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Come November, Colorado voters will be asked to make an unusual decision: whether to order state wildlife officials to reintroduce wolves into the state.

The citizen-initiated ballot measure, which is not supported by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is expected to pass, largely on the strength of urban voters along the Front Range. But in the western part of the state, where the predators actually would be introduced, ranchers are on edge.

They’re already wary of confirmation that six wolves have made their way into the northwestern corner of the state on their own, and, apparently, have taken up residence. Bringing more wolves into Colorado threatens their cattle — and their livelihoods. They say it also risks upsetting the partnership between conservationists and agriculture that has helped keep wide swaths of land undeveloped.

Proponents argue wolves once were an essential part of Colorado’s wild habitat and must be restored to bring balance back to the ecosystem.

Bruce Finley, the Denver Post’s environment reporter, and staff photographer RJ Sangosti recently traveled to Moffat County to spend time with some of these ranchers and learn more about their perspective on the controversial push to bring back once-eradicated wolves.

Read more about it in today’s Post.

— Matt Sebastian, senior editor

In western Colorado, wary ranchers eye wolves’ arrival and fear urban voters will introduce more

How did we get back here? Colorado’s COVID-19 cases near peak levels, though deaths remain low

Even as rules have loosened and COVID-19 cases rise in Colorado, deaths have stayed relatively low. But, health experts warn, there’s no guarantee that will last if the virus continues to spread widely. Read more here…

Last call for alcohol in Colorado will be 10 p.m., Gov. Jared Polis orders in latest salvo against COVID-19

Stating his frustration with young people getting drunk in social settings and increasing the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday ordered that last call for alcohol at establishments statewide shall, for at least 30 days, be 10 p.m. Read more here…

Denver police union president says SWAT lieutenant ignored commander’s retreat order during Sunday’s dueling rallies

The president of Denver’s police union on Wednesday called on police leadership to apologize for failing to protect pro-police demonstrators who rallied in Civic Center on Sunday and were overrun by counter-protesters. Read more here…

Denver rents drop for the first time in years but apartment industry’s focus is on potential eviction crisis

Denver’s average rent fell over the past 12 months. Yes, went down. Yes, it’s been a long time since that happened. More than a decade, in fact.

The Apartment Association of Metro Denver’s quarterly rental survey pegged the average cost to lease a place in the seven-county Denver area at $1,506 a month between April and June. That’s $30 per month cheaper than the average rent over the same period last year, a 2.1% decrease when adjusted for inflation, according to the association. Vacancy rates, meanwhile, were roughly flat at just over 5%. Read more here…

Meteorologist Marty Coniglio leaves 9News after comparing federal troops to Nazis

Meteorologist Marty Coniglio, a staple of Denver TV weather for three decades, left 9News Friday, a day after he compared, on social media, federal troops in U.S. cities to Nazis. Read more here…

+ Denver eyes National Western Complex lot for first sanctioned homeless encampment

+ Denver rents drop for the first time in years but apartment industry’s focus is on potential eviction crisis

+ Last call for alcohol in Colorado will be 10 p.m., Gov. Jared Polis orders in latest salvo against COVID-19

+ After year of controversy, who should lead the Aurora Police Department?

+ Colorado’s COVID-19 cases rise for fifth week, though hospitalizations remain far from April peak

+ Colorado issues school reopening guidance as Jeffco teachers push back on return to classrooms

+ Why Patrick Neville is expected to lose top GOP spot in Colorado House

+ Kids and COVID-19: What experts do (and do not) know about how the virus affects children

+ Colorado warns 15 counties that reopening is at risk if COVID-19 spread not slowed

+ Restaurant group sues Colorado health department over limits on dining capacity

Help us out: We’re want to hear from parents about what the discussion about school in the fall looks like in your household. Tell us about the impossible decisions you are being asked to make. Submit your story here and you just might get to appear in next week’s Post Premium.

See more great photos like this on The Denver Post’s Instagram account.

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