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Shiras moose, wolves dominate at Dine, Discuss and Deliberate

Nov 25, 2012 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

During the CWC event, students present information on a topic, and then the college's forensics team

Shiras moose and wolves were the topic of the night Thursday at Dine, Discuss and Deliberate at Central Wyoming College.

At each talk, a group of students from environmental technician instructor Jacki Klancher's class presents information on a topic. The forensics team, coached by Josh House, then debates two sides of the issue. Afterward, the audience and presenters discuss the issue, and at the end, the sponsors provide dinner to all attendees.

Information

Klancher teaches an introduction to environmental studies at the college. Her students -- Michael Garcia, Andrew Graham, Ana Rowland and Jessica Lofthouse -- said that based on their research, the population of Shiras moose in Wyoming is declining because of climate change, human development, disease and parasites.

Greater quality in vegetation and better disease control would help the moose population recover, they said. They also said moose and wolves are interdependent. When moose populations get too large, they deplete their food source and their population crashes. Wolves prey on moose and can help keep the population in check.

The group said the island of Isle Royale in Lake Superior is a habitat for moose and wolves. When moose populations go up, wolves have more to eat and their population increases. With more wolves preying on moose and more moose competing for the same food, the moose start dying off rapidly. Wolves soon have less food to eat, and more of them die too.

The group said wolves do not kill many moose in Wyoming, but management of the two species is somewhat linked.

Debate

After the information was presented, Brandt Springman, Danielle Gray, Ben Griffin and Mike Matthews from the forensics team debated whether the government should manage wild species.

For purposes of the debate, Springman and Gray argued that, "The U.S. Federal government should stop attempts to control moose and wolf population in Yellowstone." Griffin and Matthews took a different side: The government should keep regulations of moose and wolf at current levels, or increase them.

Audience members asked numerous questions after the debate. Klancher then wrapped up the discussion, thanked everyone for attending and invited everyone to grab a slice of pizza.

CWC instructor Todd Guenther attended the debate and was impressed by the performance of the students.

"I thought they did a very thorough job researching and presenting," he said. "I was real proud of them."

Klancher said she and the previous forensics director started the Dine, Discuss and Deliberate series last semester.

"It gives the departments at CWC the chance to work together ... to showcase what they're learning," she said.

She thinks her students gain more than knowledge. She hopes seeing students present will inspire other students, she said.

"They realize knowledge isn't something that just professors have," Klancher said.

The public is welcome to the next Dine, Discuss and Deliberate forum, which will be 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 28 in room 171 of CWC's Main Hall. The topic will be the effect genetically modified organisms have on agriculture and human health.

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Central Wyoming College