I have a problem with the funds for the re introduction of wolves here in Colorado, coming from the DOW’s budget (hunters and fishermen) when the voters who voted for this don’t have to spend their tax dollars funding it. And many (most) of them don’t hunt or fish. The depredation payments to ranchers from wolves killing cattle will also come out of the DOW’s budget. They just dramatically raised license and hunting fees here and now this! When is Colorado going to force the taxpayers here to have some “skin in the game” and start funding the State Parks and DOW with general fund tax dollars?It’s kind of ironic that the pack of six wolves that came down to northern Colorado from central Wyoming are in Colorado due to hunting in a way. For years, the Red Desert in WY acted like a geographical buffer because the WY mountains are separated from the CO mountains by the Red Desert. Even with high populations of wolves in west central and northwestern WY, the wolves just were not making it down to CO, except for the occasional single wolf. Once wolf hunting started in WY, the packs started moving around and a pack set up shop near the Snake River. I heard that some WY hunters shot up the Snake River pack pretty good, causing some of them to disperse and end up in Colorado now. I’m definitely not blaming those hunters for going out wolf hunting but it is ironic that these wolves crossed the Red Desert likely because of hunting.
The soon to be developed new wolf management plan for CO is being discussed. The Chairman of the CO Wildlife Commission is a friend and tells me he hopes to see “triggers” put in the plan that will automatically trigger wolf hunting seasons and quota when populations increase. Time will tell.