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Future Farmers take interest in wolf reintroduction

Gray Wolves will be reintroduced in Colorado by the end of 2023. A new map shows that much of the Roaring Fork, North Fork, and Eagle river valleys could be prime habitat for the animals.
Gunnar Ries / Creative Commons License
Gray Wolves will be reintroduced in Colorado by the end of 2023. A new map shows that much of the Roaring Fork, North Fork, and Eagle river valleys could be prime habitat for the animals.

On Tuesday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife hosted a meeting on the Wolf Reintroduction Plan Draft at Colorado Mountain College’s Rifle campus. The room was packed with adults, but one group of teenagers in their blue Future Farmers of America jackets stood out. KDNK’s Hattison Rensberry caught up with the Olathe chapter of the FFA and asked six of the students about why they decided to attend the meeting.

"I'm Peyton Briggs, and we are here today to represent our local view on the wolf reintroduction project.

I'm Tanner Caroll, you know, we're here to support Olathe FFA all the farmers we have on the Western Slope and how this could impact them and their livestock and how that will eventually end up causing an issue for a lot of other things.

I'm Braxton Brown, and I'm here to learn more about the reintroduction of the wolves and how it's going to impact my family's ranch and fellow ranches and people that we run cattle with and wildlife because I love being outdoors and I love to hunt and I just want to know how that's gonna affect Colorado and looking at other states and how it's affected them and how it's gonna, if it's gonna be the same in Colorado or not.

I'm Kyle Samberg, and I'm part of the Olathe FFA and we're here to find out what the wolf will do with the fellow ranchers and farmers, livestock and our like guard dogs and animals and just wildlife in general.

My name is Chase Piat. Main reason I'm here is to see how the DOW plans on controlling the wolves, how they're gonna see how they live in Colorado. They already live here, but I want to see how the ranches handle them and everything."

Numerous studies and data from the federal government show that wolves rarely contribute to livestock death … somewhere between 0.01 and 0.04 percent of sheep and cattle loss in the Great Lakes, Northern Rockies, and New Mexico was due to wolves.

Commentary on Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s draft plan is only open until February 22nd, after which point the final draft and regulations approval meeting will be held in Glenwood Springs on May 3rd and 4th. Commentary forms are available at:
https://engagecpw.org/draft-wolf-plan-comments/survey_tools/comment-form-draft-restoration-and-management-plan

Hattison Rensberry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and Drawing, but has worked for newsrooms in various capacities since 2019.
She also provides Editorial Design for the Sopris Sun.