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Mesa County has formally requested Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) through a letter to cease further wolf releases until the management and compensation processes associated with gray wolf reintroduction efforts improve. This request comes after a series of challenges were highlighted during the Club 20 Spring Conference, where CPW officials shared the difficulties faced in the ongoing wolf restoration efforts in Colorado.

CPW officials reported issues with wolf GPS collars, which are crucial for tracking and monitoring the animals per the Management Plan. There have also been increases in wolf depredations, with seven incidents confirmed this spring in northwestern Colorado, causing concern among local livestock producers.

The increase in wolf depredations has triggered requests for compensation. However, the Wolf Depredation Compensation Fund faces challenges such as a cumbersome application process, a lack of transparency in procedures, and delays in providing relief to affected livestock producers.

Despite these issues, CPW plans to introduce 15 additional wolves this season. Mesa County believes the focus should be shifted toward enhancing the compensation processes to ensure that producers face minimal burdens when presenting claims. 

Mesa County's letter emphasizes the need for CPW to fulfill its obligations more effectively, as outlined in the Management Plan, before proceeding with new releases. The county stresses the importance of balanced and effective management strategies that address the concerns of all stakeholders involved to minimize the impact on citizens, wildlife populations, and the livelihoods of livestock producers and outfitters.

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Grey wolf walking on grassy dirt area.