Colorado’s Lone Wolf

Having lived in Colorado for years, I get excited when I cross good news about the state. And recent reports that a lone wolf has traveled down to Colorado’s Eagle County from Montana gives me hope for the future of the gray wolf in the Rocky Mountains.

The 18-month-old female wolf, 314F, has had one incredible journey. She’s traveled about 1,000 miles from her pack up in Yellowstone National Park where she had been tagged with a Global Positioning System satellite collar. Having traveled through the Rockies myself in the winter, I’m telling you that this is no easy feat. Where I need snow tires, snow shoes, backcountry skiis and a wide array of hats, gloves and jackets… let’s just say, I’m impressed by her true low-maintainance style.

Wolf 314F has traveled through Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Colorado in search of a mate. While wolves are hotly debated in Colorado, there certainly are plenty of elk to go around in this area. It’s good to know that one by one, we may start to restore some natural balance to Colorado’s beautiful environment.

Don’t get me wrong. The story of one wolf does not justify Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s decision last week to follow in the Bush administration’s footsteps and to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. This flawed decision opens the gray wolf to inconsistent and poorly developed state management plans. We still need to protect the Rocky Mountain gray wolves so we can have healthy deer and elk populations, and restore the aspen and willow trees that’ve been stripped bare by the ungulates in the Rocky Mountain National Park.

But I must admit, wolf 314F’s journey through the Rockies does seem to reflect some of the change that’s going on in this region recently. Once a red state through and through, the state voted for Barack Obama in 2008 – perhaps a sign that this state is ready to restore its wildlife and embrace its environmental heritage.

Welcome to Colorado, wolf 314F.

(c) Adam Messer


Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Natasha, for Sharing this!

Leigh B.
Leigh B9 years ago

We must use all of our resources in defeating Salazar's killing of all wolves immediately. I have phoned and petitioned too many to count, I just pray that our voices are heard!

Uma Chernoff
Uma Chernoff9 years ago

Apart from their natural beauty the wolf is an important key to the health of the wilderness ; it is our generation's job to preserve wilderness for the future and a healthy planet. I, personally, would not like to live in an artificial environment with just humans for company; I need the sense of living in a multi-species world, whether I can see them or not, and I doubt that I am alone in this. We (humans) evolved with the whole planet and there is an interconnection between all of us with all the other beings of our world, great and microscopically small. When we undertake the protection of one species or another they become the identifiable focus for whole environments, eco- systems that the planet depends on for survival. Ranchers want the elimination of the wolf to protect their herds which they raise for human slaughter and profit. They cry poverty to politicians who prefer to eliminate the competition than go that extra step to protect their investments and don't care anything for the preservation of wilderness. In their minds if they can't personally profit it's useless and so what if the planet suffers, if it makes their apocalypse and rapture come faster "just get it on!". It is significant that a herd of caribou is more frightened of humans than the wolves that run with it's migrations, picking off the weak and sick and keeping the herds strong. It's easy for cowardly politicians to get milage from wolf kill while arctic wolves subsist well on mice.

Eva Kiefer
Eva Ferrara9 years ago

wolf organizations need our help to make sure wolves like 314f can make a stand. Defenders is a good place to check to see what we can do to help....

Linda H.
.9 years ago

how nice.

Past Member 9 years ago

I remember when the first wolves were released in yellowstone and a male was shot when he wondered out of the park boundaries. I hope our girl 314f finds a safe place to make her home. Hunters do exaggerated all the stats for their own benefit they look at wolves as competition. Good luck 314f

Marlene V.
marlene v9 years ago

The fact is, the state fish and wildlife agencies in these regions are still in the grip of the hunting lobby, and their wolf management decisions are being driven by an interest in artificially inflating moose, deer, and elk populations so that hunters can shoot more of these animals. To paraphrase outdoor writer and conservationist Ted Williams, wolves don’t pay for hunting licenses, only hunters do, and therein lies the problem with modern game management.
we must all rally in the cause to protect the wolf.........

Laura Mcgowan
Laura Mcgowan9 years ago

It gives me hope when I hear other voices who believe taking the wolf off the Endangered Species list is wrong. Our country is too full of greed and malicious ignorance. People who want the wolf killed because they eat a few cattle or some trophy game. It makes me ashamed to be a human...

Felicia T.
Felicia T9 years ago

We must continue our voices to save Our Wolves, which are icons to this selfish nation. Continue the Fight for their protection!

Veronica D.
Veronica D9 years ago

The gray wolf is finally gaining ground only to have that gain wiped out through loss of its much needed protection, shameful!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was established to protect wildlife, but instead it often ignores its mission, choosing over and over to cater to hunters and cattle ranchers. If wildlife suffers as a direct result, so be it.

Wolves are an important element of the delicate eco-system, men with guns and cattle are not.

Good wishes to Colorado's lone wolf.