Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The toll of Colorado's wolf war: Rancher says Grand County on edge after wolf kills

 ...Conway Farrell was a reluctant public player in the wolf depredation game until Sunday's (April 28) fifth cattle loss in 11 days to wolves. So for the first time since the depredations on his ranch began, he said it was time to play his hand, going public in a sit-down interview with the Coloradoan.

When Conway Farrell finally spoke, his raw emotions poured out.

"Yeah, I'm pissed,'' he said. "Everybody up here is getting edgy and at our wit's end. All of the headaches and stress you normally have, especially during calving season, and then to throw this all on top of it? It feels like you’re getting slapped in the face every freakin’ minute.''

...Conway Farrell gave credit to local Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers for trying to help the ranchers fend off the wolves from their herds. But added interactions with them in the small ranching town of Kremmling, population 1,500, where cattle courses its way through every fiber of this tightknit community, has grown awkward.

...In the same breath, he discredited the wildlife officers' higher-ups, most notably Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Jeff Davis. Farrell says he spoke to Davis on numerous occasions about removing the two released wolves killing their cattle he and other ranchers have identified by their collar number.

And Gov. Jared Polis, whose political influence, he said, has "created a disgustingly huge disconnect'' between wildlife officials and ranchers.

...He said because of the added wolf workload, in recent weeks he lost cattle to other demises indirectly related to wolves.

"By me not being able to be down here, I lost a calf that cost my family $1,800,'' he said. "Two days later I take the 2 a.m. to daylight shift watching our herd and I have a a $3,000 cow die. I'm not getting compensated for that. These are all the impacts people don't see.''...more

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