Denver, CO

Gray wolf reintroduction plan takes another step forward with new group members

Steven Bonifazi
(Robert Theimann/Unsplash)

By Steven Bonifazi

(DENVER, Colo.) Colorado Parks and Wildlife has chosen members for the Technical Working Group and the Stakeholder Advisory Group to be advisory bodies to aid in planning the execution of Proposition 114, reintroducing gray wolves into the state.

Both groups will work to provide guidance to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) staff in the final process of restoring and managing gray wolves in the state by December 31, 2023, at the latest, according to CPW.

“We want to thank all of those that submitted an application or considered an offer to participate in these important advisory groups,” said CPW Director Dan Prenzlow. “While this is certainly an opportunity to share perspectives and expertise, it’s important to note it is also a significant commitment of time and energy, and we greatly appreciate all those who volunteered their time."

The Technical Working Group (TWG) will be tasked to review and contribute their expert skill and knowledge in the development of conservation goals, managerial strategies and damage prevention and compensation planning. The Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG) will work to supply a multitude of viewpoints from across the state in addition to putting forward considerations for plans created by TWG.

Selected TWG members are as follows:

  • Scott Becker - United States Fish and Wildlife Service - Wyoming Wolf Coordinator
  • Alan Bitner - Bureau of Land Management - Deputy State Director - Resources
  • Stewart Breck - National Wildlife Research Center - Research Wildlife Biologist
  • Roblyn Brown - Oregon Fish and Game - Wildlife Biologist
  • Wayne East - Colorado Department of Agriculture - Agricultural/Wildlife Liaison
  • Justin Gude - Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks - Research and Technical Services Bureau Chief
  • Jonathan Houck - Gunnison County Commissioner
  • Mike Jimenez - USFWS retired
  • Merrit Linke - Grand County Commissioner
  • Steve Lohr - United States Forest Service - Renewable Resources Director-Rocky Mountain Region
  • Martin Lowney - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - State Director
  • Carter Niemeyer - USFWS retired
  • Eric Odell - Colorado Parks and Wildlife - Species Conservation Biologist
  • Mike Phillips - Rocky Mountain Wolf Project
  • John Sanderson - Center for Collaborative Conservation - CSU - Director
  • Doug Smith National Park Service - Project Leader Yellowstone/Jennifer Carpenter -Associate Regional Director for Resource Stewardship and Science
  • Robin Young - Colorado State University Extension Service - Extension Agent

Selected SAG members are as follows (Western Slope representation IS denoted by (W)):

  • Matt Barnes (W) - Dolores. Runs range science business and works with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative (human/carnivore coexistence)
  • Donald Broom (W) - Craig. Moffat County Commissioner
  • Jenny Burbey (W) - Hesperus. President of CO Outfitters Association, Outfitter, livestock producer
  • Bob Chastain - Colorado Springs. President/CEO of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  • Renee Deal (W) - Somerset. Rancher, outfitter, member of agricultural groups
  • Adam Gall (W) - Paonia. Wolf biologist for 5 years in Idaho, employed by Nez Perce tribe
  • Dan Gates - Canon City. Chair of Coloradans for Responsible Wildlife Management
  • John Howard (W) - Grand Junction. Former CPW commissioner
  • Francie Jacober (W) - Carbondale. Pitkin County Commissioner
  • Lenny Klingesmith (W) - Meeker. Rancher and outfitter, member of agricultural groups
  • Darlene Kobobel - Divide. Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center
  • Tom Kourlis - Castle Rock. Rancher and Outfitter, Former Commissioner of Agriculture, member of agricultural groups
  • Brian Kurzel - Denver. Rocky Mountain Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation
  • Hallie Mahowald (W) - Salida. Program Director of Western Landowners Alliance
  • Jonathan Proctor - Denver. Regional Director for Defenders of Wildlife
  • Gary Skiba (W) - Durango. Wildlife Program Manager, San Juan Citizen Alliance

CPW offers educational sessions on the efforts being made for the reintroduction of wolves in Colorado. The next session will take place June 16 at 6:00 p.m. and will cover wolf-livestock damage minimization and compensation time.

Ex-Officio members include Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Dan Gibbs, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Dan Prenzlow and Colorado Department of Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg

"We are now eager to get to work with those selected to move forward with us on the implementation process," Prenzlow said.

For more information regarding the next steps and phases of planning for the reintroduction of gray wolves, click here.

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