I was disappointed to hear on the news of closure of several Open Space trails in Golden for six months beginning Feb 1. Reported reasons were to allow the local elk herds privacy for birthing and to …
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I was disappointed to hear on the news of closure of several Open Space trails in Golden for six months beginning Feb 1. Reported reasons were to allow the local elk herds privacy for birthing and to limit disturbance to nesting raptors on the Table Mountains.
Elk have become a common and welcome sight in the Golden area. These elk chose to move into our area in recent years, and we have embraced their presence. Why give them extra protections when there seems to be no evidence that they need it?
Likewise, local birders have long known of nesting raptors in the cavities of rock faces from Red Rocks to the Table Mountains. The birds haven’t seemed bothered by our presence up until now; so why is it suddenly a problem?
Are these closed areas Open Space trails or an animal refuge area? At a time when we are all suffering from the isolation brought on by the Covid pandemic, it has been a joy to see our parks and trails full of people eager to get out, but respecting the hazards of crowds, taking to the outdoors. Closure of these trails at this particular time seems especially insensitive. Open Space management should rethink the decision to close such vital areas with flimsy justification. I also urge the Jefferson County Commissioners to examine the mission of the Open Space program to ascertain that program managers are following their mandate in spirit and fact.
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