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Wildlife officials to consider gray wolf hazing measure for livestock owners

The proposed regulations would allow livestock owners to use techniques that frighten or annoy gray wolves to protect their animals.

DENVER — The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Commission will consider a measure next week to allow livestock owners to haze gray wolves in order to protect their animals.

According to CPW, the proposed regulations specify lawful hazing techniques meant to frighten or annoy gray wolves to keep them from preying on livestock.

CPW said appropriate hazing techniques such as the use of propane cannons, vehicles, ATVs, noisemakers, fox lights, and motion and radio-activated guard devices "can reduce livestock damage, increase social tolerance, and improve attitudes toward wildlife that might otherwise cause damage." 

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Other methods may also be used, CPW said. 

Hazing should focus on reducing immediate threats to livestock, CPW said, and hazing that results in the injury or death of a gray wolf may constitute unlawful harassment or an illegal take. The rule only allows a gray wolf to be killed to save a human life.

Such techniques are already in use in other states to reduce wolf-livestock conflict and attacks, CPW said.  

Colorado voters passed an initiative in 2020 to allow CPW to reintroduce and manage gray wolves west of the Continental Divide by the end of 2023.

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Gray wolves were present in Colorado until roughly the 1930s when they were eradicated from much of the western U.S. 

Proponents of reintroducing them have said it would potentially reinvigorate the ecosystem, while opponents have argued it could have a detrimental impact on livestock and wildlife. 

The CPW Commission will meet next Wednesday and Thursday. The meeting will be streamed on CPW's YouTube page

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