CPW Commission reviews wolf reintroduction planning efforts

Courtesy photo

DENVER – As part of its virtual meeting last week, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission heard updates from staff on multiple topics related to wolf reintroduction planning efforts, including:

Overview of the 2004 Colorado Wolf Plan

Update on the planning process (RFP for external facilitator, Stakeholder Advisory Group applications, Technical Working Group process, invitation letter sent to tribes)

Wolf Education updates

Overview of 2004 Colorado Wolf Plan

CPW Species Conservation Program Manager Eric Odell provided an overview of the process used to develop the 2004 Colorado Wolf Plan and its recommendations. Although developed when the gray wolf was still listed under the Endangered Species Act, the plan provides valuable background information on previous wolf management planning efforts in Colorado.

Update on planning process

CPW Assistant Director Aquatic, Terrestrial, and Natural Resources Reid DeWalt provided an update on progress since the commission’s virtual workshop to discuss reintroduction planning in February. Topics included:

Progress on hiring an external facilitator to help guide the public involvement process. The request for proposals (RFP) closed March 19. The external facilitator will be hired by the first week of May 2021.

The application period for the Stakeholder Advisory Group opened March 10 and will remain open until March 31.

DeWalt said that recommendations were being accepted until March 31 for those interested in serving on the Technical Working Group. Recommendations can be sent to: [email protected]

Wolf Education updates

CPW Assistant Director of Information and Education Lauren Truitt provided the commission with an update on communication and outreach efforts regarding wolf restoration. This included:

Producing an educational webinar series for the Commission in April.

CPW’s Education team is producing material for the general public, educators and interested parties. This included Project Wild education material focused on K-12 students and educators, interpretive programming, and distance learning modules that align with Colorado education standards

Additions to the website, including multiple new sections: a Living with Wolves and Stay Informed page, which the public can use as a landing page to access resources. CPW also launched a new eNewsletter focused on wolf reintroduction efforts for those who want to stay informed with regular updates from the agency.

The meeting was streamed live on CPW’s YouTube page. You can view the recording of the meeting along with the agenda on CPW’s website.