Letter: Wolf reintroduction and the ‘circle of life’ | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Wolf reintroduction and the ‘circle of life’

The circle of life is nature’s way of taking and giving back life to earth, meaning if something dies it gives life to another. 

The argument for reintroduction of wolves is mostly focused on improved ecology based on success in Yellowstone National Park. This was an overgrazed area by elk (no hunting allowed in Yellowstone). The wolves killed enough elk so the trees grew, the birds sang and the beavers improved the waterways. 

This was true for that area, but personally, I have 38 acres bordering National Forest and our issue is the beavers cutting down the trees. There seems to be little other evidence of ecology improvement in other areas of the country due to wolf reintroduction  If you know of others places that the ecology improved with wolves, please leave a comment so readers have more info.

Wolves have been out of the eco system for close to 100 years, and the balance and circle of life has adjusted and evolved. How long would it take with wolf reintroduction changing the balance to get back in balance?

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For those with visions of the romantic myths of the Old West, the reality is starkly different. The re-introducers talk of wolves creating an “ecology of fear,” which means animals will be more alert, eat fewer trees and grass and move more as a result of the fear created by wolves.

Another fairly ridiculous point they make is GPS collars so packs can be tracked and ranchers warned of areas not to graze cattle. I guess they don’t understand ranching. Also the compensation to ranchers is so convoluted and time consuming, it doesn’t make sense for anybody. I have admired that the spirit of Steamboat is ranching being its heart and soul. Let’s not loose that spirit by making it harder for ranchers to exist.

I believe Colorado Parks and Wildlife has done a good job so far and shouldn’t be hampered financially and time diverted to manage the reintroduction. In your mind reintroduction probably seems like the right thing to do but the reality of increased other animal deaths must also be considered. Let’s not change the “circle of life” that has taken 100 years to evolve.

There is a lot more I would have covered but I am limited to 400 words, so I suggest as I did my “homework,” you read, Google and talk to those affected before you make your decision.

Robert Nestora
Steamboat Springs


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