STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – At its April 6 meeting in Steamboat Springs, the Parks and Wildlife Commission provided guidance to CPW staff regarding the Revised Draft Wolf Restoration and Management Plan and requisite changes to Chapter W-10 regulations for nongame wildlife and Chapter W-17 regulations for damage caused by wildlife to make CPW regulations consistent with the Plan.
The Final Wolf Restoration and Management Plan and associated regulations are expected to be adopted at the next Commission meeting on May 3 – 4 in Glenwood Springs.
At the meeting, the Commission provided feedback and heard public comment on the Revised Draft Plan and draft regulations and received an update on Tribal engagement and public comment.
CPW staff made edits to the Draft Plan based on Commission consensus statements at the Feb. 22 meeting. A recap of these edits can be found here and the complete Revised Draft plan is available for review here. A recording of the meeting can be viewed on CPW’s YouTube channel.
Southwest Deputy Region Manager Matt Thorpe serves as CPW’s tribal liaison for the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes. Thorpe provided an update on CPW’s work on Tribal engagement with the Draft Plan.
“We’ve gone through a Tribal consultation process, which is a more formalized way to engage with the Tribes and it recognizes the importance of the government-to-government relationship,” Thorpe said.
Thorpe also introduced Councilwoman Vanessa Torres who sits on the Tribal Council for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
Torres summarized the Southern Ute Tribe’s concerns, including a request to limit releases to the Northern release zone outlined in the Revised Draft Plan, asserting the Tribe’s rights to monitor and manage game populations in the Brunot Area and expressing the Tribe’s support for long-term stable funding for wolf restoration and exploring the possibility of working in coordination with CPW to address gray wolf issues, including livestock depredation on the Reservation and big game impacts in the Brunot Area.
“The Parks and Wildlife Commission and CPW staff sincerely thank the Southern Ute Tribe and representative Vanessa Torres for attending the meeting and for outlining the Tribe’s concerns both in their public comment letter and in person at the meeting in Steamboat Springs,” said CPW Acting Director Heather Disney Dugan.
“We appreciate the comments made, and CPW acknowledges the Southern Ute’s Tribal sovereignty to manage their lands and CPW is looking forward to continuing discussions on a Tribal Wolf Management Plan or MOU that would outline in detail the responsibility of both the State and the Tribe in the management of gray wolves.”
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.