Wolf restoration advisory groups hold final meetings

DENVER – Both the Stakeholder Advisory Group and Technical Working Group held their final meetings in August, wrapping up a 15-month long process that will inform Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff as they prepare to present the draft Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan to the CPW Commission in December.

“CPW would like to recognize the tremendous effort from both the TWG and SAG members and the experience each person brought to our process. The conversation and input have been invaluable,” said CPW Acting Director Heather Dugan. “The deep discussions on the sometimes challenging issues surrounding wolf restoration will be critical in guiding the agency’s wolf restoration efforts.”

Final meeting of Stakeholder Advisory Group
The SAG held its final meeting in Glenwood Springs on Aug. 24 and 25. At the meeting in Glenwood Springs SAG members completed their conversations around core topics that will be rolled up into a report that will provide CPW staff with the group’s recommendations. The SAG’s report is in the process of being finalized and will be presented at the upcoming November CPW Commission meeting.

The SAG’s final report will cover topics such as:

Preventative, Nonlethal Wolf-Livestock Conflict Minimization
Comments to the Parks and Wildlife Commission on Proposed Wolf Hazing Regulation
Livestock Compensation
Impact-Based Management
Ungulate Management
Statement on Regulated Public Hunting of Wolves
Education and Outreach
Funding Recommendations

Over the past 15 months, SAG members have met monthly to fulfill their charter, to offer “a broad range of perspectives and experience to inform the social implications of wolf restoration and management strategies for the Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan.”

Final meeting of Technical Working Group
Similarly, the Technical Working Group held its final virtual meeting on August 17, wrapping up its own 15-month long process and culminating in a final report that will inform staff as they prepare to present the draft Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan to the CPW Commission in December. The TWG’s report is available online and provides recommendations on topics such as:

Restoration logistics
Livestock compensation
State recovery metrics and delisting and down-listing thresholds
Wolf management

About the Advisory Groups
The TWG consisted of members with expertise largely focused on reintroducing and/or managing wolves in a state or federal capacity. The TWG has contributed their expertise towards the development of reintroduction logistics, conservation objectives, management strategies, and damage prevention and compensation planning.

The SAG was made up of stakeholders from a wide range of interests and provided a range of viewpoints from diverse geographic areas of the state, and proposed considerations from their varied viewpoints for the work developed by the TWG to CPW staff and the CPW Commission.

CPW staff will use both the TWG and the SAG recommendations to present a plan to the CPW Commission in December 2022. For meeting summaries from these advisory groups, visit wolfengagementco.org/advisory-groups.

Next steps in Wolf Restoration
CPW is on track to complete the Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan and restore gray wolves in Colorado by the end of 2023. Once the draft plan has been submitted to the CPW Commission in December, there will be multiple meetings scheduled dedicated to hearing public comments on the final plan. The CPW Commission will need to approve the final plan before wolves can be restored. CPW is working concurrently with its partners in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a 10(j) designation that will provide management flexibility for wolves that are in the state.

Visit CPW’s Stay Informed page and sign up for the Wolf Reintroduction eNews to stay up to date with CPW’s Wolf Restoration efforts.