Support the trail, preserve wildlife | AspenTimes.com

Support the trail, preserve wildlife

Dear Editor:This letter is in regard to the bike trail along the rail corridor east of Carbondale.I talked with the Department of Transportation and found out that in our district we had about a thousand deer and elk killed on the roads last year including 159 on Highway 82. I also found out there were none killed by bicycle or pedestrian traffic.I talked with the Forest Service and they said there are 14.5 million acres of national forest and 8.4 million acres of BLM land. Then you add in the millions of acres of private land that deer and elk have use of and you come up with a majority of our state. I have hiked and horsebacked on the national forest and BLM land and found that the deer and elk have adapted to our presence and will keep a safe distance from you.In my travels around Carbondale I have seen deer and elk with their fawns and calves in the streets and back yards during the day and the night. Although it is not ideal, the deer and elk have adapted to our presence. The comparison of my overfed and overweight flat-coated retriever to the packs of wolves roaming Alaska and Wyoming is absurd.I feel this is a case of “Not in my back yard.” I understand the feeling. I didn’t want any changes when I moved here in 1987. The Ute Indians didn’t like it when the whites came here and I am sure the people before them said, “The Ute are moving in, there goes the neighborhood.”I think the benefits of a valleywide bike path outweigh the inconvenience to the deer and elk along the path. If we can keep a few more cars off Highway 82 then it will be better for all wildlife survival.Jeff BuskCarbondale