Recently, the effort regarding the reintroduction of wolves in Colorado has generated national attention and has started a conversation between Montana producers recalling our state’s own reintroduction over two decades ago and the significant impacts that came with it. This month, leaders from Montana Stockgrowers Association (MSGA) discussed this issue and the challenges Colorado livestock producers will face as wolves continue to be reintroduced to their state.
MSGA’s Board of directors decided to be proactive on this issue and state the Association’s opposition to using Montana wolves in the reintroduction in Colorado.
In a letter sent to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), MSGA shared concerns for Colorado livestock producers who have no available tools in place to allow for the protections and programs for their livestock that Montana producers currently have.
“Giving Colorado wolves from Montana isn’t going to solve the wolf issues in our state, but it will significantly impact livestock producers in Colorado,” said Jim Steinbeisser, MSGA President. “MSGA represents ranching families throughout the state, and we have experienced first-hand the impacts this apex predator has on our family ranches.”
From the initial reintroduction into the state, Montana has continued to put in place, through policy and legislation, management tools for the livestock industry to help protect livestock. While producers still face significant predation from wolf activity, there are measures in place to lessen those losses.
It is critically important livestock producers do not shoulder the burden and costs of these types of reintroduction efforts, especially with no management tools in place to protect their property, livelihoods, and resources ranchers so carefully manage.
For these reasons, the MSGA Board of Directors is in strong opposition to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks considering any request from the state of Colorado to provide Montana wolves for reintroduction into Colorado.