DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s wolf reintroduction and management plan underscores the importance of science and public engagement as state leaders and communities restore gray wolves to the Centennial State’s landscapes.
“Wolves are an essential part of Colorado and the West’s ecosystems, and it is critical that we do not lose sight of the people, businesses, and communities affected by their renewed presence on the landscape. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s wolf reintroduction and management plan reflects this critical consideration and demonstrated to ranchers and others that the state is serious about listening to them while also stewarding the state’s gray wolf population,” said Brian Kurzel, Rocky Mountain Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation. “Given the critical role that people play in wolf sustainability, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s plan would benefit from greater focus on social data monitoring to identify and proactively address potential social challenges. We will work with Governor Polis and Executive Director Gibbs to ensure the state’s finalization and implementation of this plan meets people where they are and embraces the best available biological and social science.”
The National Wildlife Federation issued a report in September in collaboration with renowned wolf biologist Dr. Diane Boyd highlighting how Colorado should respect science and heed the learnings of experts and experiences of other states in reintroducing wolves. The report reviewed wolf reintroduction and management in Northern Rockies, Pacific and Great Lakes states that have experienced the re-establishment of wolves while also enduring social and political challenges. The report found that a successful management plan will be one that recognizes both the positive and negative impacts of wolves in Colorado, proactively addresses the needs and values of those most impacted, has adequate biological and social monitoring, and commits adequate funding to support long-term wolf sustainability.
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