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Aspen PublicRadio, DEC 27, 2016

Montana State Sen. Mike Phillips has been a part of efforts across the country to restore populations of wolves. 

He was recently involved in their reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park, and is now launching the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project, with a goal of bringing the apex predators back to Colorado. 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy sat down with Phillips earlier this month to discuss what wolf recovery in this state could look like.

Grey wolves can wander long distances, but they often don’t, according to Phillips, who also co-founded the Turner Endangered Species Fund.

Waiting on natural recolonization (of wolves) to occur is a fool’s errand,” Phillips said.

Phillips is launching the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project in early 2017, with an eye on reintroducing wolves in western Colorado. Restoring the population of these predators would have invaluable benefits, he said.

“From a spiritual perspective, from a moral perspective, wolves in Colorado would be the last piece of a 40-plus year restoration puzzle that we have been assembling that would result in grey wolves being reestablished all up and down the Rocky Mountains from the high Arctic to the Mexican border,” Phillips said.

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