DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Parks and Wildlife wolf restoration and management plan is closer to being final and complete after the latest meeting in Steamboat Springs on April 6, the department said in a release Wednesday.
Changes made to two key issues were part of the meeting — regulations for nongame wildlife and regulations for damage caused by wildlife consistent with CPW’s plan, which includes gray wolf claims.
The next meetings are scheduled in Glenwood Springs on May 3-4 and this final draft is expected to be accepted by the commission, CPW said.
The latest changes were a result of discussions at the Feb. 22 commission meeting, which included an update on Tribal engagement and public comment.
“We’ve gone through a Tribal consultation process, which is a more formalized way to engage with the Tribes and it recognizes the importance of the government-to-government relationship,” Southwest Deputy Region Manager Matt Thorpe, who serves as CPW’s tribal liaison for the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes, said.
The Southern Ute Tribe’s spokesperson, Vanessa Torres, outlined some of the Tribe’s concerns at the meeting including limiting releases to a specific zone in the draft plan. Torres also expressed the Tribe’s rights to monitor and manage game populations in the Brunot Area and discussed exploring the possibility of working with CPW to address gray wolf issues, including livestock depredation on the Reservation and big game impacts in the Brunot Area, the CPW release said.
“We appreciate the comments made, and CPW acknowledges the Southern Ute’s Tribal sovereignty to manage their lands and CPW is looking forward to continuing discussions on a Tribal Wolf Management Plan or MOU that would outline in detail the responsibility of both the State and the Tribe in the management of gray wolves,” CPW Acting Director Heather Disney Dugan said.