AR-News: County Commissioner Makes Threat To Kill Wolves
wolffnm at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 15 08:31:52 EDT 2003
Boulder Daily Camera
Wolf fears growing in Colo.
Some residents fear the predators' return is
August 15, 2003
CRAIG Some ranchers in northwestern Colorado say the
area isn't ready for gray wolves, and they are
prepared to take matters into their own hands if the
lanky predators ever show up.
"I'm gonna have to buy a backhoe because if I shoot
one in the winter, I can't dig fast enough by hand,"
Moffat County Commissioner Les Hampton said at a
meeting this week.
The county Land Use Board spent nearly three hours
Tuesday reviewing evidence and discussing wolves,
which were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies in
1995 and have since made a strong comeback.
"These wolves are coming, whether we like it or not,"
said T. Wright Dickinson, an agriculture
According to research by board official Rick Hammel,
wolves have preyed on livestock in northeastern Utah
and Farson, Wyo. One apparent sighting was as close as
Baggs, Wyo., 30 miles north of Craig.
The wolves have done so well that federal wildlife
officials say they are ready to take steps to remove
the predator from the endangered species list. For
now, the animals are known to be roaming in parts of
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.
It is just a matter of time before wolves come to
Colorado, said Nick Kamzalow, owner of Outdoor
"They'll be killing livestock, and they'll be killing
game," Kamzalow said. "Coyotes and cats have had an
impact on the deer and elk herds, and this will just
add to it."
The board urged county commissioners to stress the
need for a state wolf management plan.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife has no such plan.
Gray wolves are a threatened species in Colorado north
of Interstate 70. South of the highway, the wolves are
Division spokesman Todd Malmsbury said no wild wolves
are confirmed to be living in Colorado and that the
Colorado Wildlife Commission officially opposes
reintroduction of the gray wolf.
He also said the division has drafted directives to
guide personnel in the event of a wolf sighting.
Wyoming, Idaho and Montana are working to demonstrate
to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that they can
successfully manage wolves, which would be the first
step to take the animal off the endangered list.
"I'd be real surprised if you see many wolves over the
next five to 10 years because most of our wolves will
be up in northwest Wyoming and that's quite a way for
wolves to travel through country where they're going
to be considered predators," said Reg Rothwell,
supervisor of biological services for the Wyoming Game
and Fish Department.
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