DWR is Holding Public Wolf Management Meetings In March

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People can provide Utah's Wolf Working Group with their issues and concerns about wolves, and advice on how to manage wolves that may find their way to Utah from surrounding states, at a series of public meetings in March.

"This is the best opportunity people will have to provide input into a plan that will guide the management of wolves in Utah for years to come," said Craig McLaughlin, mammals coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "We encourage everyone who is interested in wolves to attend. Input from the public is vital in ensuring the group drafts a plan that addresses the concerns of people across the state."

The meetings, which will focus on one of the most controversial wildlife issues in the state's history, will begin at 7 p.m. and last for two hours. "It's important that people arrive on time, so they can participate fully in the public input process," McLaughlin said. Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

March 8, 7 p.m.
Utah State University Extension (Multi-purpose Room), 987 E. Lagoon St.

March 9, 7 p.m.
Uintah County of Western Park (Room 3), 302 E. 200 S.

March 10, 7 p.m.
Department of Natural Resources (Auditorium), 1594 W. North Temple

March 11, 7 p.m.
Ogden Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave.

March 12, 7 p.m.
Bridgerland Applied Technology Center (Rooms 1513 and 1514), 1301 N. 600 W.

March 15, 7:00 p.m.
Cross Hollows Intermediate School, 2215 W. Royal Hunte Dr. (Up the hill behind Wal-Mart)

March 16, 7 p.m.
Sevier County Administration Building (old Court House), 250 N. Main St.

March 17, 7 p.m.
Moab Senior Center, 450 E. 100 N.

March 18, 7 p.m.
Castle Valley Center, 755 N. Cedar Hills Dr.

March 19, 7 p.m.
Spanish Fork Veterans Center, 400 N. Main St.

Each meeting will begin with a member of the Wolf Working Group welcoming those in attendance. After the welcome, McLaughlin will give a brief update about the status of wolves in surrounding states. After his presentation, those in attendance will be invited to share their views and concerns about wolves in Utah, and provide suggestions for managing wolves in the state. Near the end of the meeting, participants will get to review and rank the evening's results.

Professional facilitators from the Dynamic Solutions Group in Wyoming will facilitate the entire process.

"After the meetings, all issues and ideas generated will be given to the Wolf Working Group," McLaughlin said. "Group members are looking forward to receiving this input from the public."

At the direction of the Utah Wildlife Board, the Wolf Working Group was assembled by the DWR in October 2003. The group consists of 13 people who represent various wolf interests, including livestock owners, hunters and environmentalists. The group will identify issues that are important for managing wolves in Utah and draft a plan that includes several objectives and strategies to support a single management alternative.

The group's draft plan should be complete by May 1, 2005. The DWR, the Utah Wildlife Board and the Utah Legislature will then review and modify the plan so it adheres to state statutes and policies.

People can stay updated on what the group is doing by visiting wildlife.utah.gov/wolf on the Internet.