On Thursday February 25, 2021 Rio Blanco County Commissioner Gary Moyer and Emergency and Natural Resources Director Edward Smercina gave testimony to the Colorado Energy and Environment Committee on two proposed bills associated with the Wolf Introduction.
The first bill, HB-1037, sponsored by Representative Soper would have limited where the wolf introduction could take place. Commissioner Moyer addressed the committee about the diversity of the state and respecting local expertise. As well he addressed the loss of the fossil fuel industry and the many areas on the Western slope facing economic destruction which would be further impacted by wolf introduction. Smercina spoke about the species competition and how introducing an apex predator would change the environment for many threatened and endangered species. This bill failed to make it past the committee in 4-8 vote.
The second bill, HB-1040 sponsored by House Representative Perry Will would require the payments for livestock deprivation to be paid from funds other than the sale of hunting and fishing licenses Commissioner Moyer and Smercina stressed to the committee that “the people of Colorado voted in favor of the introduction and therefore the people of Colorado should pay for the consequences of wolves.” Moyer followed up expressing that in addition wildlife funds should not pay for the purchase of public property in Colorado as well. This bill received bipartisan support from individuals testifying and passed through the Energy and Environment Committee.
The full testimony can be found here: https://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00327/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20210301/26/10760