Wolf Working Group Recommendations
The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) will conduct a series of open house meetings around the state through mid-February to gather citizen input on the initial recommendations of the Colorado Wolf Management Working Group.
The working group was convened early last year and was given the primary task of recommending state guidelines for the management of gray wolves that migrate into Colorado. Members include livestock producers, wildlife advocates, sportsmen, local government officials and wildlife biologists. State and federal agency personnel are providing technical support to the group.
“The working group did an amazing job in reaching agreement on some of the basic issues of wolf management in Colorado,” said Gary Skiba, multi-species coordinator for the DOW’s wildlife conservation section.
Now that the working group has agreed on recommendations, a schedule to put policies in place will ensue over the next several months. First, the Colorado Wildlife Commission will review the group’s recommendations. In March, DOW Director Bruce McCloskey will provide a draft of the state wildlife agency’s recommendations on wolf management to the Commission. The working group will review public comment and DOW recommendations in March or April. Finally, the Commission will vote on final wolf migratory management policies in May.
One gray wolf has been found in Colorado over the past year, and more could migrate from states where the carnivores have been reintroduced. The DOW, wildlife commissioners, and state natural resource managers want to have a management plan in place in case more wolves enter the state. Wolves are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, and Colorado will not have management authority until the wild canines are removed from federal protection.
Skiba said the state’s first wolf management policy document would address migrating wolves only, and that the working group or a similar group might be convened in the future should Colorado need to consider more far-reaching wolf-management policies.
“We’ve taken some huge steps, and laid a strong foundation for management if wolves ever become established in Colorado,” Skiba said.
The DOW’s open house meetings on the wolf working group’s initial recommendations will take place 7-9 p.m., Jan. 31-Feb. 17. Exact dates and locations are as follows:
Jan. 31: Craig, Shadow Mountain Community Center, 1055 County Road 7
Feb. 1: Grand Junction, Grand Junction Hotel (formerly the Adam’s Mark), 743 Horizon Drive
Feb. 3: Denver, Best Western Central, 200 W. 48th Ave.
Feb. 7: Durango, Doubletree Hotel Durango, 501 Camino del Rio
Feb. 8: Alamosa, Adams State College, Student Union Building, corner of First Street and Stadium Drive
Feb. 15: Frisco, Summit County Community Center/Senior Center, 0151 Peak One Blvd., off County Road 1004
Feb. 16: Pueblo, Pueblo Marriott, 110 W. First St., adjacent to the Pueblo Convention Center
Feb. 17: Fort Collins, Marriott Fort Collins, 350 E. Horsetooth Road
To read more about gray wolf management and to review the working group’s initial recommendations, visit http://wildlife.state.co.us/species_cons/GrayWolf/.