Colorado rancher speaks out following wolf pack sighting on land he manages


by Michael Konopasek, KDVR Denver (CO)

January 8, 2020


MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. – State wildlife officials are trying to figure out if Colorado is once again a habitat for wolves.


Newly released video from October shows gray wolves in the northwest corner of the state on land managed by rancher George Raftopoulos and his family.


“Our ancestors spent a long time getting rid of the wolves,” Raftopoulos, a cousin of FOX31’s Aristea Brady, said.


An elk carcass was discovered in the same area last week. State wildlife officers say the predators are likely gray wolves.


“They’re dang sure not a big pet,” Raftopoulos said. “They’re so big.”


Raftopoulos worries about the future of sheep and cattle in the area. He’s also concerned over the toll wolves could bring to the local ranching economy and the economies of small rural towns.


The animals haven’t lived in Colorado for more than 70 years. Some have been spotted occasionally passing through Colorado from the north.


“There are established packs up in Wyoming,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Rebecca Ferrell.


CPW says wolves offer potential benefits to the ecosystem, but the agency also recognizes the concern for cattle.


Colorado voters will decide if wolves should be re-introduced...


more, including video report [2:01 min.]