Wolves would disrupt Colorado wildlife, ranching | AspenTimes.com

Wolves would disrupt Colorado wildlife, ranching

I can understand why some voters may be tempted to vote for Proposition 114, reintroducing wolves to western Colorado. Our world is a mess. Climate chaos has brought us late spring freezes, followed by excruciatingly hot windy summers combined with droughts not seen in the last 800 years.

Our valley’s river, the Crystal River, is virtually dry. Fires roar over parched ground and their smoke makes being outside hazardous. Population growth has overwhelmed our highways, consumed much of our open space and made finding solitude increasingly difficult for humans and wildlife. On top of all this, a pandemic races around the globe, limiting social interactions and devastating our economy.

Faced with all this turmoil, voters want to do anything, and wolf proponents claim wolves will magically restore the balance. Unfortunately, wolves may only make matters worse. Our deer and elk herds are in decline and are not having enough fawns or calves survive to keep their populations sustainable. Our iconic aspen forest are stressed from drought, not overgrazing by elk. Ranchers are suffering from the multinational meat-packing conglomerates keeping prices for their livestock below break-even prices. They are going broke working around the clock to run 250 head where their grandfathers made money with a few dozen.

Wolves will only make these situations worse. Wolves cannot restore a world dominated by humans. The ecosystem of western Colorado is unrecognizable from what existed when wolves were last here. Wolves will not and cannot bring back the Colorado that existed in the 1900s. They can, however, decimate our declining wildlife and force ranchers to sell out. Much of our open space will be lost forever. Vote no on 114.

Bill Fales