Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wildlife Officials in Colorado want to allow elk hunting in Rocky Mountain National Park

Officials from the Colorado Department of wildlife are seeking a meeting with the U.S. Interior Secretary to plead their case for Elk hunting in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Currently there are 4,000 elk residing in the park. The elk have degraded the population of the park's aspen trees and have been a nuisance and safety hazard in nearby Estes Park. Park and Colorado officials and environmentalists all agree that the number of elk must be reduced. The National Park service has issued a draft plan that calls for a combination of lethal reduction by sharpshooters, elk dispersal and fencing of aspen communities.

There is no question in my opinion that if they want to truly manage this herd of elk that they should clearly allow a select amount of tags over the next 2-5 years and offer all of the tags in a national lottery and allow each person to purchase tickets for the lottery at a price of $20.00 each. The tremendous amount of money that could be raised will more then pay for the management of the hunt and have money left over for science programs and the fencing that needs to be done for the aspen groves. I truly do not understand why this is such a hard decision to fathom. The amazing press we could get for this situation, the opportunity to paint hunters in a new light, the discussions that could be had about the North American Conservation Model.