Craig To the editor:
Winter is here as I'm again reading the headlines of the Craig Daily Press on Saturday, Nov. 28: "DOW states they are planning aggressive winter action."
Is the DOW planning aggressive dialogue with the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, State Land Board and private landowners all working together for a solution?
Or is applying selective enforcement through deception, surveillance and entrapment costing taxpayers many dollars causing animosity and hatred? These procedures do zero to correct the problem of wildlife that's concentrated.
When there is an excessive number of wildlife in any location (regardless of the season) this is a field issue that needs to be resolved between the affected parties and the DOW.
The article in the Daily Press states that the DOW is stockpiling panels and issuing landowners kill permits. The DOW is tap dancing around the problem. Killing a few animals and fencing the stackyards still leaves the majority of animals concentrated. Don't let the animals concentrate. Keep them disbursed in their natural habitat. Supplying panels and giving kill permits is acting after the fact.
As a solution, I suggest haysheds strategically located, filled with high quality hay, be ready when conditions are needed. This program can be funded by a fee on hunting licenses and earmarked for feeding.
In the winter of 2008, the DOW tested animals for malnutrition and tests found that animals didn't need assistance. Northwest Colorado residents could see that animals were starving and many were dead. So much for the DOW high tech. If money is allocated for feeding, is it a crime if they were not fed? If money is not allocated for Northwest Colorado, how can we get the funding when we have the largest game herds in the state? There is only one solution for starving animals - food.
Hunting is big business in Northwest Colorado.
The local economy depends heavily on the money that hunters bring to our corner of the state. We all need to be allies and work together to solve this problem.
We need a game management plan that benefits the wildlife and allows DOW, BLM, State Lands, Federal Lands, the Forest Service and private landowners to work as partners in solving this critical problem.