SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The debate over whether to re-introduce wolves in Colorado is heating up in Summit County. Last week, CBS4’s Matt Kroschel talked to ranchers with Stop the Wolf Coalition. Now, he’s talking to some who want the wolves to come back.
“We love this land, we live in harmony with it,” rancher John Longhill told CBS4’s Matt Kroschel on Thursday.
He believes something is missing– wolves.
Longhill is the executive director of the Blue River Horse Center north of Silverthorne and says he does have concerns about wolves but thinks they should be brought back to Colorado.
“We need to make decisions backed on knowledge, not fear.”
While he shares some of the concerns other ranchers have about wolves killing livestock, he believes they have a plan to make it work.
“I am concerned of having another Apex predator again. There is a larger picture. The fact is wolves are coming to Colorado. Seventy percent of the people of Colorado want them, let’s do it the right way through legislation, mitigate livestock losses, create an awareness.”
Some are pushing for a ballot measure asking voters to allow officials to reintroduce wolves here.
“They are part of the American West, they have a powerful emotions in people,” said Kent Abernethy, At-Large Chapter Executive Committee Chair Headwaters/Sierra Club.
The group wants packs of wolves to once again call the state home. They say it will improve the ecology and help control elk and deer herds.
“I question sometimes if it is true wilderness if you don’t have the howl of a wolf,” Abernethy said.
“To keep the wildlife in balance you’ve got to have the entire gamut predators all the way down to pray,” Longhill added.