Wolves are a Colorado pawn | AspenTimes.com

Wolves are a Colorado pawn

The reintroduction of wolves in Colorado, with its anticipated effect on livestock producers through predation, continues to be a source of controversy that is not likely to go away. Many folks would like to “rewild” Colorado to get a flavor of the natural world before the white man arrived with his livestock.

The wolves become a pawn in this scenario. On the one hand, those who advocate reintroduction feel gratified to play a part in restoring something in nature lost to human encroachment. On the other hand, when wolves kill, something they have evolved to do to survive (they care not whether a domestic or wild animal), costs to the ranchers need to be covered (letter to the editor, by Bob Kuhnert of Durango, Jan. 7, Aspen Daily News).

When wolves go where they are not wanted or become too numerous, they are hunted. From an Associated Press article, “Hunters kill 20 Yellowstone wolves that roamed out of park,” published Jan. 7 in The Aspen Times: “One pack — the Phantom Lake Pack — is now considered ‘eliminated’ after most or all of its members were killed over a two month span.”

This play in production in Colorado is a “tragedy,” with the wolves having an unwitting part — a prop, really — to be used for effect as desired; they will take the brunt of hardship.

Other parties will be reminded of the inappropriateness of wolves in Colorado now, a place unrecognizable as it once was years ago when wolves served a useful purpose. They balanced the food chain in nature, something now done by man, sometimes rather clumsily.

Charlie Cole