Sign In
CPW News Release
CPW News Release
Record of decision and final environmental impact statement on Colorado gray wolf 10(j) rule released ahead of schedule

Joey Livingston
Statewide Public Information Officer
303-345-4658 /

Record of decision and final environmental impact statement on Colorado gray wolf 10(j) rule released ahead of schedule, kicking off next steps and timeline for expected 10(j) approval

DENVER - Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and draft record of decision to establish an experimental population of gray wolves in Colorado under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act, nearly three weeks ahead of schedule. 

Once finalized, this action will provide Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) with increased management flexibility, which is expected to increase the likelihood of overall gray wolf restoration success. The 10(j) rule is now expected to be in place in Colorado more than a month before the statutory deadline of releasing gray wolves by December 31, 2023. 

In the EIS, the USFWS selected Alternative 1, which will provide the management flexibility afforded by 10(j) throughout the entirety of the state of Colorado.

“This demonstrates a sincere and effective commitment by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to accomplish this task on a very accelerated timeline,” said CPW Director Jeff Davis. “National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) work typically takes 2 - 3 years and it was accomplished in a little over a year-and-a-half. CPW leadership is very thankful to the demonstrated commitment and partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Timeline and Next Steps
With the draft record of decision and final EIS complete the next step is for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to issue a 10(j) experimental population designation. This action will include publishing the final record of decision and the 10(j) rule itself no sooner than 30 days after this announcement is published in the Federal Register. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service intends to publish the final record of decision and 10(j) rule to be effective before the end of 2023.​

There is no public comment period open at this time, as the public comment for this rule has already occurred.

The publishing of the 10(j) earlier than anticipated does not necessarily translate to an earlier capture operation to reintroduce gray wolves. CPW will wait until capture conditions are ideal to begin capture operations, but the first reintroduction is still anticipated to occur prior to the December 31, 2023, statutory deadline.

To keep up to date, sign up for our Gray Wolf Reintroduction eNews.
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Share Share
Forward Forward
CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 43 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
Copyright © 2023 Colorado Parks and Wildlife, All rights reserved.