State to release Colorado wolf restoration draft plan
THE draft Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan will be available for public review for the first time on Dec. 9. Following the presentation of the plan, the CPW Commission will discuss and take feedback from the public at five upcoming meetings around Colorado.
State statute 33-2-105.8 directs the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to:
- Develop a plan to reintroduce and manage gray wolves in Colorado;
- Take necessary steps to begin reintroduction no later than Dec. 31, 2023, on designated lands west of the Continental Divide; and
- Pay fair compensation for livestock losses caused by gray wolves
Beginning in April 2021, CPW worked with Keystone Policy Center to hold 47 public meetings, collecting feedback from more than 3,400 Coloradans.
Additionally, CPW appointed two advisory bodies: a Technical Working Group and a Stakeholder Advisory Group to provide recommendations to staff and the CPW Commission as they took on the drafting of the plan.
Following the Dec. 9 presentation of the draft plan, the CPW Commission will discuss and take feedback from the public at five upcoming meetings around Colorado.
“All Coloradans interested in wolf restoration should plan to virtually attend this presentation or view the recording online at a time that is most convenient for you,” said CPW Acting Director Heather Dugan. “Whether you’ve already submitted your feedback to CPW as one of the more than 3,400 Coloradans we heard from at public meetings over the past year or not, we’re encouraging you to look at the draft plan and submit your input at a public meeting in January and February.”
The draft Plan will be posted online at wolfengagementco.org on Dec. 9. At this virtual Commission meeting, CPW will walk through the draft Plan. Time will be provided for commissioner questions. A form for public comment will be posted at wolfengagementco.org on Dec. 9 and will remain open through Feb. 22, 2023.
There will not be an opportunity for oral comments from the public at this meeting, but the presentation will kick-off the public input process. Five statewide hearings will be held to acquire information from the public to be considered in developing the Plan. The hearing dates and locations are listed below with approximate times:
Jan. 19, 2023 – Colorado Springs, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Jan. 25, 2023 – Gunnison, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Feb. 7, 2023 – Rifle, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Feb. 16, 2023 – Virtual via Zoom, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Feb. 22, 2023 – Denver, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The in-person hearings will begin with CPW providing a brief overview of the plan. All the hearings will provide time for Commissioner questions and discussion.
On April 6, 2023, CPW staff will present the final draft pPlan and associated regulations. In-person public comment will be taken in a similar manner to the hearings and online comments may be made through wolfengagementco.org. The meeting will be streamed to YouTube to listen to live or by recording.
On May 3-4, 2023, in Glenwood Springs, commissioners will vote on approval of the final Plan and associated wolf regulations.