Rick Hammel: Wildlife issues about more than big game
To the editor:
The article, “Leaders seek local presence on wildlife commission,” (Dec. 24) raised some concerns with me.
Annette Gianinetti, executive director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce, is working to find someone to represent northwest Colorado on the Wildlife Commission. She says she may have “found someone who may be up to the challenge of serving on the commission.”
Whoever is appointed to the commission should be well versed in all wildlife issues, not just big game issues. From my perspective, just being a rancher and outfitter does not qualify. I think that a commissioner should have many other attributes, such as a well-grounded knowledge of wildlife biology, zoology and wildlife management practices.
Moreover, this person should be very well versed in endangered species and species of special concern. As energy development grows in Northwest Colorado, new challenges are facing wildlife managers.
Already, the greater sage grouse is being watched very closely, as is the white tail prairie dog. What species is next? And currently, we have four river fishes that are listed as endangered. Other fish species are candidates to be listed. The gray wolf has been knocking on our door. It also is endangered in Colorado.
There are a lot of issues that I have not touched on.
If there is to be a resident of Northwest Colorado on the Wildlife Commission, that person must have a very well-rounded knowledge of wildlife issues and problems in this area, not just big game concerns.
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Routt County is working with both Rio Blanco and Moffat counties and municipalities across northwestern Colorado to create an umbrella organization to better coordinate and pursue economic development in the region.