Letter: Keep Routt wild
The year 2020 has undoubtedly been a year of many firsts for a lot of us. To take a quick break from our hectic and strenuous life, take a second to remember the calling that planted your feet here in the ’Boat.
For many of us, it’s the abundance of land and the rugged seasons Routt County has to offer. We need to take a quick moment to realize that our favorite honey holes and national forest were previously claimed by their rightful owners, the Routt County wildlife that have held a symbiotic relationship with the land for countless generations.
It’s imperative that we acknowledge the fact that the growing needs of this town are putting increased pressure on our wildlife and the habitat of Routt County. It is assumed Steamboat Springs and the surrounding areas will continue to slowly grow as they have been for the last decade. Knowing the inevitable of Steamboat’s growth, it’s crucial that we understand how these developments will have everlasting impacts on the ecosystem, specifically elk habitat.
New trails through the roadless areas of Routt County will have deleterious effects on the wildlife, including habitat fragmentation and elk calving areas. Disturbing elk during calving season causes the cow elk to expend, rather than consume, needed calories, also making the calf move locations and more susceptible to predators.
It’s unjust to put these elk at risk just for our personal and community benefits when trails are already abundant throughout the county. With an added trail, more human pressure on public lands will lead to deer and elk being pushed from their ideal natural domain onto sometimes private agricultural lands, causing damage.
With the herds of Routt County at stake, it is important we take time to look into the effects of our new and old developments that can potentially alter the animals and our beautiful outdoors for generations to come. To get involved, you can visit keeprouttwild.com to get more information. This is a simple reminder that we only have one Routt County and one chance to preserve its beauty. Let’s keep Routt wild.
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