The Colorado Division of Wildlife has taken a thoughtful, proactive step toward working with the public to help reduce the elk population that has grown to an unhealthy size that is impacting animals and people alike.
The overpopulation of elk is damaging property and making forage for other wildlife scarce.
Division of Wildlife West Slope Manager Ron Velarde pointed out this week that Colorado's elk herd is not only valuable to hunters and wildlife watchers, it is also an economic force in many parts of the state making it important for the DOW to involve everyone with a vested interest in the decision-making process.
That could not be more true than in Moffat County, which relies heavily on hunting seasons for its economic viability.
We believe that more hunters out in the field with more licenses will have a better success rate, which will improve the environmental situation here at home.
It also will bring more hunters to the area, which should improve the economic situation here at home as well. No one can argue that the elk population is a pressing problem that can no longer be put on the back burner.
By reaching out to the communities that are directly impacted, the DOW not only will get a better idea of the problem at hand, it also will get a more diversified range of solutions and empower area residents.