Anti-Hunting Stupidity in Colorado?
While there I took in some of the local news, which included of course the church shootings. Also dismaying, in its own way, was this-- "Elk To Be Shot In RMNP." Note that the headline reads, "to be shot," not "RMNP to open for limited hunting season." What this means is that the National Park Service will pay "sharpshooters" to cull the herd, because the current elk herd there is more than the land can support.
I say there's a better way to do it. Instead of paying people to come and cull the herd-- Capstick once wrote that culling was a "dismal business"-- why don't they get Congress to change the law, and then issue permits and tags by lottery to the TENS OF THOUSANDS OF HUNTERS WHO WILL PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF HUNTING THERE. Right now, nonresident Colorado bull and cow elk tags go for $501 and $251 respectively. If we allow for, say, a five-to-one ratio in the number of permits and tags issued versus the number of animals actually taken, RMNP could put a big dent in the elk herd and raise a large sum each year. All of that money could go directly to that park, to improve and preserve the habitat. There would also be, as there is anywhere else big-game hunting is practiced, a substantial boost to the local economy.
The article says also that some of the meat will go to Indian tribes. To hell with that. The last thing those people need is more handouts. If the NPS won't open the park up to hunters nationwide, let them open it up to hunting parties from the Indian tribes. Now that would be something to see.
But I tend to think that the powers-that-be in the NPS won't want to hear any of it. I think that organization is riddled with anti-hunters and is one of the biggest obstacles to real wildlife conservation in the US today. This is all despite the facts in front of their faces. Sad but true, and I bet Teddy Roosevelt is spinning in his grave. Might have to write my Congressoids about this.