Colorado has finally come to an agreement with a state to give them wolves.
Three years after voting to reintroduce gray wolves into Colorado, Colorado Parks and Wildlife have come to an official agreement with Oregon for the process to begin. The one-year agreement notes that Oregon will give Colorado 10 grey wolves over the next year, with the first wolves being relocated by December 31, 2023.
“This agreement will help ensure Colorado Parks and Wildlife can meet its statutory mandate to begin releasing wolves in Colorado by December 31, 2023.”
Capture of the wolves will begin in December in the Northeast part of Oregon, where their population is most abundant, thus not impacting the state’s conservation efforts.
“CPW will aim to capture and reintroduce an equal number of males and females. We anticipate that the majority of animals will be in the 1- to 5-year-old range, which is the age that animals would typically disperse from the pack they were born in.”
Said CPW program manager Eric Odell.
The wolves will be released into pre-selected sites in Colorado, where specialists believe will cause minimal stress to the animals.
While some are excited to have the species back in the Rocky Mountains, others are frustrated with the majority vote on this effort, like livestock rancher Janie VanWinkle.
VanWinkle is the co-owner and co-manager of VanWinkle Ranch near Grand Junction. She expressed concern to the news source about the reintroduction of wolves and how it will affect her livelihood from her business.
“There’s really not a lot we can do about this — it’s just beyond frustrating
We all know wherever the wolves are released they won’t stay, so they will scatter quickly. I just can’t imagine to be honest with you what the impact will be and how we will manage it.”
With the threat of wolves hunting for their herd, she expresses how it will impact not only their business efforts but also years and years of producing the quality genetic line found in the herd.
Of course, dead animals, that means money. There’s years and years of genetics that are put together by producers, we cannot just go buy more of the same cattle because we spend a lifetime putting this herd together.”
As the news coverage stated, ranchers will be compensated for dead animals by CPW, and wolves will be tracked via collars but if a wolf has injury or other issues, Oregon will be responsible for keeping tabs on the animal.
I know I am interested to see how well that will workout tracking animals across state lines through unfamiliar territories.
While ranchers are not excited about the voters’ majority choice for this act, the governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, is very grateful for Oregon to their partnership so that their promised timeline comes to fruition.
“We are deeply grateful for Oregon’s partnership in this endeavor, and we are now one step closer to fulfilling the will of the voters in time.”
While this is a very serious matter, I can’t help but think back to the Yellowstone episode where Rip and his crew get dinged for hunting the wolf that was tagged.
Seems like fiction is turning into non-fiction with the parallels between the two…