Concerns Rise as Colorado Ranchers React to Wolf Predation, Threatening Partnerships
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Concerns Rise as Colorado Ranchers React to Wolf Predation, Threatening Partnerships

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials are in hot water as wolf kills continue, with ranchers feeling the pinch and hinting at the strain on future partnerships.

Despite CPW’s claims that they’re just following the law, ranchers, represented by the Yuma County Cattlemen’s Association, are pushing back. They feel less inclined to collaborate with CPW or open their lands for public use due to recent wolf attacks on livestock.

The latest incident involved wolves released in December from Oregon, known for attacking livestock. While CPW insists it’s not to blame, ranchers argue otherwise. They emphasize that CPW chose these wolves, knowing their predatory history.

During a recent commission meeting, Commissioner Marie Haskett clarified that CPW was acting in compliance with the law, urging cooperation. However, ranchers, like Don Gittleson, who lost livestock to wolves, feel let down by CPW’s delayed response to the issue.

Despite CPW’s assurance of working on a solution, ranchers remain skeptical. The lack of clarity on chronic depredation, which would allow lethal measures against wolves, adds to their frustration.

The rift between CPW and ranchers could jeopardize future collaborations. Previously supportive landowners are now hesitant to engage, fearing similar conflicts in conservation efforts.

While CPW is striving to address the chronic depredation issue, the damage to their relationship with landowners may be irreparable. Ranchers’ trust in CPW’s ability to manage wildlife effectively has been shaken, and the consequences could be far-reaching.

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