Gray wolves are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, which makes it unlawful for anyone to harass, hunt, shoot, kill, trap, collect, wound or harm any animal listed in the act.
Earlier this year, Gov. Jared Polis vetoed a bill that could have set the plan back several years because ranchers and the Colorado Farm Bureau raised concerns about the safety of livestock.
But Polis said that bill was unnecessary, and wrote “The management of the reintroduction of gray wolves into Colorado is best left to the Parks and Wildlife Commission as the voters explicitly mandated.”
The final Wolf Restoration and Management Plan passed on May 3. On Monday, CPW released information about how the plan will accommodate livestock concerns.
Fladry, flagging interspersed on twine, is a portable barrier that CPW said is used to surround livestock pastures or holding areas. It triggers an electric shock, which reinforces a wolf’s fear response so they will avoid the fladry, according to CPW.
This is one of the methods that the department said will “help minimize conflicts with livestock producers and reduce the risk of wolf-livestock depredations.”
CPW will provide fladry and other scare devices will be provided on a case-by-case basis. In the event that a wolf does harm or kill livestock, livestock owners can file a claim and CPW will provide “100% fair market value compensation” up to $15,000, according to the final plan document.
There are also educational resources from CPW for livestock owners to learn about other minimization techniques.
According to the final plan document, CPW will try to transfer 30 to 50 wolves to Colorado over the span of three to five years, with 10 to 15 each year. Wildlife management agencies will do so in the fall and winter by trapping, darting or net gunning.