Human population growth is the biggest danger to area wildlife (letter)
I attended the Town of Vail’s presentation entitled “Community Wildlife Forum” on Thursday, Jan. 18, and was left, as all of us were, including the Emcee, very sad. All four of the presenters (Bill Andre, Kelly Colfer, Rick Thompson, and Jen Austin) did a great job presenting their information, and all agreed that conservation and respecting wildlife closures were necessary to help the valley wildlife survive, especially the Booth Creek band of bighorn sheep (now down to 40 individuals) and the valley elk.
What amazed me and really disappointed me was that none of the four were willing to mention the elephant in the room. As long as our human population continues to increase, wildlife will always lose. As long as our local government and municipalities continue to choose an increasing tax base, and more people in the valley, we will all be silent witnesses to the diminished wilderness and wildlife populations we all came here to enjoy.
Once land is developed, it will never be added back to wilderness or even just natural land. As we continue to allow development to line our pockets with money, our natural world will continue to suffer. Why is no one willing to step out and address this issue?
These four experts know this to their core, yet they were all unwilling to address the problem. The census.gov website states that in the US alone, we have a net gain of one person every 15 seconds. The worldpopulationreview.com website claims that the Colorado 2018 growth rate will be 1.37 percent. The Vail Daily reported in 2016 that the Eagle County population was 53,303, and it is estimated that it will increase by 41,000 more by 2040.
Now, I’m not professing population control measures, but I do believe that if people had these facts, some would make the voluntary decision to limit their children to two or less. We are the top predator in Colorado, and on the planet, and as such, our numbers should be lower than any of our “prey species!” We are very out of balance with natural laws, and will continue to deplete our local animal populations, as well as those around the world, as long as they suffer habitat loss at the expense of our ever-increasing human population. I encourage these four panelists, that starting with their next presentation, they start talking about this issue. If not them, then who will?