As a 45-year resident and hiker, I've observed many changes to the Westside trails and open spaces ("Bowhunting or birth control?" SemiNative, Feb. 14). The biggest stress on the deer, I believe, is caused by high-density infill in their habitat areas. Also, the city forester has cleared out many acres of shelter and browsing spaces, as well as the travel corridors that deer used for countless years. New bike trails now crisscross other large tracts of land that the deer occupied.
Stratton Open Space has large clear-cuts, as does Bear Creek Park. That leaves the deer to find food and shelter in neighboring Skyway and Broadmoor areas. Then we hear complaints of gardens being destroyed by hungry animals.
If the city really cares about our wildlife, they should stop the destruction of the habitat areas. I can take a three-hour outing now and not see even a bird or squirrel. That is far too much devastation, in the name of mitigation. The forests are now open to the drying winds and erosion, compounding other problems. But that will be a subject for another day.
To the people around the beautiful Ute Valley Park, get ready, the masticator is coming to your neighborhood next!
— Nonne Kreger, Colorado Springs
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