With the possible exception of a few loggers and certain water diverters, everyone wishes the best for the Rio Grande cutthroat trout. As one of three remaining native trout subspecies in Colorado, it surely deserves the full force of protection and restoration that official and private forces can afford.
The question that lingers in the wake of last week’s decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to recommend listing under the federal Endangered Species Act is just how this protection can be delivered most effectively.
Certain conservation groups, notably Trout Unlimited, cheer for federal protection. State wildlife agencies that continue to strive for recovery believe more can be achieved under the current programs.