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Colorado ranchers now able to use night-vision equipment to hunt wolves killing livestock


WINTER PARK, Colo. (KRDO) - A divided Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) commission voted on Thursday to allow the killing of wolves under certain conditions - a move that many ranchers in the state have requested for months.

It's been six months since Colorado reintroduced grey wolves to the state, and for those months, ranchers have been living in a grey area. Though it's legal to kill a wolf in Colorado that is attacking livestock, current state laws prohibit killing them using night-vision equipment.

RELATED: A timeline of wolves in Colorado: From extirpation to reintroduction

So what happens if a rancher is using a night-vision scope and sees a wolf killing their livestock?

According to our Denver partner 9News, this was the question in the minds of many ranchers fighting for the right to use night-vision equipment at today's commission meeting. Tensions ran high as ranchers advocated for the change while wolf advocates asked them to steer clear of using lethal means on the endangered animals.

After a lengthy discussion and public comment period, the commission voted 6-4 in favor of the use of night-time gear to kill wolves that are actively attacking livestock.

The commission also announced on Wednesday that it would be implementing a temporary working group comprised of ranchers, wolf restoration representatives, and CPW staff. The group will provide input to the committee on issues related to wolf restoration, including chronic wolf depredation and conflict resolution.

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Sadie Buggle


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