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Wolves welcomed to colorful Colorado

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Rockies Today

January 23 · Issue #67 · View online
The big stories up and down the Rocky Mountains, curated by Mountain West News

Wolves welcomed to colorful Colorado
Gov. Polis welcomes wolves back to Colorado after wildlife officers confirm pack of 6 in Moffat County Gov. Polis welcomes wolves back to Colorado after wildlife officers confirm pack of 6 in Moffat County
Wildlife officers investigating a cow carcass in northwestern Colorado this week found evidence of at least six wolves, the second indication of the animals’ return this month, prompting Gov. Jared Polis to welcome wolves to the state and urge people to make room.
“This is very likely the first pack to call our state home since the 1930s. I am honored to welcome our canine friends back to Colorado after their long absence,” Polis said in a statement Wednesday confirming the Colorado Parks and Wildlife discovery.
“While the animals have naturally migrated to our state and their presence draws public interest, it is important that people give them space,” Polis said.
Two state wildlife officers in Moffat County found the cow carcass Sunday and, testing to see whether wolves might be present, made howling sounds, agency spokeswoman Rebecca Ferrell said. Wolves howled back, Ferrell said, and the officers through binoculars spotted at least six about two miles from the carcass.
“After watching them for about 20 minutes, the officers rode in to get a closer look,” CPW northwest region manager JT Romatzke said. “The wolves were gone but they found plenty of large tracks in the area.”
The tracks measured approximately 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches.
This follows the discovery of evidence of wolves in the same area two weeks ago — days after state election officials placed a signature-driven measure to re-introduce wolves on this year’s ballot. 
Meanwhile…
CSU survey shows major support for wolf reintroduction in Colorado
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation upped its campaign against reintroduction in Colorado with this video—featuring rifle-scope imagery—published Wednesday:
Reintroducing Wolves to Colorado - It's a Bad Idea
And in Idaho…
Lawmaker proposes wolf-free zones in southern Idaho
More wildlife news:
Bridger-Teton grizzly deaths target of impending lawsuit
CWD spreads slow in parts of Wyoming, fast in others
Early southeast Wyoming winter leads to vehicle collisions with animals on the move
The humpback chub population is up, but wildlife groups say don’t call it a comeback yet
Fracking Slickrock?
Feds propose oil and gas leasing on Moab’s famed Slickrock bike trail Feds propose oil and gas leasing on Moab’s famed Slickrock bike trail
More public lands news:
Revealed: Top official did special favors on guns for NRA at Interior Department
New Colorado-based collaboration eyes resiliency as wildfires intensify
Despite numerous efforts, Idaho has no national park of its own. Here’s why.
Can Daines ever be good enough for some Montana greens?
Keystone ever closer
Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline through Montana Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline through Montana
Meanwhile…
South Dakota board approves Keystone XL water permits
And speaking of Alberta oil…
Protesters for and against oilsands mine clash outside Teck offices
More energy and climate news:
A model for renewable energy emerges in the Spokane Nation
Colorado College declares itself first school in Rocky Mountain region to reach carbon neutrality
Colorado regulators stress funding needs amid climate, clean-air push
EIA expects U.S. net natural gas exports to almost double by 2021
Water foul
Trump removes pollution controls on streams and wetlands Trump removes pollution controls on streams and wetlands
The Trump administration on Thursday will finalize a rule to strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and other water bodies, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers who said Obama-era rules had shackled them with onerous and unnecessary burdens.
That could open millions of acres of pristine wetlands to pollution or destruction, and allow chemicals and other pollutants to be discharged into smaller headland waters that eventually drain into larger water bodies, experts in water management said. Wetlands play key roles in filtering surface water and protecting against floods, while also providing wildlife habitat.
Ean Thomas Tafoya, a Colorado-based clean water activist with the group GreenLatinos, said the new rule could harm the quality of the water in the Colorado River, which supplies water to 17 western states.
“We are a headwater state,” he said. “This rollback will affect almost every single stream that flows into the Colorado River.”
Mr. Tafoya said about 90 percent of the streams that supply the Colorado River run only after rainfall or snowmelt. Under the new Trump water rule, many of those streams will not qualify for federal pollution protection. But Mr. Tafoya said pollutants such as chemical pesticides that end up in those dry stream beds could nonetheless be swept into larger bodies of water when the streams begin running after the spring thaw of mountain snow.
“The toxics or poisons that lie dormant will still be there when the streams are reactivated,” he said. “They will still get into the larger bodies of water.”
Trump administration replaces clean water rules with weaker ones
More stories we're reading today
Commemoration honors 'ancestral memories' of Baker Massacre on the Marias
A Utah lawmaker says the state should support Native American mascots
Argument analysis: Justices divided in Montana school-choice case
As West Coast transplants pour in, a small Idaho town has a big dilemma
Idaho lawmakers hear divisive testimony on science standards
416 Fire damage inspires new legislation to better protect homeowners
New report details inland port’s potential harms
Pro bono legal help for journalists in Colorado is imminent
Environmental group of the year: Western Environmental Law Center
U.S. geoengineering research gets a lift with $4 million from Congress
Rockies Today is edited by Matthew Frank, Fellow in Regional Journalism at the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana. 
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O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, 59812