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Reps Catlin & Soper Get Two Crucial Wolf Bills Passed Through the House

(Colorado State Capitol, May 4th, 2023) – Representatives Marc Catlin (R-Montrose) and Matt Soper (R-Delta) had two critically important bills that help Colorado brace for the impact of the reintroduction of gray wolves pass through the House of Representatives.

SB23-255 “Wolf Depredation Compensation Fund” creates the Wolf Depredation Compensation Fund in the Department of Natural Resources to compensate landowners and agricultural producers for losses from wolf depredation. In response to the bill passing, Rep. Catlin stated:

“I am happy that the state legislature stood up and kept the word of the voters to animal agriculture in Western Colorado. We agreed that we would pay for depredation, and we have proven that today by passing SB-255. It passed with a great margin that recognized that the state of Colorado needs to be prepared to replace the animals that are lost to wolf attacks at full market rate.”

SB23-256 “Management Of Gray Wolves Reintroduction,” codifies the Department of Natural Resources’s current process for restoring gray wolves to Colorado. Rep. Soper responded to SB23-256 being passed in the House of Representatives saying:

“Everyone has said they want to see this legislation in place before wolves are reintroduced; whether it’s the Ute Mountain Utes, the Southern Utes, those of us on the Western Slope, or people here on the front range. We’ve also heard from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Division of Natural Resources. This bill is the insurance policy that everyone has told us they wanted in place before reintroducing these wolves.”

These bills are crucial to Colorado’s rural communities who will be burdened by the reintroduction of gray wolves in the state. SB23-255 and SB23-256 will help mitigate the harm from wolf reintroduction in Colorado’s rural areas by making the state accountable when damages are accrued as a result of wolf depredation.

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