Archuleta County designated as #wolf reintroduction sanctuary — The #PagosaSprings Sun

Image from Grand County on June 6, 2020 provided courtesy of Jessica Freeman via Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):

“Artificially introduced” wolves are not welcome in Archuleta County, according to the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC).

At a work session held by the BoCC on April 6, the board discussed a trio of statewide concerns, including its opposition to the reintroduction of Canadian gray wolves within the county.

Commissioner Alvin Schaaf expressed his concerns and dissatisfaction with the recent approval of Colorado Proposition 114, Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative, that was passed in November 2020.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow when our citizens, the majority voted no on this topic and it’s still getting shoved down our throats just because there’s more population in the greater Denver area,” Schaaf said.

Later that day, the BoCC approved Resolution 2021-26, reaffirming the county’s opposition to the reintroduction of the wolves and specifically designating Archuleta County as a wolf reintroduction sanctuary…

“They’re already here. I don’t know why we’re reintroducing something that already exists,” Schaaf added.

Resolution 2021-26 highlights how the proposition was approved by voters “in only five western slope counties, including Pitkin, Summit, San Miguel, San Juan and La Plata Counties.”
At the work session, Schaaf stated, “It seems like a constant attack on the rural way of life and the ability of the American people to make a living and provide food.”

Beef cattle on a feedlot in the Texas Panhandle. Photo credit: Wikimedia

“A lot of people that live in the highly populated areas don’t understand the rural lifestyle,” Maez added. “I think in the populated areas, they need to teach them where their food comes from.”


The resolution declares Archuleta County “to be a Wolf Reintroduction Sanctuary County, allowing only for the natural migration and repopulation of Gray Wolves without the competi- tion from artificially introduced wolves.”

Colorado County Map via

2 thoughts on “Archuleta County designated as #wolf reintroduction sanctuary — The #PagosaSprings Sun

  1. Counties do not have any authority over the state’s wildlife, and this sort of resolution only serves to alienate the county from the rest of the state–the people who would be customers for the food we provide.

    Reintroduction is a standard practice for endangered animals, and the commissioner’s phrase “artificial introduction” is misleading at best. To say that wolves are “already here” is also an exaggeration: there are two males in North Park, and the family group that was near the three corners with Wyoming and Utah has probably dissolved after people shot at least half of them. That doesn’t add up to a population. If you don’t want wolves, just be honest about it instead of pretending to favor a policy of letting them come on their own, which obviously leaves them rare and vulnerable.

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