PLNR-20-1 Proposed Wolf Introduction

WHEREAS special interest groups periodically propose to introduce wolves in Colorado, with the Western Slope as the primary targeted release area; and wildlife management experts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) have, based on scientific analysis, chosen not to introduce wolves in Colorado,

 

WHEREAS Club 20 has a long history studying the wolf issue and supports the May 2005 Colorado Wolf Management Working Group Recommendations for Managing Wolves that Migrate into Colorado which remains in effect as guidance to CPW,

 

WHEREAS Club 20 members have historically supported the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission resolutions adopted in January 1982, September 1989, and January 13, 2016 opposing wolf reintroductions in Colorado,

 

WHEREAS Club 20 recognizes that Colorado is a fast-growing state with a 5.7 million population projected to increase to 8.1 million by 2050 (Colorado State Demography office),

 

WHEREAS Colorado is one of the top five states in the nation in lamb,  wool, and beef production and farmers and ranchers living on the Western Slope will face inevitable conflict with wolves (fifty percent of livestock depredation in the Northern Rockies occurs on private property), and increased management expenses due to the presence of wolves,

 

WHEREAS there is no guarantee that adequate funding will be appropriated to pay for livestock loses and associated costs, in addition mandatory costs to (CPW) for introduction will deplete existing funds needed for current wildlife management,

 

WHEREAS the Western Slope hosts a robust and fast-growing tourism / outdoor recreation sector that also must co-exist with an introduced apex predator,

 

WHEREAS hunting and guiding/ outfitting is an extremely important component of outdoor recreation and a source of income for landowners; and these small businesses are reliant on wildlife, and public land management plans that analyze the effects of all the wildlife (deer, elk, , and moose), wild horses, herding and livestock protection dogs, and livestock (sheep, cattle, domestic horses) that must be managed on Colorado’s diverse landscapes,

 

WHEREAS Colorado hunting and fishing brings $1.8 billion annually to the state and watchable wildlife enthusiasts bring $1.2 billion annually,

 

WHEREAS wolf introduction programs are distinctly more challenging to manage than natural wolf migration, and there are known disease issues (i.e. hydatid disease), in addition to legal and financial consequences to endangered species and apex predator introduction as well as personal safety threats and risks for tourists, farmers, ranchers, children and domestic pets,

 

WHEREAS  wolf populations in the northern Rocky Mountains have achieved and exceeded the recovery goals set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming; and have been federally delisted in those states, and from this core recovery area, wolves have naturally dispersed to Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon and California,

 

WHEREAS CPW will face additional challenges because Colorado’s population is twice the population Montana, Idaho and Wyoming combined, has large and growing outdoor recreation users, and has a much smaller geographic region, which inherently complicates and adds costs to wolf management and significantly increases costs to manage other impacted wildlife species.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Club 20

 

  • Adamantly opposes any effort to introduce wolves into Colorado as wolves are already present in the region; and
  • Reiterates the Wildlife Management Guiding Principles and specifically the provision that wildlife management is a matter of science and fact, and is the professional obligation and responsibility of the State of Colorado and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and opposes any ballot measure which would usurp the wildlife management responsibilities of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission; and
  • Opposes all attempts to manage wildlife by ballot which often is a tool dominated by special interests from both inside and outside Colorado,
  • Opposes any effort to circumvent the Colorado investments in planning by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) work via Data Analysis Unit (DAU) planning, the Resource or Land Management Plans by public land management agencies, habitat plans, county land use plans, etc.,
  •  Supports the 2005 Findings and Recommendations for Managing Wolves that Migrate into Colorado adopted by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, and
  • Supports hunting and trapping of wolves as a long-term strategy to manage wolf populations based on the science determined by CPW (DAU & population wolf targets), and
  • Supports wolf management that continues to protect endangered, threatened, at risk species (i.e. moose, sage grouse), and other prey species, and
  • Supports the multiple-use doctrine and opposes introduction plans that would have a negative impact on uses such as forest products, energy, tourism, hunting, agriculture, outdoor recreation, and
  • Urges conducting an accurate and complete fiscal analysis of ALL direct and indirect costs of wolf introduction, not only staff costs of planning but to include the costs of long-term wolf management as well as the added costs of managing existing wildlife, and including
    1. Realistic game damage estimates, costs to assess changes in other wildlife management plans, costs for safety and education programs for both residents and tourists, and
    2. Loss of revenue and increased expenses to CPW due to declining big game herds and other wildlife species negatively impacted by wolves,
  • Urges all costs to come from the Colorado General Fund since species introduction have documented costs in other states that exceed $1 million annually, and
  • Opposes any wolf introduction management costs charged to CPW Game Cash funds (Hunting and Fishing license revenue), and
  • Requests that any federal or state wolf management plans include funding to offset the negative impact of wolves on livestock, grazing management plans including AUM’s, wildlife numbers and management, hunting, and other adversely affected sections of local economics.  (Montezuma Co. resolution)

 

Adopted 5/29/2020

Resolution in PDF Format