Colorado Gov. Jared Polis followed through with his not-too-veiled hint that he would veto a measure that could have delayed the state’s plan to capture and release gray wolves along the Western Slope by the end of the year.
Polis vetoed Senate Bill 23-256 – alongside two other measures – Tuesday, his office said in a release. He called the bill “unnecessary” and said it would undermine the intent of voters who supported gray wolf reintroduction and expect them to be released by December.
The measure, proposed by Western Slope lawmakers whose constituents largely opposed reintroduction, would have hinged the effort on a specific type of federal authorization that would allow state officials to manage (capture, relocate or even kill) the wolves.
That authorization – formally called the 10(j) rule – is underway but not yet finished. State officials testified that the federal process could be delayed if the Colorado measure became law, which would have delayed the reintroduction.
Polis does want state officials to have the 10(j) ruling in hand, spokesman Conor Cahill said.
“Unfortunately, the legal analysis of this bill is that it would likely delay or even prevent successful 10-J designation, which is why he’s vetoing it.”
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