Thursday, December 3, 2015

Official: Colorado not Mexican wolf habitat

State will oppose efforts to set aside territory for species, wildlife chief says The endangered Mexican wolf never roamed the mountains of Colorado and efforts to recover the population shouldn’t require that habitat be set aside for the wolf, said the state’s chief wildlife officer.
“We firmly believe the Mexican wolf was never here,” Bob Broscheid, chief of the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, said Wednesday in Grand Junction.

Colorado officials will attend meetings in the coming weeks in Arizona to discuss how to recover the Mexican wolf, a rare subspecies of the gray wolf that was placed on the endangered list this year.
Colorado officials will participate to be sure that state lands aren’t included in the plans being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Broscheid said.

At the same time, the state needs to be part of the discussion about the Mexican wolf so it can better watch out for its own interests, he said.
“We’re OK with northern wolves coming into the state” as the Colorado mountains are part of the wolves’ original habitat, Broscheid said.
Allowing both wolves into the state, however, poses a pack of problems.

Not only would sheep and cattle ranchers in southern Colorado have to fear for their herds from the Mexican wolves, so would wildlife officials looking to manage deer, elk and other wild populations, as well as watch out for public safety, Broscheid said.
There also would be concerns about what would happen should the two wolf populations intermix, Broscheid said.
Broscheid is participating in a habitat partnership program conference through this morning at the DoubleTree Hotel.