Carl K. Chapman: Don't blame the oil industry for problems

To the editor:

In reference to the front-page article on Tuesday, "Energy use bad for bird," I would like to reply.

I can't believe a college graduate of the University of Wyoming is able to make the diagnosis that the decrease in the number of sage grouse at the mating sites in the Green River Valley is the result of the energy development in the gas fields. When he made this assessment, conservationists (tree huggers) jumped on the bandwagon, knowing that's exactly what happened. No place in your article does it mention predation. Why?

I would like to inform members of the public, many of whom will remember when the Upper and Lower Big Gulch areas and the Great Divide area were a mass of sage grouse. Predators were small in numbers because they were being controlled with the traps and poisons. When these methods were outlawed, it became the death penalty for the sage grouse.

On our property, on Big Gulch, we immediately saw the grouse disappearing and predators on a sharp increase. Those we see frequently are large numbers of coyote, fox, skunks, raccoons, badgers, eagles, redtail and chicken hawks, a surplus of magpies and one wolf (which no one wants to document). As you see, there are 10 predators that love the eggs and the birds for chicken dinner.

Now, please don't blame the energy companies, as there has been no exploration within several miles of our property.

So where did the sage grouse go? You be the judge.

As you may have read recently, 140,000 jobs were lost in the timber industry of the Northwest because of the spotted owl. Today, the spotted owl is still on the decline.

It has been documented that those "little suckers" are the favorite dinner of the great northern horned owl.

Carl K. Chapman

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