Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Below is a letter that I had published in the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper in response to a hunter who wants public elk hunting in Rocky Mountain National park.

I strongly disagree with Warren Zivi's letter (Why not let hunters do job? May 28, 2006) which promotes the idea of public elk hunting in Rocky Mountain National Park. National parks are among the few sanctuaries for wildlife in the United States. Hunters already have access to millions of acres of public lands, but they still want to invade national parks with their weaponry, thereby wounding and killing wildlife and scaring sightseers, campers, and hikers.

Also, allowing amateur sport hunting in national parks encourages the killing and wounding of bull elk which does little or nothing to control elk populations. Hobby hunters deliberately seek out the biggest male elk they can can find. Notice how massive Colorado's elk population is to appreciate how ineffective it is to kill a large percentage of male elk.

Our public lands are literally an open-air shooting gallery. They are littered with gun-toting target shooters and hobby hunters, who, along with dirt bikers and ATV riders, run around with impunity while desecrating our public lands. This massive abuse of public lands is disturbing for people who don't care to flee from or hear rifle shots, and for those of us who prefer not to hear ATVs and dirt bikes. Should someone shoot toward you with a rifle or gun in our national forests, you had better run and hide because that person has a legal right to fire his weapon. Most Americans don't want our national parks to become another outdoor shooting gallery for people who cannot and will not respect the land.


Here's an excerpt from the Boulder Daily Camera concerning dangerous public hunting near the city of Boulder, Colorado:

The singing coyotes are gone, and there are but a few black bears left around, along with the pumas. Looking out from my house at night, I see now about 30 lights and many cars driving up and down Sugarloaf Road till wee hours. The horseback riders, mountain bikers, joggers, birdwatchers and family pets very often populate the dirt roads of our neighborhood of most numerous private homes.

A recent Daily Camera story noting that "Resident says that hunting has become unsafe" (Dec. 4, 2005) hardly covered all the dangerous and deadly events in our Sugarloaf neighborhood or addressed in any way whatsoever, our concerns for our own and our children's safety.

The most recent dog killing: a local resident's pet was shot and killed recently weeks ago by a hunter very near his property who CLAIMED that the dog harassed a deer. With the new regulations allowing such "deer defense," this "sportsman" cannot be held legally liable for removing a bit of joy from the life of a neighborhood peacefully living in the mountains. Sadly enough, reports keep surfacing of hunters in this area who threaten both people and dogs with their guns.

My daughter's dog Nanook was killed on Oct. 11. The most extreme internal and external damage to his body testified to the bullet's caliber and energy. Such rounds can travel very far through this now-dense neighborhood of private homes. Nanook was loved by all, especially children playing in the roads and he was a trained "Therapy Dog" who visited the patients in Boulder's health care facilities.

The killing was investigated by Boulder County's Animal Control and Sheriff's Department. When I contacted the supervisor of our Fish and Game service about this, he refused even to loan a metal detector to Animal Control to find evidence. He seeemed much more concerned about protecting hunters' PR that to get the evidence of what could have been a felonious act.
- From "Gunfire surrounds our homes," Boulder Daily Camera, Jan. 1, 2006.