Letter: We need partnership not ‘think-tank’ politics
It seems as though a lot or nothing at all has happened in regard to wolf reintroduction in Colorado after the passage of Prop 114. As many stakeholders, wolf advocates and lawmakers know, the constant rivalry between groups is exhausting and seems to always be in favor of the opposing group. This is not working.
Even with state and federal best efforts, the collaboration process for addressing decisive issues is broken; finding options for successful communications between ideologically different groups is difficult but in some ways, easily doable if everyone is willing to respect their neighbors. In addition to public comment hearings, Coloradans should be more willing to engage in conversations in everyday life to everyday strangers; perhaps at Downtown Books & Coffee or Los Jilbertos. Especially in Northwest Colorado, the wolves and people who fight for or against their reintroduction deserve a fresh look. Easier said than done, but with livelihoods and passions seemingly in such a perilous condition, confidence in real and tangible good-faith negotiations is there.
Top of mind for landowners and ranchers is predation on cattle. For wolf advocates it is the enhancement of ecological processes that have been absent since the extermination of wolves in the 20th century. Wolf advocates say use nonlethal means. Ranchers say these practices are too expensive or aren’t effective. Constant back and forth has degraded sense of community while bolstering the echo-chamber culture our society has come to adopt, especially when unnamed political figures demand for you to see the rifts between groups instead of any semblance of camaraderie.
Before any meaningful work can be done I urge readers to strike up conversation where appropriate. I don’t claim to have the silver bullet to solve all partisan issues, a panacea is far from reality. Perhaps, we can work on a solution that includes both the Gray Wolf and ranchers et al. in the meantime.
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