Letter: Restore Colorado’s natural balance | VailDaily.com

Letter: Restore Colorado’s natural balance

Before the last gray wolf was hunted to extinction in Colorado in 1945, these majestic animals played an integral role in our natural ecosystem. The notion that wolves would destroy elk and deer populations is misguided. Wolf populations would mitigate coyote populations — a much greater threat to not only our livestock and beloved pets, but other endangered Colorado wildlife, i.e. the kit fox. Wolves are known to target sick and old deer and elk, ultimately promoting the overall health of the herd and mitigating the spread of disease.

The reintroduction of gray wolves to Yellowstone in 1995 directly helped to restore trees, grasses and other plants by moving grazing populations along. This allowed wildlife habitats to flourish in the region — including beaver, fish, migratory and predatory birds (i.e. bald eagles and hawks), badgers, ferrets, and bears. Even more remarkable, the rivers changed in response to the wolves, as their banks were supported by healthy vegetation. Now more than ever, it is our duty to restore the precious circle of life that has played an integral role in supporting Colorado’s ecosystem for thousands of years.

Even in wolf-occupied states, they are responsible for 0.04% of cattle and sheep losses. Proposition 114 would compensate farmers when these rare losses do occur.

Colorado is the last state in the Rocky Mountain corridor to reintroduce the wolves that once roamed freely. Let’s create a better Colorado for all wildlife and nature, not just for humans. For these reasons, proudly vote yes Proposition 114. 

Taylor McKenzie Guthrie

Beaver Creek

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