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July 01, 2023


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I think it was Sand County Almanac that described the history of wildlife agencies and concluded they no longer conserve or protect wildlife, but have evolved into game husbandry agencies - managing wildlife populations to accommodate human desires to hunt, fish and view. Ironically, there are now more elk and deer in Colorado now than there were at the turn of the century. Likewise, the rainbow and brown trout species used as indicators of stream corridor health are non-native. The debate about whether moose are native here has never been resolved. We just move animals around to different locations to serve our needs. Not sure what the answer should be.

Susan Richards

The marmots may be like the picas: They've moved/been forced higher and higher because of the increasing heat at lower altitudes. We're in danger of losing pikas altogether, which would be a tragedy in my book. Both picas and marmots were fixtures on my childhood hikes. Hard, and sad, to imagine a trail without them.

As for the other critters -- given the explosion of human presence in Wild Basin, I'd leave too.

Kathy Kaiser

Susan, I agree. I can't imagine a world (and don't want to) without marmots and pikas.

Kathy Kaiser

Kathy, I read once that the moose were brought here (first to the Western Slope around Granby) for hunters. My question has always been: are the moose chasing out other native wildlife, as well as eating more than their fair share of willows and aspens.
I know that environmental groups are still fighting the Forest Service and BLM to protect the ecosystem rather than pleasing hunters.

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