Nice job on the “Patriotism on Life Support” editorial, Mr. Dyer [Re: Dyertimes, June 29]. Unfortunately, the people who really need to read it are too busy following one another’s inane exploits on Facebook to read a print periodical like BW. I found myself in full agreement with every sentiment expressed on the page. Although my wife and I are a bit too old now to try to emigrate to a First World nation and start our lives over, I’ve been encouraging our sons to do so ever since this country first got so far off track during the Bill Clinton administration. They’ve been ignoring me until now, but I’m happy to say that they are now beginning to detect some wisdom in my advice. Best of luck, wherever you and your family end up as American refugees.
Michael D./ via internet
Killing on open space
On June 20th, the Boulder County Commissioners voted for a Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) plan to allow hunting elk on Rabbit Mountain Open Space with the alleged goal of inducing the elk to migrate. Printed on every Parks and Open Space guide is the rule: “Feeding, disturbing, trapping, hunting or killing wildlife is not permitted.” A change of this magnitude in the management policy and public use of Open Space should have mandated independent analysis and review of CPW’s plan.
Why did the Commissioners agree to killing on Open Space? CPW, a state agency funded largely by the sale of hunting licenses, devised the Rabbit Mountain Management Plan with the support of the county’s own Parks and Open Space staff. As BW readers of Rico Moore’s series “Off Target” are aware, CPW is currently being sued for another of their “management plans,” which focuses on killing mountain lions and bears. That management plan has been deemed “not scientifically justified” by CSU Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Professor Barry Noon.
Similarly, Dr. Rob Ramey, a wildlife expert with international experience, noted the CPW’s Rabbit Mountain management plan included “no data or previous research (beyond anecdote and opinion) that supports the notion that the elk will be induced to migrate if subjected to hunting.” Dr. Ramey wrote that the plan “lacked transparency in data and methods which are the litmus test of science-based management.” He concluded with a “kill shot” of his own: that the CPW Rabbit Mountain Management Plan “is not how science-based natural resources management operates in the 21st century.”
Dr. Ramey suggested the names of experts who are qualified to do independent assessment of the Rabbit Mountain issues and options. It’s standard policy in good science. Why didn’t the Commissioners follow-up and request peer review of the CPW plan?
FDR said: “Nothing happens by accident in politics. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” Clearly, hunters knew about CPW’s plan more than three and a half years ago. An email dated October 2013 from a member of a hunting organization to a member of Open Space staff expresses hunters’ eagerness to “help Boulder County implement a hunting program on Rabbit Mountain.” This past November 2016, voters agreed to extend funding Open Space. Seventy percent of the public registered that the protection of wildlife was the priority reason they were willing to vote for Open Space funding. Would the public have done so if they knew the CPW kill plan was waiting to be activated? It appears transparency is not only missing from the management plan, but also from the county’s interaction with the voting public.
Let’s be honest — the CPW plan couldn’t survive an independent science-based review. And the sad political reality is that the Commissioners either didn’t have the courage to ask for third party independent assessment of the plan or they wanted to give CPW what CPW has always desired — access to hunt on Boulder County Open Space. For the County Commissioners, the betrayal of the public trust was a minor consideration.
A novel idea
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s so-called “predator control” plan is the same old nonsense wildlife agencies have been spewing for decades. Hunters already kill and wound coyotes on sight, because they don’t need a license to shoot coyotes, and the CPW is dancing to their tune, by recommending killing black bears and cougars.
How about this brilliant idea: To increase mule deer populations, stop hunting them, and start feeding them during the winter. Spend time and money doing positive, meaningful things to help Mother Nature: plant shrubs and trees for mule deer to eat and find cover for their fawns.
The CPW is too crass and destructive and they cater to a small, dwindling population of animal killers who want to kill, wound and cripple yet more predators, kill more deer, kill more elk, etc. How about this novel idea: Respect the animals and their habitat instead of trashing them.