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Colorado might reintroduce gray wolf

DENVER — Wildlife activists want Colorado voters to decide next year if the endangered gray wolf should be reintroduced in the state decades after it was hunted to near-extinction.

Backers of a ballot initiative delivered thousands of voter signatures last Tuesday to the secretary of state’s office in hopes of getting their proposal on the 2020 ballot.

Officials have 30 days to determine if enough signatures are valid to qualify the initiative.

The gray wolf has been successfully restored in a number of U.S. states but disappeared in Colorado in the 1940s. Colorado ranchers and other interests strongly oppose the initiative, saying it would threaten livestock.

Rob Edward of the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund, which is campaigning for the plan, told reporters that Colorado voters would have the opportunity to decide for themselves to restore the wolf, as opposed to restoration efforts in other states directed by federal wildlife officials.

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