Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

Letter to the Editor

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

Letter to the Editor re: wolves in the San Luis Valley
FINAL, February 3, 2012

There has been some recent speculation that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service intends to reintroduce wolves in the San Luis Valley to help manage elk and other species. 
It is important to set the record straight: the Service in fact has no plans and no intent to reintroduce wolves in the Valley.

The confusion about the Service’s intent arose from a draft plan to manage overabundant elk populations affecting vital wildlife habitat on the San Luis Valley’s National Wildlife Refuges.  The draft plan references a suggestion by some members of the public that the Service consider wolves as a potential management tool.  By law, the Service is required to analyze the comments and suggestions we receive; we do not, however, believe that wolf reintroduction is the appropriate management strategy for this area.  We have instead put forward three other options including public hunting, which we believe will help ensure that the wildlife refuges in the San Luis Valley continue to provide high quality habitat for elk and other species – as well as recreational and economic benefits for local communities.

We encourage members of the public and our partners to review and comment on this important draft plan as we work to finalize it over the next two years.  We’re committed to ensuring that the San Luis Valley’s land, water, and wildlife remain the pride of Colorado and the nation for years to come.

Steve Guertin
Regional Director, Mountain-Prairie Region
US Fish and Wildlife Service