Wyoming aims to keep the wolves out

Producers prepare to protect agriculture industry

Jess Oaks
Posted 1/10/24

Amidst the release of 10 gray wolves into the state of Colorado, Wyoming producers prepare to protect their livelihood.

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Wyoming aims to keep the wolves out

Producers prepare to protect agriculture industry


WYOMING – Amidist the release of 10 gray wolves into the state of Colorado, Wyoming producers prepare to protect their livelihood. 

In December, Colorado Parks and Wildlife released ten gray wolves into Colorado as part of their voter-mandated reintroduction plan. 

In November of 2020, Colorado passed Proposition 114 requiring the Colorado Park and Wildlife Commission to take the necessary steps to begin the reintroduction of gray wolves into parts of Colorado by the end of 2023. An agreement between the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission allowed for the translocation of up to ten gray wolves from December 2023 to March 2024. 

Despite lawsuits from Colorado producer associations, Judge Regina Rodriguez, shot down the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and the Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association and the Colorado Conservation Alliance. request to put the December 31 deadline on hold. The ruling allowed for the state to continue with its plan of capturing and transporting approximately ten wolves from Oregon, as part of the agreement.

On December 27, ColoradoPolitics.com released an article about the history of the newly transplanted wolves released in Grand County, shortly after the first few wolves made their move to Colorado claiming the wolves recently released had been giving area producers in Oregon trouble before they were relocated to Colorado. 

“The Five Points Pack wolves injured one calf and killed another in separate depredations in July of 2023; killed a cow on December 5, 2022; and injured a 900-pound yearling heifer on July 17, 2022, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Livestock Depredation Investigations,” the ColoradoPolitics.com article said.

Two of the wolves released into Colorado in December came from the Five Points Pack in Oregon. 

The article continues, listing the problems noted by Oregon wildlife officials, regarding the wolves released into Colorado. The director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Jeff Davis, and his staff, testified before the House Agriculture Committee on September 12, 2023, they would do everything possible to avoid bringing “problem” wolves to Colorado, the article continues. 

The wolves were released on designated lands. However, according to the Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan, wolves can travel 140 miles from where they are freed which has neighboring states like concerned. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife released the first pack of wolves with a minimum buffer of 60-miles from the borders of Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and the sovereign tribal lands in southwestern Colorado. 

Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona have an agreement to return wondering Colorado wolves back to the state should the wolves cross state lines however Wyoming is preparing to bear arms to keep area livestock safe. 

Wyoming permits a shoot-on-site policy, authorizing Wyoming producers the right to kill wolves. 

Colorado offers producers compensation for producers who lose their livestock to a wolf attack however, neighboring states are not offered the package which has promoted Wyoming residents to their own form of protection. 

Many Wyoming residents blame environmental groups and voters in urban areas. 

“I’m in the Laramie area,” Mark Rozman told the Telegram. “Urbanites impose challenges on others without any consequences for their socialist decisions. Just like Colorado. If the folks that voted for wolf reintroduction had to directly be affected by their vote, things would be different,” he continued. “Colorado Parks and Wildlife knowingly had a vote by majority urbanites, who as a whole know nothing about wildlife management, just like spring bear hunting. And now cat hunting. What a horrible, socialist direction the city folks have been manipulated into believing that’s what’s best,” Rozman added.

“They’re so out of touch with how, who and where their food and millions of everyday use items come from,” Julie Harris, a Wyoming resident, said. “It’s time they realize that only 2% of the population in the US are agriculture producers. If they continue on this path they’re going to find themselves with nothing to eat. But their thought process is ‘they’re compensated for wolf and bear kills’ is so far from the truth and the amount is miniscule.”

Regardless of who is to blame, Wyoming residents plan to continue to protect livestock.

“As ranchers feeding this country, we all need to take a stand,” Trisa Linford of Newcastle, Wyoming told the Telegram. “I live in Wyoming, and I will protect my cattle from anything that is a threat.”

“The livestock losses are going to continue, and these wolves need to be classified as a predator, same as a coyote,” Keri Sammons-Merrill of Frannie, Wyoming said. “Which means they can be shot I believe here in Wyoming, that’s the case, just not close to or in Yellowstone. My husband and I raise cattle and I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot. Taken out plenty of coyotes over the years because they were harassing our calves. Wolves have been added to the same list.” 

Many of Wyoming residents have had their own personal encounters with wolves. 

“A wolf will always kill cattle over natural game. They are slow compared to deer and elk. I moved here from New Mexico a they reintroduce the Mexican Grey Wolf there and they are a lot smaller breed,” Danny Atwood of just outside of Casper, told the Telegram. “But they still kill cattle. They should have never been reintroduce anywhere.”

“When you’ve experienced livestock loss from an animal that has no other predator besides man, it is difficult,” Melissa Mosser of Buffalo, Wyoming said. “When that animal is brought into your area where you make your living and you had no say in them being there, it is infuriating.”