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Colorado Approves Lethal Wolf Management

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Colorado Approves Lethal Wolf Management

Posted 2024-06-26  by  Stephanie Mallory

Ranchers say the large canines have killed and injured a number of calves

Image: gray_wolf

Colorado ranchers applaud a new bill allowing the lethal management of wolves responsible for killing or harassing livestock and working dogs. (Photo by Darren Baker)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission voted on Thursday, June 13, to allow lethal management of wolves under certain conditions.

According to the Denver Gazette, the commission voted six to four in favor of a staff recommendation that allows permits to kill wolves that have repeatedly killed and harassed livestock or working dogs.

The vote was applauded by dozens of ranchers, some of whom testified about wolves killing or injuring their cattle. They claim two wolves in Grand County were responsible for killing or injuring at least seven cattle, mostly calves. Wolves that migrated from Wyoming are responsible for killing or injuring at least four more calves during the spring calving season in Jackson County.

One wolf advocate says its only been six months since the wolves were relocated from Oregon to Colorado and it’s too soon to start killing them.

Darlene Kobobel of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center said the state released the 10 wolves last December "knowing that they would need time to learn about the new environment and establish themselves."

Both ranchers and some of the commissioners say they prefer that wildlife officers kill the problem wolves, rather than the ranchers themselves.

Under the rule changes, permits are issued for a maximum of 45 days, but can be renewed with a limit on the number of wolves that can be killed.

The rules prior to the most recent decision allowed for the use of artificial lights and thermal imaging at night to see wolves, but not to help take them down. The new changes allow the tools to be used to help take chronically depredating wolves.

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