Wolves in Rocky Mountain National Park

OK, so I know this is a picture of a coyote… But perhaps the reason for that is because wolves in Colorado were hunted  to extinction a long time ago and Yellowstone is a long way from Cripple Creek Colorado đŸ˜¦

Coyote

Coyote in the Colorado winter landscape

But I just want to throw this out there, if wolves can thrive in Yellowstone, why could they not thrive just as well in Rocky Mountain National Park? Both are huge tracts of rugged land mostly inaccessible to people, both good habitat for wolves. Every year I have to hear the state wildlife people whine that there are too many elk in Rocky, basically they have no competition. The elk there just lay around all the time, sometimes causing traffic jams on the highways and sometimes just wandering into town to hang out with the tourists.

I have read accounts of how wolves have entirely renovated the landscape in Yellowstone once they began to thrive in significant numbers. The elk and deer herds became stronger as the animals were forced to move around and the wolves culled the weaker members. Aspen trees are healthier, forest grasses taller, and because coyotes and fox have to move around more there are more rodents for the eagles and hawks. The entire ecosystem is healed in a process called Trophic Cascade. Coyote-&-Magpie

Tourists and photographers come from all over the world to view the animals in Yellowstone, immensely benefiting local economies. It seems that Rocky Mountain National Park would benefit from the presence of wolves as well. Just throwing this out in hopes that like minded people will join and bring the miracle of wolves to my state. Sure, we might get some argument from the surrounding ranchers but it is my contention that the world does not need those ranchers or their cattle, many of which are living on and spoiling the federal public land experience for others who would also enjoy that land. Perhaps they could learn non lethal wildlife management or just sell some land to create buffer zones between the park and their ranches.

And once again, since the Obama administration caved to the hunting and ranching lobby in Washington, wolves have been unjustly removed from the Endangered Species List. Please go online and donate money, sign petitions, call congressmen, and do whatever it takes to get our beloved wolves (and grizzlies) back on the endangered list. If you don’t know where to find those lists and petitions, please visit my Facebook page dedicated to the preservation of our precious wildlife.

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Wildlife Paradox

Watching the news last night I saw an interesting example of paradoxical stories that I found a bit disturbing. The first story was about two fishermen who had taken considerable and heroic risk to rescue a doe and her fawn from drowning.

Mule deer in snow

Mule deer in snow

The very next bit was a claim by the city that there are too many deer on the west side. So apparently the city managers in their infinite wisdom could only conjure one solution, which was to unleash hoards of hunters armed with high power bows to “harvest” 200 does and fawns per year, the very animals that the previous men had gone to extraordinary lengths to rescue!

Well it did occur to them that it could be problematic to have hunters skulking about our back yards murdering these peaceful sentient creatures that many families and their children happen to adore, so they thought it might be a good idea instead to have a bunch of armed idiots stalking our crowded parks, killing the animals that are where they are supposed to be so that people can go see them.

Naturally the local bow salesman was all for the idea, and not at all concerned about the possibility of accidentally dispatching a few children and their pets. 

Well the deer are becoming problematic they say. So I did a quick study to ascertain what sort of problems deer might cause. Mostly it appears they like to eat flowers, raising the ire of city people who chose to buy homes in wildlife habitat and are now dismayed to find wildlife there. They also have a tendency to increase car animal collisions. No mention that careless drivers also have a tendency to run down children and pets…

Seriously people… Hunters wandering our parks and neighborhoods? How about some education instead? How about planting flowers that the deer don’t like? How about slowing the car down a little? One lady I tried to slow down as she barreled through a herd of deer screamed at me that she had the right to drive the speed limit… Well, no you don’t. The limit is defined as the fastest speed you can go in optimal conditions. Once there are animals, pets or children nearby the conditions are no longer optimal and you are required to slow down.

How about some common sense and a little live and let live!