RBC I Rio Blanco Stockgrowers Association, Rio Blanco County Farm Bureau members, and Rio Blanco County Woolgrowers Association are joining forces to oppose the dangerous ballot initiative that will force wolf introduction on Colorado’s Western Slope. These local agriculture organizations are coordinating Dance Without Wolves, a fundraiser to provide information and education about the negative impacts wolves would bring to our rural communities.
“Our community and others like ours on the Western Slope are the ones that will be impacted first by this measure,” said Brian Collins, Rio Blanco Stockgrowers President and a local rancher. “We need to unite to protect our way of life and counter this serious economic threat to our families and local businesses. We are asking our neighbors to take action and support this event as a means to fight back.”
The dinner and dance will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. beginning with happy hour, followed by a steak dinner at 7 p.m., and dancing to the Mainline Band after dinner. There will be a live and silent auction to assist with fundraising. Tickets are required for the event and available for $25 each.
In November, voters in Colorado will decide whether or not to force wolf introduction along the state’s Western Slope by voting on Initiative 107, a measure funded significantly by large out-of-state donors. This measure goes against state wildlife experts who have already rejected the introduction of wolves into the state multiple times and have a “free-ranging” wolf plan in place backed by scientific processes, research and expert guidance. The Coloradans Protecting Wildlife group and its supporters say management should be done by the experts, not by the ballot box. The measure is expected to cost taxpayers state-wide nearly $6 million over eight years. Based on the serious economic impacts experienced in neighboring states with the Canadian wolf, the toll on our local community will likely be much more.
Rio Blanco Farm Bureau President Janice Weinholdt said, “We enjoy an idyllic lifestyle with the largest elk herd in America and other abundant wildlife essentially in our backyard. Cattle and sheep ranching preserve a significant amount of our open space and visual aesthetics. All of this will be devastated by forced wolf introduction. We need to protect these historic treasures and our way of life in this valley we call home.”
Tickets are available in Meeker at Parts City, MGM, the Rio Blanco Farm Bureau office, and in Rangely at Nichols Store or by calling 970-220-2154 or 970-620-6088.