DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife released its draft wolf reintroduction plan Friday, and a group of endangered animal advocates feels there are already changes that need to be made.
People who support the reintroduction of gray wolves, like the Endangered Species Coalition, say they still need time to dig into the plan, but they already see some problems.
Higher wolf numbers, less-lethal controls
Part of the reintroduction is a cap on the endangered population number. That cap would be 150 wolves living in the state for two successive years and an additional cap of 200 with no time constraint.
The coalition’s Southern Rockies field representative, Dillon Hanson-Ahumada, said that’s not enough.
“We want to see an increase in the number of the population level of wolves out of the endangered category in the state,” Hanson-Ahumada said.
The coalition also wants ranches and CPW to prioritize nonlethal tools to discourage wolves from preying on livestock.
“There is of course mention and urging to use coexistence tools between landowners to live with the wolves, but we want to see more emphasis in that, maybe describing in detail how CPW is gonna help landowners and livestock producers use those tools and afford those tools. We think those tools are key to being able to have wolves in Colorado.” Hanson-Ahumada said.
The state’s wolf release plan is set for two areas on the Western Slope. As proposed, the first release will happen in an area that sits along the Interstate 70 corridor between Glenwood Springs and Vail. The second area is along the Highway 50 corridor between Monarch Pass and Montrose.
The wolves will get tracking collars for the state to monitor.
“We’re excited to see the emphasis on education and outreach that will be given to the public about what’s happening in the state,” Hanson-Ahumada said.
Paws have to be on the ground by December of next year.