Letter to the editor: Much ado about nothing on Parks and Wildlife commission
Grand County commissioners oppose the appointment of Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioner James Tutchton because he might be anti-hunting and pro-wolf. Since when is it the business of county commissions to oppose nominees for state boards and commissions? And even if those assertions are true, there is currently more than adequate representation for hunting and agricultural interests among the current members of the Parks and Wildlife commission. The commission’s very structure assures its continued dominance by hunting and agricultural interests.
Tutchton represents outdoor recreation, parks utilization and non-consumptive wildlife interests. If he is not a hunter, that doesn’t mean he is anti-hunting; it just means he represents the other 95% of Coloradans who don’t hunt and are under-represented on the commission. And if he is pro-wolf, that also makes him representative of the majority of Coloradans. I see him as a nice counterweight to the Parks and Wildlife commissioners primarily focused on hunting and ranching. He can be a voice for wildlife, wildness, sustaining biodiversity and conserving Colorado’s natural resources — all important aspects of the missions of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks and Wildlife. The assertion that Tutchton is somehow opposed to the very mission of the agency is ridiculous.
Let’s look at this situation from a different optic. With agricultural land use in Colorado, wilderness has given way to livestock grazing allotments and riparian environments to hay fields. Many wildlife species, deprived of their natural habitats, have disappeared from the landscape.
Hunting interests lobby for protection of game species, often putting any predator at risk. Without the full array of native predators, we have burgeoning game populations that carry diseases.
Do not oppose Tutchton’s confirmation. Give Tutchton and us a chance to reexperience some of the West’s iconic species and hear the call of the wild again.
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