Westview Students Tackle The Issue of Wolves in Colorado

 

Should wolves roam the Rockies once again? - a look at Colorado Proposition 114, Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative


Westview Middle School 8th grade students have been working hard to learn about human impacts on earth and democracy through the State science standard:

      Grade 8  - Unit 5

  •  Human activities have altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging it, although changes to environments can have different impacts for different living things.


And the words of president Thomas Jefferson:


     “wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government; that     

       whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set     

       them to rights. …

Thomas Jefferson  ( Library of Congress):


At the beginning of the unit, a straw poll was conducted and slightly over 85% of students said that they would vote yes on Proposition 114.  After researching both unbiased sources and sources with strong and clear opinions,  it was time to vote.  Each student was asked:


  1.  State your vote on prop. 114

  2.  Clearly explain 2-3 main reasons that influenced your vote.

  3.  Tell us 2 arguments from ‘the other side’ that you found compelling.

  4.  Lastly, tell us - did you change your mind since our straw-poll on Monday?  Did you consider changing your mind at any point ?


Read on to see student responses, a list of source materials, 

and the result  of the vote.


Student responses:

I actually did change my mind about the proposition, in the beginning I thought that this ballot measure wasn’t a good idea because I was concerned about the elk and deer population. But after becoming an informed voter those worry’s have been put to ease. I am now very excited for what this measure could do for Colorado.

Thank you for listening

B. D.

____________________________________________________________________________

My final vote did not change from Monday. Although there were a few times where I definitely thought about switching, and I think there are a lot of pros to reintroducing wolves. But,  ultimately the cons outweigh the pros. Maybe if they change their plan or circumstances change in the future I might vote yes but for now it is a no.

J. H.

____________________________________________________________________________

"I never did change my mind, I have been hearing about this for a while, and I have actually thought a lot about it. Animals were put on this earth, and whatever is controlling it knew that there had to be balance or else it would fall apart. And taking something out of its natural place is obstructing balance."A G.

A.G.

____________________________________________________________________________

On Wednesday I had a pretty good idea of what I would’ve voted for so I presented my arguments to my parents. I was able to persuade them towards the pro reintroduction side of the argument. I had a list of reasons why and afterwards they told me that they were already going to vote pro reintroduction but I persuaded them even more."

M. R. C.

____________________________________________________________________________

On Monday my vote was yes for wolves being reintroduced into Colorado. Since then my vote has changed a couple times and led me to a hard choice between yes or no. My final decision/vote was YES for wolves. My mind really changed on the 10 reasons why wolves should not be reintroduced. There were lots of good facts and statements that were really persuasive. I think I made my choice well and believe I thought hard through all the videos and articles.

M. S.

____________________________________________________________________________

"I did end up changing my mind throughout the week, at first I was on the agreeing side that we should reintroduce wolves back into the ecosystems, but after watching that video of ten reasons why we shouldn’t reintroduce wolves, I found it very compelling and ended up agreeing more with the opposing side rather then the agreeing side."

H. F.

____________________________________________________________________________

The farming dilemma would be the most popular reason to vote no, but when taking on the endeavor of domestication we also took on the responsibility of letting the natural world be.

 S. M.

____________________________________________________________________________

"I still believe that wolves should be reintroduced to Colorado but there should still be conditions. While my opinion has stayed the same, some of the arguments against reintroducing wolves nearly changed my opinion. All of the sources we have looked at have had very strong and compelling arguments, but in the end, the arguments in favor of reintroducing wolves have taken my vote."

D. D.

____________________________________________________________________________

I did change my mind from the straw poll earlier this week on Monday. Informed voting is how everyone should vote

Z. S.


Results of the 8th Grade vote:     Westview 8th grade students vote to

 reintroduce wolves to Colorado! 

 Proposition 114 passes 

 by  a margin of  66% to 34%.


Sources:

Ballotpedia.

Wolves?  Colorado isn't Yellowstone,

Reintroduction of wolves in state is a good idea

Center for Biological Diversity:Denver 

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation video