Management plan to reintroduce gray wolves focused on community feedback

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DENVER (KDVR) — During January’s Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Commission meeting, the commission approved a motion to create a flexible management plan to reintroduce the gray wolf in Colorado.

During the meeting that was held virtually, 10-1 voted for the management plan. 

“We have direction from the voters of Colorado to develop a reintroduction and management plan for gray wolves as transparently and as expeditiously as possible,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. 

Proposition 114 was voted into law in November 2020. But under the measure, CPW’s Commission is required to hold hearings across the state to gather information to be used in developing the plan and update the plan after obtaining public input periodically. The information and opinion will be used to reintroduce the wolves onto chosen lands by Dec. 31, 2023. 

“People need to learn how to and adapt to coexisting with wolves,” Rob Edward, an advisor to the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project said. 

Edward said he hopes that the process can move quicker in bringing the wolves into Colorado. He said he hopes as soon as 2022 the wolves will be reintroduced. 

“This is not something that is rocket science. It’s basic science and wolves are very good at figuring out what to do in a place like Colorado,” Edward said.  

According to CPW’s website, the main objectives of the proposed outreach strategy are to gather and share information to build public awareness and promote engagement across the state. Designing an inclusive and transparent process to meet the requirements outlined in Proposition 114 is a key focus. 

CPW said they plan on hosting public meetings across the state to collect feedback from the public. They are open to answer questions and hear people’s concerns. 

A “Technical Working Group” and a “Stakeholder Working Group” to serve as advisory bodies to the Commission will be created, CPW said.

The Technical Working Group would initially be responsible for:

  • Proposing of conservation objectives and management strategies that CPW will incorporate into its draft plan
  • Developing the details of the damage prevention and compensation program.

The Stakeholder Advisory Group will:

  • Support development of draft strategies by representing a range of viewpoints and geographic areas within the state
  • Make substantive contributions for consideration to the plan(s) developed by the Technical Working Group

Those interested in applying to participate on the Stakeholder Advisory Group or attending public meetings can stay informed through CPW’s Wolf Management Pagesocial media channels, and eNews newsletters. All agendas, data, and draft materials for future meetings will be posted to CPW’s website.

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