One of the most controversial decisions made by Colorado voters in recent history was the incredibly close approval to reintroduce wolves to the state. Statistics show that the majority of voters who approved the measure reside in urban parts of Colorado, while the ranchers who voted against it are going to be affected the most.

As with any new policy, rules are being put into place regarding how ranchers can hopefully maintain the production of livestock, which include the types of deterrents that are legally allowed. However, many of the non-lethal deterrents will likely incur costs of up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What Kind of Deterrents Can Colorado Ranchers Use Against Wolves?

By the end of December, a number of wolves will be reintroduced to the Colorado counties of Eagle, Summit, and Grand.

Ranchers in these areas can deter wolves from interfering with their livestock using things like LED lights, propane canons, electric fencing, bright flags tied to fencing, scare devices, motion-activated sirens, pyrotechnics, and animals including donkeys and dogs.

However, something as assumedly simple as adding fencing for the bright flags, or even just implementing the flags on an existing fence, can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the ranch.

How Are Colorado Ranchers Planning on Dealing with Wolves?

While it would appear that ranchers are being encouraged to implement any of the above deterrents, many have decided that it would be more cost-effective to avoid investing in new equipment and instead just collect money from the state if and when any of their animals are killed.

While this strategy is undoubtedly going to cause some heartache for the ranchers and their families, the state of Colorado has $175,000 set aside to pay ranchers if their animals are killed by wolves in 2024. Ranchers will receive up to $15,000 per slain animal, and the total amount set aside in subsequent years will increase to $350,000.

[Denver Post]

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