26, 2023, near Walden, Colorado. As state officials prepare to reintroduce wolves in western Colorado, a small number of the animals already have wandered in from Wyoming. (Don Gittleson via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Don Gittleson via AP)

DENVER (AP) — A federal judge has allowed the reintroduction of gray wolves in Colorado to move forward in the coming days by denying a request Friday from the state’s cattle industry for a temporary delay in the predators’ release.

While the lawsuit will continue, Judge Regina Rodriguez’s ruling allows Colorado to proceed with its plan to find, capture and transport up to 10 wolves from Oregon starting Sunday. The deadline to put paws on the ground under the voter-approved initiative is December 31.

The lawsuit from the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and The Gunnison County Stockgrowers’ Association alleges that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to adequately review the potential impacts of Colorado’s plan to release up to 50 wolves in Colorado over the next several years.

The groups argued that the inevitable wolf attacks on livestock would come at significant cost to ranchers, the industry that helps drive the local economies where wolves would be released.

Attorneys for the U.S. government said that the requirements for environmental reviews had been met, and that any future harms would not be irreparable, which is the standard required for the temporary injunction sought by the industry.

Colorado cattle industry sues over wolf reintroduction on the cusp of the animals’ release

They pointed to a state compensation program that pays owners if their livestock are killed by wolves. That compensation program — up to $15,000 per animal provided by the state for lost animals — is partly why Rodriguez sided with state and federal agencies.

Rodriguez further argued that ranchers’ concerns didn’t outweigh the public interest in meeting the will of the people of Colorado, who voted for wolf reintroduction in a 2020 ballot initiative.

Gray wolves were exterminated across most of the U.S. by the 1930s under government-sponsored poisoning and trapping campaigns. They received endangered species protections in 1975, when there were about 1,000 left in northern Minnesota.

Wolves have since rebounded in the Great Lakes region. They’ve also returned to numerous western states — Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington and, most recently, California — following an earlier reintroduction effort that brought wolves from Canada to central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park in the 1990s.

___

Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

KSL 5 TV Live

Courts & Legal

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Alexander Campbell

Davis County deputies arrest suspected serial child predator

After a multi-year investigation, a Payson resident is behind bars, having been arrested on suspicion of eight counts of sexual abuse of a child

5 days ago

A 8th District Court judge signed an execution warrant for Taberon Dave Honie on Monday, a man who ...

Karah Brackin

Death warrant signed for Cedar City man convicted of 1998 murder

The Utah Department of Corrections shared new details Tuesday about the execution warrant for Taberon Honie.

6 days ago

A West Jordan man accused of shooting and killing another man at a Halloween party in 2021 has been...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

West Jordan man found guilty in 2021 Halloween party homicide

A West Jordan man accused of shooting and killing another man at a Halloween party in 2021 has been found guilty of murder.

6 days ago

Springville police Officers preparing to break down the front door of Ruby Franke's Springville hom...

Michael Houck

Body camera shows Springville officers breaking into Ruby Franke’s home after children found in Ivins

Body camera footage shows the police response to Ruby Franke's Springville house after her two children were found emaciated and hurt in Ivins on Aug. 30, 2023. 

6 days ago

A 8th District Court judge signed an execution warrant for Taberon Dave Honie on Monday, a man who ...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Utah judge signs execution warrant for Cedar City man convicted in 1998 murder

A Utah judge signed an execution warrant Monday for Taberon Dave Honie, setting his date for lethal injection on Aug. 8.

6 days ago

Davis County School buses at the Bus Farm in Farmington on Friday, Sept. 13. (Matt Gade, Deseret Ne...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

Davis School District, ex-employee reach $143,558 settlement in discrimination suit

Davis School District officials and a former employee tasked with investigating racial harassment cases have reached a settlement to resolve the lawsuit she filed against the school system over alleged discrimination.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Federal judge denies cattle industry’s request to temporarily halt wolf reintroduction in Colorado