Public comment on wolf plan still open

RBC I Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Keystone Policy Center announced today they are hosting public virtual town hall meetings Aug. 17 and Aug. 26, expanding the opportunities Coloradans can utilize to provide substantive input and feedback into the Gray Wolf restoration and management planning process. Each virtual town hall will begin at 5p.m. and will run for up to three hours, depending on the number of commenters. 

CPW and Keystone also announced the addition of two in-person open houses, in La Junta on Aug. 19 and Eagle on Aug. 24. These open houses will follow the same format as the other 14 open houses already scheduled across the state. In-person open house attendees can arrive at any time between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to visit stations at their own pace to provide input on wolf planning topics. Attendees will also be able to provide written feedback through a detailed online comment form either during the open house or at a later time. Paper forms will also be available for use during the open house. 

“We value the participation across the state at our in-person public listening sessions, focus groups, and Tribal consultations,” said Julie Shapiro, director of the Natural Resources Program for Keystone Policy Center. “To offer additional options, we are offering two additional in-person open houses as well as these live online events for those who may not have been able to attend one of our in-person listening sessions or who otherwise would like the chance to offer a verbal comment. We are grateful to see such robust public engagement and encourage any Coloradan who has not yet contributed to the restoration and management planning process to do so as this first phase of public engagement continues through the end of August.” 

The virtual town halls will be conducted live and will be facilitated by Keystone staff, with CPW staff also present to listen to comments. Comments are limited to three minutes per person. Advanced registration is required to offer public comment during the virtual town hall; participants seeking to comment should register by 1 p.m. on the day of the respective event. Registration is also required to view the event; the public can register to view the event at any time up to and during the event itself. Registration links are available at https:// www.wolfengagementco. org/. Additional guidelines for comments are also available at the website. 

The virtual town halls complement the more than 40 meetings CPW and Keystone are conducting throughout the state this summer, an effort that will ultimately include 16 in-person open house listening sessions, 17 invitational geographic-based focus groups in Western Colorado, approximately 10 invitational interest-based focus groups, as well as Tribal consultation meetings. Coloradans can also access the same information available at in-person public listening sessions as well as submit input and feedback through an Online Open House and Comment Form, In addition to public feedback, a Stakeholder Advisory Group and Technical Working Group provide expertise and practical feedback for the restoration and management planning process. 

The schedule and location of remaining open houses, including the newly added open houses in La Junta and Eagle, is below. Open houses have occurred previously this summer in Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs, Durango, Montrose, Gunnison, Craig, and Grand Junction. All meetings are scheduled to be held from 5-8 p.m. unless otherwise noted.* 

•Aug. 2 

Avalon Ballroom 

6185 Arapahoe Rd 

Boulder, CO 

*6-9 pm due to scheduling 

•Aug. 3 

Alamosa Co Ice Rink 

2242 Old Sanford Rd 

Alamosa, CO 

•Aug. 4 

Cottonwood Center for the Arts 

427 E Colorado Ave 

Colorado Springs, CO 

•Aug. 5 

Las Animas County Fairgrounds 

2000 N. Linden Ave. 

Trinidad, CO 81082 

•Aug. 10 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Denver Office 

6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 

•Aug. 11 

CSU Lory Student Center, Ballroom 

1101 Center Ave Mall 

Fort Collins, CO 

•Aug. 12 

Northeastern Junior College – Hays Center Ballroom 

100 College Ave 

Sterling, CO 

•Aug. 19 

Otero Junior College Student Center 

2001 San Juan Ave. 

La Junta, CO 

•Aug. 24 

The Brush Creek Pavilion 

909 Capitol Street, Eagle 

Special to the Herald Times