Wildlife Managers Meet with Ranchers To Explain How To Prevent Attacks by Wolves and Get Compensation if Attacks Occur

Colorado Times Recorder – by Brodie Farquhar

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – About 100 ranchers from northwest Colorado gathered Wednesday evening to hear Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) and Wildlife Services personnel present information about the reintroduction of grey wolves into western Colorado. Officials answered questions about how to prevent wolf depredations on livestock, as well as how the state will compensate ranchers for losses.

Carhart overalls, cowboy hats, and wildlife officer uniforms filled a meeting room at the Steamboat Community Center.

Wildlife managers Justin Pollock and Kyle Bond outlined options for ranchers affected by wolf depredation against livestock (cattle, horses, mules, burros, sheep, lambs, swine, lamas, and alpacas), livestock guardian dogs, or herding animals. Damage can include death, injuries treated by veterinarians, weight loss, or conception losses due to stress, injury or predation.

Compensation for wolf damages goes beyond the longstanding compensation for damages by big game, such as bear, and cougar predation or ungulates eating winter hay. The difference is that wolves are a reintroduced species and not part of the normal mix of big game animals in Colorado; therefore compensation is greater.

Basically, said Pollock and Bond, the state shall pay 100 percent of the fair market value for the type, age, and weight of each confirmed wolf-livestock depredation.