It’s time for me to weigh in on the Crystal River Trail controversy.
There is no question a trail is needed. We have to get the mountain bikes off of Highway 133. That is a tragedy waiting to happen. The issue is where should that trail be: Along the railroad tracks on the east side of the river and 133 or on the west side.
When in doubt, I always go with science. The scientists say a trail along the railroad tracks would impact wildlife the most. Wildlife is already impacted enough so I say, go west, mankind, and absolutely no motorized vehicles.
Man can leave food for wildlife in the winter or build fences along a highway to prevent roadkill. I know loss of habitat due to expanding housing and oil and gas industry development are making winters harder for wildlife to survive Rocky Mountain winters and I remember the slaughter on 82.
However, direct contact between man and wildlife is bad for wildlife. Wildlife should mistrust man. Hunters, where’s the sport in blowing away an animal that walks right up to you expecting you to feed, pet, or talk sweet to them? When I hunted, I found it more challenging when my quarry ran, flew, or hid from me.
I love seeing wildlife, too, but we should do what we can to leave them alone.
Fred Malo Jr.