Predators Key To Biodiversity

As a Colorado native, I’m excited about wolves returning to our state. Unfortunately, state wildlife agencies are preoccupied with the reintroduction of the species and were unprepared for the natural return of these predators. The wolfpack that now calls Jackson County home has created a dangerous situation that can be defused with some leadership and cooperation among stakeholders. Unwinding decades of wildlife mismanagement won’t be easy.

I grew up in Southwest Colorado on a couple of small ranches. I worked for the National Cattlemen’s Association in Denver. I know that Colorado and other states have made great sacrifices for livestock producers over the past century. Agriculture now generates $47 billion annually and employs more than 195,000 people across the state. With more than 2.6 million head of cattle and $4 billion in annual revenue, beef is Colorado’s top agricultural product. The industry can afford to give a little back to the land and the people of Colorado, but it shouldn’t come on the back of a few small livestock producers.

State and federal agencies created the problem by exterminating our wolves to support an emerging livestock industry.

State and federal agencies are still spending millions of dollars to kill America’s predators for livestock producers. This money should be spent to compensate ranchers for losses instead of paying USDA’s Wildlife Services and other agencies to eliminate possible threats.

In the face of global warming, climate change, wildfires and drought, it’s time to be smarter with our natural resources. Wildlife demands compassion, not more conflict. Predators and their food sources have been disrupted in many ways thanks to wildfires and drought, which are causing severe stress and extreme behavior. In the wake of record heat, drought and wildfires, this winter will likely take a severe toll on wildlife populations across the West. Many predators will be pushed into new areas to survive, including more cities and towns. Predator migration isn’t just a rural issue. Colorado needs a plan to address wildlife migration now, especially as it relates to predators. Killing wolves that encroach on private property isn’t the answer. Read the full story about wolves in Colorado.

Earth News

Earth News is a division of Crossbow Communications. Earth News is a syndicated environmental news service. The company covers a variety of health and environmental issues, including biodiversity, chronic wasting disease, climate change, deforestation, endangered species, global warming, neurodegenerative disease, neurotoxins, wildlife conservation and more.

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