Letter: Keep Glenwood and surrounding areas wild
It is disturbing to read the recently released UN biodiversity report that concludes 75% of Earth’s land has been tragically altered due to human encroachment resulting in habitat and wildlife loss. It may be easy to disregard this number and simply say we are not part of the global problem, but our own community is contributing to the issue. In fact, we are currently experiencing similar declines in our wildlife numbers and habitat right out our back door. In Eagle County, the current elk count is down 50% from the numbers recorded in 2003. Other counties and municipalities on the Western Slope are experiencing similar declines. High-volume trails to attract tourists and locals alike have had the most significant impact on wildlife and their habitat. Wildlife have fewer options to survive than we do to play.
Our city officials and community need to start taking a proactive approach in assigning appropriate wildlife closures and allocating funding for maintenance and trail enforcement on our current trails. Additionally, educating the community of the detrimental impacts human disturbance has on wildlife populations in our area is necessary. All of these principles should be prioritized before any new trails are even considered. It’s our community’s responsibility to make preserving our sacred wildlife habitat areas the greatest priority, especially elk calving areas and riparian zones, to ensure thriving wildlife populations in the future.
I am an outdoor enthusiast and have enjoyed this vibrant landscape for the past 28 years and there is value in keeping Glenwood wild. Let’s not remain complacent with “business as usual” and instead have a forward thinking vision in consciously choosing wildlife preservation and sustainable outdoor recreation today. Keep Glenwood wild! Check out the video “Something’s Wrong” which ponders human impact on wildlife in Colorado.
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