Why the partnership between a Colorado cattle rancher and a wolf advocate couldn’t last

A Walden rancher who lost cows to wolves and a wolf advocate who teaches strategies to protect cattle tried to work together. Their falling out shows just how controversial wolves are in Colorado.

By Jennifer Brown
The Colorado Sun
Kim Gittleson, in center, witnesses the investigation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife district managers surrounding a heifer carcass, killed by wolves that migrated from Wyoming, on the ranch outside Walden. on Jan. 19.
Hugh Carey/The Colorado Sun

A wolf advocate and a Colorado cattle rancher who has lost several cows to wolves walk side by side against the picturesque backdrop of the northern Colorado mountains. 

In the minidocumentary produced by a national nonprofit working to overcome “extreme political and cultural division in America,” ecologist Karin Vardaman and Walden rancher Don Gittleson speak of common ground and ways that wolves and cattle ranchers can peacefully coexist. 

It’s touching and hopeful. Too bad it’s not the whole story.

In reality, the long-time rancher, whose cattle operation near Walden has been ground zero in Colorado’s wolf debate, and the well-known wolf advocate are no longer on good terms. 

Read the full story via the Colorado Sun.

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