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Colorado Parks and Wildlife releases Draft Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan
Last month the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) staff presented the Draft Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan to the CPW Commission. The Draft Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan is now available for public review. The CPW Commission will discuss and take feedback from the public at five upcoming meetings around Colorado. The public can comment on the draft plan online and in the upcoming public meetings through February 22, by visiting engagecpw.org.
As you may know, State statute 33-2-105.8 directs the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to:Develop a plan to restore and manage gray wolves in Colorado; Take necessary steps to begin reintroduction no later than Dec. 31, 2023, on designated lands west of the Continental Divide; and Pay fair compensation for livestock losses caused by gray wolves
Beginning in April 2021, CPW contracted with Keystone Policy Center to conduct the public involvement effort. CPW worked with Keystone Policy Center to hold 47 public meetings in 2021, collecting feedback from more than 3,400 Coloradans.
Additionally, CPW appointed two advisory bodies: a Technical Working Group (TWG) to review objective, science-based information as well as provide their own knowledge and experience at the state/federal/tribal level to inform the development of the Plan; and a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) to provide recommendations to staff and the CPW Commission about social implications associated with wolf restoration and management for consideration in drafting of the Plan.
Highlights of the Plan:
CPW will reintroduce 30 to 50 wolves in total over the next 3 – 5 years (10-15 animals per year).
Captured wolves will be reintroduced onto state and cooperating private lands in select areas west of the Continental Divide with a 60-mile buffer from neighboring states.
Monitoring and Management
CPW will place GPS monitoring collars on reintroduced wolves and monitor wolf packs as they develop in the coming years.
The draft plan describes an impact-based management philosophy. Wolves will have both positive and negative impacts in the state. If wolves are causing a negative impact, CPW will utilize multiple management tools including education, nonlethal tools, and in rare cases involving wolf depredation lethal management to resolve the problem.
Wolves will be managed within Colorado using a phased approach, based on the number of animals present in the state.
The plan does not permit a regulated wolf hunt.
Now that the draft Plan has been presented, the CPW Commission will discuss and take feedback from the public at five upcoming meetings around Colorado.
Five statewide hearings will be held to acquire information from the public to be considered in developing the Plan. The hearing dates and locations are listed below with approximate times:Jan. 19, 2023 – Colorado Springs – 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
2. Jan. 25, 2023 – Gunnison – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
3. Feb. 7, 2023 – Rifle – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
4. Feb. 16, 2023 – Virtual via Zoom – 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
5. Feb. 22, 2023 – Denver – 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
April 6, 2023 – Final Draft Plan and Regulations (Step 1 of 2), TBD, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
CPW staff will present the final draft Plan. In-person public comment will be taken in a similar manner to the hearings and online comments may be made through engagecpw.org. The meeting will be streamed to YouTube to listen to live or by recording.
May 3 – 4, 2023 – Final Plan and Regulations Approval, Glenwood Springs – Times TBD
Commissioners will vote on approval of the final Plan and associated wolf regulations.
Visit CPW’s Stay Informed page and sign up for the Wolf Reintroduction eNews to stay up to date with CPW’s Wolf Restoration efforts.
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