Native Americans who have lived in southern Colorado for well over 150 years oppose efforts by environmentalists to forcibly introduce wolves into Colorado. The Southern Ute Council passed a resolution in opposition to Proposition 114, an issue on Colorado’s November 2020 ballot. By doing so, the council joins 38 of Colorado’s 64 counties that are already on record in opposition the issue.
The Southern Ute tribes consist of the Muache, Capote and the Weeminuche. Established in 1873, the Southern Ute Reservation is spread across La Plata, Archuleta and Montezuma Counties in southwest Colorado.
Additionally, 26 different organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, are on record against the effort. RMEF has 29 chapters and nearly 17,000 members in Colorado and strongly opposes the initiative for a wide variety of different reasons highlighted by the fact that wolves are already confirmed on the ground in Colorado. And just earlier this week, a wolf pup sighting by a biologist indicates the population is growing in the northwest part of the state.
Here is the Southern Ute Council resolution:
Whereas, it is the responsibility of the Southern Ute Indian Council to ensure the safety of Tribal members and their families and to protect wildlife and livestock on the Reservation;
Whereas, gray wolves also carry hydatid disease, a parasite that potentially may be submitted from wildlife to domestic animals and humans;
Now therefore be it resolved, that the Tribal Council hereby opposes Ballot Initiative #107 (since renamed Proposition 114) and any effort to reintroduce or expand the population of gray wolves in Colorado.
(Photo source: Southern Ute Indian Tribe)