Colorado Legislature considers a bill on livestock losses from wolves

A new bill in is stirring controversy as it aims to tackle the longstanding issue of livestock losses due to wolf predation.

In Colorado, a new bill has been proposed to address the ongoing challenges of livestock losses caused by wolves. House Bill 24-1375, sponsored by Rep. Tammy Story, would set aside an unspecified amount of funds to help ranchers pay for the non-lethal tools.

“I’m hoping it will ensure that livestock owners commit to utilizing non-lethal co-existence tools in order to protect their herd and their livelihood,” she said in an interview with The Aspen Times. “At the same time, it provides gray wolves a fighting chance to establish and thrive here in Colorado.”

The proposed bill suggests utilizing tools such as flags, flashlights, blasting sounds, and guard dogs as alternatives to lethal measures. Additionally, it proposes allocating funds to help farmers and ranchers acquire these non-lethal deterrents.

Provisions of the bill include:

  • Redefining the definition of “livestock guard or herding animal” to specifically include “livestock guardian dog.”
  • Mandating the creation of conflict prevention plans by the Parks and Wildlife Commission when native carnivores establish a presence in an area.
  • Hiring native-carnivore coexistence officers to assist in implementing non-lethal coexistence strategies.

While the proposed legislation aims to address the growing concern among farmers and ranchers regarding wolf predation, it has already encountered opposition from some area ranchers who argue that it could be costly to implement.

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