Monday letter: helping elk
Another way to help elk
The Post Independent has run several articles over the past few months discussing the controversial topic of reintroducing wolves into Colorado. One of the most recent, “The wolves aren’t waiting for Colorado voters,” Post Independent, Jan. 15, quotes Garfield County commissioner Mike Samson as saying that reintroducing wolves “would be devastating for the moose, elk and deer population of our state.”
With that in mind, it was instructive to read Scott Condon’s article in the Feb. 1 Post Independent, “Lost in the crowd,” in which he reports that Paul Millhouser, a researcher for the nonprofit conservation group Rocky Mountain Wild found that, yes, the elk population has declined 50% from the year 2000, but that the decline is due to the number of people recreating on public lands, both winter and summer. “There’s more people there, (so) the elk don’t want to be there.” Mountain bikers, backpackers, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, backcountry skiing and snowboarding were cited as intrusive causes of the decline.
If some think that banning wolves might stop the decline in elk population and, perhaps, lead to its increase, would they support banning human activity in areas favorable for elk in order to increase the elk population?
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