Letter: Vote ‘yes’ for Proposition 114 | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Vote ‘yes’ for Proposition 114

Wildlife professionals like the multi-agency team that restored wolves to Yellowstone and central Idaho in 1995-96 have dealt creatively before with the complications associated with gray wolves. The federal agencies were directed to restore wolves by the Endangered Species Act, passed by a non-scientist citizen group, the U.S. Congress. The agencies left a 3,000-page paper trail Colorado Parks and Wildlife can follow in restoring wolves to Colorado.

Further, we now have 25 years of experience and research on the effects of wolves on Yellowstone and the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming that inform our expectations about how they will affect the southern Rocky Mountains. For instance, elk are more numerous in all three states now than they were in 1995. Livestock losses to wolves are minuscule: one in 10,000 cattle present are taken by wolves annually. Sheep losses to wolves are three in 10,000.

I beg to differ with the assertion that Proposition 114 is based on emotions, rather than science. The Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund is supported by a team of 16 Colorado university scientists and 11 wolf biologists from wolf country across the U.S. The biologist most experienced in the country with restoring wolves wrote the proposition. Foot-dragging by non-scientist, politically-appointed commissioners has stalled restoring wolves to the state, not scientists.

Sporadically, “wolves” were reported in the Northern Rockies for decades before restoration, but no population developed, except around Glacier National Park, adjacent to a robust population in southern Canada. Wyoming’s free-fire zone, in 85% of the state, blocks wolf dispersal (several of which have already been killed).

Most likely, implementing this wolf restoration ballot initiative won’t cost Colorado taxpayers anything. Several funding sources are available.

Vote “yes“ for Proposition 114.

Richard Levy

Trappers Lake Sierra Club

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