Lynn Kelley and Jim Kelley: Facts are facts

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After attending the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting about the proposed hunting of sandhill cranes, we were dismayed at the lack of science presented and at the pre-conceived and biased conclusion apparent with the department’s presentation and issue paper.

I have a biology degree and a Ph.D. and was disappointed with the lack of scientific biological data presented. The data that showed extreme swings in the population first was used as evidence and then, when questioned, was said to be a rough estimate. The issue paper indicates the 10-year average for the area is 634 cranes, but that average is misleading because the population swings within the data are significant.

In the issue paper, the author attributes opposition to the proposal as emotional from bird lovers fundamentally opposed to crane hunting without acknowledging the emotions of crane hunters as equally passionate, such as a love of hunting, fear of losing hunting rights and hatred of anyone opposed to their position. Emotions are emotions, and facts are facts. Unfortunately, we had too many emotions and too few facts.

The science is not there to show that hunting is an appropriate thing to do at this time. There is no biological data to approve this proposal — only the emotional needs of the hunters and a few anecdotal comments from local landowners who claim crop damage. The hunting season will not change the crop damage. We pay landowners for crop damage from elk, deer, etc.

Colorado hunters can hunt midcontinent cranes in Colorado on the Eastern Slope — many hunters travel there already to hunt pheasant and other non-mountain birds.

Parks and Wildlife’s own website lists county occurrence in Colorado as mostly unknown, including Moffat County. Routt County is listed as the only county where the occurrence is fairly common, with Rio Blanco and Mesa county occurrences as rare. Parks and Wildlife does not even post up-to-date or accurate information.

We were surprised at the extremely emotional and inaccurate commentary from Tom Willman in the Steamboat Pilot & Today (“Welcome to SteamBoulder,” April 29). In his commentary, he denigrated what should be a scientific argument to name calling — “SteamBoulder” — and ridiculing “ultimately ignorant folks” who “mean business ... and are working every day to take away your hunting privileges and rights ...” If those statements aren’t emotion edging to hysteria, we don’t know what fear mongering is. He indicated that people were deaf to the facts, but only the facts as he saw them. People like facts that support their opinions and needs and not other facts.

We personally have observed cranes in Routt and Moffat counties for many years and have seen and heard very few cranes in our watching areas — Routt County Roads 42 and 44 and near Steamboat Springs Airport. Has the number declined this past winter? We need to know this.

We think Colorado Parks and Wildlife needs to provide a comprehensive scientific study before allowing any hunting of this species and provide biological data that the hunt is necessary and not meeting an emotional need. Emotions are emotions, and facts are critical to this proposal.

Lynn Kelley, Ph.D., and Jim Kelley

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Scott Wedel 1 year, 11 months ago

Both sides are convinced they are right because their underlying definition on when hunting is appropriate are so different.

One side say hunting is needed to control species overpopulation issues.

Other side say hunting should be allowed as long as the species isn't facing extinction.

Science and facts cannot answer the above values decision.

M Willman or whatever you are using for a name today, SteamBoulder may be intended as an insult, but it has no sting. Boulder is recognized as a worldwide leader in fitness, healthy living and environmentalism. It is an economically successful city with more better paying jobs than the average city. You may dislike the politics of Boulder, but the city is hardly a failure,

Demographically, Steamboat is already similar to Boulder and is arguably more like stereotypical Boulder than Boulder itself.

I wouldn't be surprised that the more SB city residents hear the term SteamBoulder then the more that will say yes and that more needs to be done to be like Boulder!

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rhys jones 1 year, 11 months ago

The cranes we get in northwest Colorado are of the Grester Sandhill variety, from a population of about 20K. The cranes they hunt on the Eastern Slope are of the Lesser Sandhill variety, from population of about 560K. My source is our State:

http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/Profiles/Birds/Pages/SandhillCrane.aspx

I'll bet you can bag one not far from Boulder. Please leave ours alone.

Wiki didn't tell me whether they mated for life, as geese do, but if so, the loss of one is the loss of a mating pair.

Deer and elk have caused thousands of dollars' damage to vehicles of mine, even totalled a Subaru. I encourage the pruning of those overgrown rats. Next time a crane smashes my grill, I will support their thinning too.

We hunted birds when I lived in South Dakota, mostly pheasants and ducks -- birds where you could distinguish males from females easily, and shooting the latter was illegal. The sexes look alike, in cranes, varying only in size.

Much like bears. I've been scary close to three of them in recent years, and I couldn't tell you boys or girls, except the one on the bike trail, and her only because of the cub behind. You never saw a faster U-turn on a bike.

So "Tom" -- you want to shoot mama bear in the spring, with junior off in the bushes? Why? Because her fur is thicker after the winter? How thoughtful.

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rhys jones 1 year, 11 months ago

that was "Greater" Sandhill variety -- stupid-checker failed me

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mark hartless 1 year, 11 months ago

Bagging one in Boulder would make for some interesting discussion. Cranes or some other species.

Scott seems determined to discuss the Steamboulder thing so I'll try to chum the water a bit...

Pour millions upon millions of dollars from out-of-town college kids' parent's into a local economy and you can get away with all kinds of leftist stupidity. Frankly, that's why some of it works in Steamboat.

I have personal experience with this in a college town back-east.

Arguing that Boulder is as productive, educated, funded and scenic as it is BECAUSE of liberals is not as easy as Scott wants us to believe. Lots of lesser cities have tried many of Boulder's "solutions" and wound up killing their economy.

If it works in Boulder I am happy for them, as I have always loved the town. But their philosophy does not play in other venues so easily.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 11 months ago

Mark, I absolutely did not say that Boulder was successful BECAUSE of liberals. I said that using SteamBoulder as an insult because Boulder is known for having liberals was not much of an insult because Boulder is successful. I made no claim or suggestion that Boulder is successful because of liberals.

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mark hartless 1 year, 11 months ago

Ok Scott, but don't try anything sneeky. I'm keeping my eye on you...

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mark hartless 1 year, 11 months ago

I must not have any self respect at all. Or maybe I just don't stand for anything anymore... All those "too many's" and not one of them offended me.

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rhys jones 1 year, 11 months ago

Poor goose -- first he gets shot, then he gets kidnapped!! Some days are better than others.

I agree totally, Mark. I LIKE Boulder!! With or without their Lesser Sandhill Cranes.

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rhys jones 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm still trying to figure out, if ours are the Greater Sandhill Cranes, why there's so many less of them.

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mark hartless 1 year, 11 months ago

I would have paid money to watch the wounded goose abduction, and Boulder being what it is there is no way I would doubt it could happen.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 11 months ago

Tom, The comment about what you are using for a name nowadays was a mild joke about the paper messing up your name.

As I've pointed out before, Steamboat already like Boulder. Thus, if I were to like things about Boulder then I don't have to go to Boulder, I can stay in Steamboat!

Did you see that planning application for a grocery store in downtown SB? Do you have any doubts that it is going to be as organic as possible?

If Boulder bothers you so much then you would probably be happier shopping in Hayden or Craig than Steamboat.

You think there are too many dobs in Boulder? Have you been in Steamboat recently?

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rhys jones 1 year, 11 months ago

I went for a hike up Mad Creek yesterday, clearly out of my element, when I encountered by chance a large gathering of animals of all types -- deer, elk, cougars, foxes, skunks, they were all there -- putting their minor differences aside for the moment, in the interest of the common good. They're about sick of us, and are planning a coordinated attack, starting at 2 AM tonight, when we are all snoozing. The bears have volunteered to eat all the kiddies, while the cougars will deal with the larger folk. The cranes will do a recon flyover first, obliterating key windshields with their excrement. The foxes will clean up the kitties and puppies, coyotes teaming up on the larger dogs. Deer and elk will encircle our community, ensuring that none escape alive. Clean your guns; self-defense is a justifiable excuse to kill anything you want.

I'm predictable, all right, and I predicted this!!

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 11 months ago

dogs. It is silly to compare overall count since then big city San Francisco would be said to be far more dog crazy than Steamboat/Boulder when the percentage of dog owning households is not nearly as high in SF.

Is the grocery store opening downtown more likely to be part of a chain with other stores in Boulder or Vicksburg Mississippi?

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rhys jones 1 year, 11 months ago

I have intentionally not commented on nor made fun of other people's obvious typos. I even let kathy slide with no spaces on either side of her punctuation. That's cheap entertainment, like patting yourself on the back. Lack of tolerance does not enhance our perception of your depth. Rather it reveals a shallow mind, grasping at any cheap thrill it can for entertainment. Killing is thrilling too, year-round, so that viewpoint does not surprise me either.

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