Four workshops being offered in western Colorado starting Tuesday will focus on how wolves and livestock can coexist, a question that will take on urgency in coming years in the state as wolves are reintroduced here.
The free workshops are geared toward livestock producers, but also are open to the general public. They are being hosted by the group Working Circle, working with Defenders of Wildlife.
They are scheduled for Tuesday in Durango, Wednesday in Montrose, Friday in Craig and Saturday in Walden.
All will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All will be broadcast as well on Zoom, but people will be able to only listen in on that platform and the meetings won’t be recorded. Information on the meetings, including how to pre-register, which is requested but not required, can be found at https://www.workingcircle.org/colorado-workshops.html.
The workshops are being offered as Colorado Parks and Wildlife makes plans to implement a voter-approved initiative to start introducing wolves into the state by the end of 2023.
Working Circle is a Colorado-based nonprofit that was founded in 2016 in partnership with ranchers in California and Oregon and is now also working in other western states.
According to its website, it “is dedicated to ensuring wolves, livestock, and people can successfully coexist and thrive on shared lands.”
Defenders of Wildlife long has been involved in wildlife/people coexistence efforts.
According to Working Circle’s website, the upcoming workshops “are designed to provide insight from first-hand experience, discuss practical solutions and opportunities for support, and have open, respectful, and sincere conversation around the topic of ranching with wolves and other predators.”
The presenters will include Montana livestock producers Andrew and Hilary Anderson, Oregon livestock producer Shella DelCurto, and Carter Niemeyer, a former trapper for the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services agency, who is also a wildlife biologist and member of the Colorado State Wolf Restoration Technical Team.
Workshop topics include:
n what the return of wolves really means,
n management options and tangible strategies to reduce predator-livestock conflict,
n understanding gray wolf and predator/prey behavior and ecology,
n identifying different types of predator damage,
n increasing ranch resilience and sustainability for future generations.