Multiple ag groups raise funds to battle wolf issue

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RBC I Rio Blanco county ag groups raised $34,000 to help oppose the statewide ballot initiative to introduce wolves on the Western Slope of Colorado. The Rio Blanco Stockgrowers, in partnership with Rio Blanco Farm Bureau and Rio Blanco Woolgrowers, hosted “Dance Without Wolves,” a fundraiser dinner, dance and auction to raise money to oppose the proposal.

More than 300 people gathered at the Fairfield Center in Meeker for the sold-out event. Rio Blanco Stockgrowers President Brian Collins noted, “This sends a strong message statewide that families on the Western Slope are very concerned about introducing wolves in their backyard and the subsequent negative impact on their families and communities.”    

More than 70 live and silent auction items were donated, numerous sponsorships provided, and many businesses and individuals provided services free of charge.  Contributions came from surrounding communities and all areas within the county.  All three organizations worked together closely to ensure success.    

Rio Blanco County Farm Bureau President Janice Weinholdt said, “The outpouring of donations and support from our community was overwhelming and underlines the deep concern in our county and the surrounding communities.  We thank all who made this event possible.”  A listing of helpers and donations, etc. will be compiled for next week’s paper.

Proceeds from the event are dedicated to Coloradans Protecting Wildlife, the issue committee running the campaign against the initiative. Coloradans Protecting Wildlife is run by the Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Woolgrowers Association, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Safari Club International. People are encouraged to donate to the campaign at www.rethinkwolves.com.