The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will consider resolutions on wolf reintroductions next week and the high country ranchers are not happy about it.
About 100 ranchers turned out for a meeting with a Sierra Club official in Carbondale Wednesday in advance of the Jan. 13 commissioner meeting, and about 99 of them said “No Way!”
According to the Aspen Daily News, Sierra Cluber Delia Malone tried in vain to convince the land stewards that wolves were harmless little creatures that would never gobble up their livestock or pets, if properly raised within their packs, and would only dine on elk and coyotes.
She added that if wolves are raised in a traditional family structure, they will control their own populations and prey on wild animals over livestock. If the alphas are shot, however, then the juvenile animals would “go crazy” and get into trouble with humans, Malone added.
Then she proceeded to lecture the ranchers on what they should do to keep their livestock safe from the wolves that she continued to insist hardly ever eat livestock anyway; corralling sheep at night, keep herds off the range until older, hire llamas and more people to protect the herd, and practice safe birth control to time calving with the births of baby elks.
Malone’s presentation drew boos and chuckles from the audience, including one rancher who responded: “I don’t believe a word you’re saying.”
It probably didn’t help Malone’s case that her slide show offered different numbers for wolf kills of livestock.
The commission will consider two resolutions that appear to oppose the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves, although the language is tricky.
One resolution recommends that it be confined to its historic range, the second says it would oppose the “intentional release” of wolves.
From the Aspen Daily News:
What’s unclear is if the first alternative could open the window for future reintroduction programs in Colorado.
We’ve no idea why the commission is bothering with rewriting resolutions that supposedly reaffirmed the state’s no-wolf-reintroduction stance in 2005, unless they’re tweaking the language to do exactly what the Aspen Daily News pondered.
We don’t like the sound of that.