U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Initiates Process for State-Led Reintroduction of the Gray Wolf in Colorado 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has requested increased management flexibility for the species under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act 

To assist the state of Colorado in their reintroduction of gray wolves into the state, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating the process to develop an experimental population rule to provide the authority and flexibility needed to manage the reintroduced wolves under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).   

As the result of a statewide voter-led initiative passed in November 2020, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is responsible for reintroducing the gray wolf in a portion of the species’ historical range in Colorado no later than December 31, 2023. Since the gray wolf was relisted as an endangered species in February 2022, CPW has requested the designation of an experimental population under section 10(j) of the ESA to provide increased management flexibility. Learn more about 10(j) rules here.

While evaluating the state’s request to provide for management of reintroduced wolves as an experimental population under the ESA, the Service must complete an environmental review of the potential impacts under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) framework through the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This announcement is inviting the public to help inform the scope of the EIS at this early stage in the process, comments can be submitted on regulations.gov through August 22, 2022

Meeting Information

  • August 2, 2022 – Gunnison County Fairgrounds, Gunnison, CO, 6:00 – 8:00 PM  
  • August 3, 2022 – Silverthorne Pavilion, Silverthorne, CO, 6:00 - 8:00 PM 
  • August 4, 2022 – Moffat County High School, Craig, CO, 6:00 – 8:00 PM 
  • August 10, 2022 – Virtual meeting, 6:00 PM | Register here


The gray wolf, being a keystone predator, is an integral component of the ecosystems to which it typically belongs. The wide range of habitats in which wolves can thrive reflects their adaptability as a species, and includes temperate forests, mountains, tundra, taiga, and grasslands. Gray...

FWS Focus

This document provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act and experimental populations.