September 29, 2020

National Park Service Wasting Money and Resources, Again?

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There are too many elk in Rocky Mountain National Park – perhaps by as many as 1,200-1,700. The National Park Service needs to do something about it. So what do they have planned? There are five things on their agenda that is open to public comment before a decision is made (this link takes you to the plan itself). Let’s look at two of them.

One plan calls for either park service pesonnel or hiring contractors to go in and kill the animals – as many as 700 a year for the first 4 years, then dropping back to as many as 150 each year after that. This would be a waste of money and misuse of park resources by using park employees to do the job. Hiring contractors is expensive and shown to be ineffective in certain situations. This method, according to the Management Plan, is the Park Service’s preferred method. Which ever of these options they would choose to use,the animals would need to be hunted, so why not give hunters the chance? Hunting is a more humane way as well.

But no! They have a brilliant idea. One I’m sure was suggested to them by the environmentalists and animal rights activists. They are considering importing gray wolves back into Colorado to do the job. With all the controvesy and problems that have come with re-introducing the wolf into the Yellowstone area, as well as ongoing problems in other states around the Great Lakes, they are considering this move.

In 2005 Colorado devised a plan for dealing with wolves as they assumed it only a matter of time before the wolves migrated south. This plan also deals with how to compensate ranchers and farmers for damages and losses associated with the animal – another huge expense incurred by taxpayers.

The five alternatives as laid out in the proposed elk management plan are nothing more than variations of either of these two methods, with the exception of the plan that calls for the capture and use of conception with cow elks.

If there are too many elk in the Rocky Mountain National Park, turn the hunters loose for a few seasons. This is the only proven long-term management option that works and works well. The National Parks’ use plans need to be revised to allow hunting as part of a management tool for the healthy control of wildlife.

Tom Remington

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