Letter: A student perspective on Proposition 114
As a student of sustainability at our local CMC campus, I’d like to offer an opinion regarding proposition 114. During the early 20th century, gray wolves were pushed to the brink of extinction by decades of human intolerance and development. Rebalance of ecosystem processes has been well documented as wolves were reintroduced to their original habitat, in places like Yellowstone National Park after 1995. However, now that populations are stabilizing in the Northern Rocky Mountain region and in the Southern states of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico we see a resurgence of intolerance as wolves expand their range.
If Coloradans collectively choose to initiate a plan for gray wolf reintroduction, we must also collectively remain engaged in the plan’s development. As mentioned in the recent Vail Symposium, if we decide wolves should again roam their historical range, Colorado public lands would offer a very important biological corridor for the entire metapopulation of grey wolves. The power is then passed to career scientists at Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop a plan by December 2023. Meaning public involvement will need to persist over the next three years to determine how aggressively the state will choose to manage wolf populations.
I know many opponents of the proposal are also concerned about livestock and potential economic ramifications, so we must also pay attention to the next presidential administration. Currently, the administration is looking to delist gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, which could pose questions for the survival of but also funding for the conservation of this native species.
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