The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, headquartered in Missoula, is investing in an effort to defeat a Colorado wolf-introduction ballot initiative.

The RMEF has committed more than $300,000 toward efforts to defeat a 2020 ballot initiative to forcibly introduce wolves into Colorado. In addition to the significant funding for multiple forms of educational outreach, RMEF also contributed in-kind donations of staffing and video production as well as member donations.

The Foundation contends that Proposition 114 would have significant, long-lasting, detrimental impacts on wildlife. They are taking the position of trying to doing everything in their power to help educate Colorado voters about the very real costs that a forced introduction of an apex predator would have on wildlife management, wildlife populations, the hunting industry, ranchers and the pocketbooks of taxpayers who will be left to foot the bill.

The RMEF's explanation for wanting to get involved includes the following from their press release:

>Colorado is home to North America’s largest elk herd.

>RMEF has more members in Colorado (nearly 17,000) than any other state.

>Wolves are already confirmed on the ground in northwest Colorado with at least one wolf pup spotted by a biologist.

>Colorado currently has a wolf management plan in place for naturally migrating wolves.

>Colorado’s professional wildlife managers spent $1 million studying wolf introduction over the years and rejected the idea four different times.

>A forced introduction would cost $6 million in new spending during a time when COVID-19 impacts forced lawmakers to compensate for $3 billion in state budget losses that included massive cuts to education.

>Proponents are offering zero dollars in funding for actual wolf introduction/management.

>In 2018 alone, Wyoming taxpayers paid $1.5 million for wolf management while Washington taxpayers paid $1.2 million. The same would follow in Colorado.

>As they did in the Northern Rockies, wolves would spread far and wide across Colorado, into Rocky Mountain National Park and into surrounding states.

>Wolves will severely impact Colorado’s fledgling moose population currently estimated at only 3,000.

>Wolves will negatively impact farming and ranching, livestock and pets.

Agree or disagree, the full news release is posted here. Our thanks to RMEF spokesman Mark Holyoak for letting us share with the public. Mark can be reached at 406-523-3481 or mholyoak@rmef.org.