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Sunday letters: Wolf habitat, Democratic candidates, and natural gas development

Colorado’s central mountains could support wolf habitat

In his recent column, Mr. Mulhall suggests that we who support restoring gray wolves to Colorado are “playing God.” Why don’t we have gray wolves in Colorado? Starting in the 1880s, at the behest of the livestock industry, the federal government conducted a campaign of extermination using federal agents to poison, trap and shoot any animal that got in the way of industry profits. This practice continues today. From my view, this ongoing campaign of extermination is “playing God.”

I don’t know about other faiths, but the Christian faith instructs us to be stewards of the entire creation — all animals and plants. From my view, restoration is the ecologically sustainable and ethically right action to take.

Science provides direction on how to be good stewards. Decades of reliable science documents that gray wolves, if present for long enough, with enough abundance and distribution, can initiate the process of ecological restoration to Colorado’s wildlands. Verifiable fact documents that wolf restoration can occur with minimal impacts to the livestock industry and with positive impacts to hunters. In wolf country in the Northern Rockies, with 1,980,600 cattle 1,900 wolves, total confirmed losses to wolves in 2015 was 148 cattle (0.007%). Where wolves were restored to the Northern Rockies elk populations and hunter success are stable or increasing.

With 17 million acres, and 700,000 deer and elk, Colorado still has an abundance of wildlands that could support sustainable populations of gray wolves. The greater Yellowstone ecosystem has about 18 million acres and supports about 500 wolves on only about 200,000 deer and elk.

Yes, Colorado’s human population has grown. But, according to the state demographer, 84% of us live on the Front Range, 11% in western tier counties and the remaining 5% in the central mountains, San Luis valley and eastern plains. Our central mountains, where less than 5% of Colorado’s population resides, could be wolf habitat, if we vote “Yes” on Initiative 107.

Vote “Yes” to restore wolves and a natural balance for now and future generations.

Delia G. Malone
Redstone

Vote to free your grandchildren

We worry which Democratic candidate can win against the president. It is my observation that despite the media hype, any Democrat can beat him by upwards of 9 million popular votes.

The only real duty of the 70% of the country that isn’t enthralled, is to pick a candidate that will let America catch up with the world’s 32 developed countries that provide education and health care to their entire population. Vote to free your grandchildren.

John Hoffmann,
Carbondale

Try looking forward and leading

I find it frustrating that our county commissoner, Tom Jankovsky, appears at a Colorado River Water Conservation District meeting to put forth the same “Democrats bad; Republicans good” narrative that isn’t supported by the facts.

The reason natural gas development has slowed in Garfield County is because the price for the commodity is way down. It was down well before SB 181 passed, and to infer that the legislation was hurting the county is disingenuous. There is an abundance gas in places where it is cheaper to recover and closer to market. The price isn’t going to go up significantly for the foreseeable future, so those are the circumstances we should be dealing with. No amount of “regulatory relief” by the county or state is going to bring back the gas development we had.

Moab is 2 1/2 hours away and they aren’t crying that the uranium mining isn’t supporting the community any longer. They moved forward with the things that were moving forward and their economy is thriving. Our leaders should be positioning the county to take advantage of our amazing recreational opportunities and promoting the area as a preferred retirement location.

So, Tom, please stop looking backward and whining, try looking forward and leading.

Anthony Zarlingo,
Silt


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