Colorado ski group wary of possible reintroduction of wolverines with protected status | VailDaily.com
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Colorado ski group wary of possible reintroduction of wolverines with protected status

FILE - This undated photo shows a wolverine in Glacier National Park, Mont., taken by biologist Jeff Copeland. The effects of climate change warrant adding wolverines to the list of endangered and threatened species, but other species considered in greater danger will prevent protection for the small, ferocious mammal for now, wildlife officials said Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Glalcier National Park, Jeff Copeland, via The Missoulian) ** NO SALES **
ALL | Glacier National Park

M56, the male wolverine who wandered solo from Wyoming to Colorado 18 months ago, has survived – inspiring state officials to explore a formal reintroduction of 30 more of his kind.

A cigar-size radio transmitter sewn into M56’s belly still sends signals indicating healthy hunting and scavenging. State wildlife managers say citizens also have reported sightings, confirmed with aerial surveillance.

But Colorado ski area operators, uneasy after state reintroduction of threatened lynx, are bristling at the prospect of more wild predators with protected status near ski slopes.



“We think the timing is very, very wrong,” Colorado Ski Country USA president Melanie Mills said. “Why the rush?

“Let’s be thoughtful about this and make sure there are budget dollars available for a decade to collect the kind of data on the animal you need before you put (wolverines) on the ground,” Mills said.



“That way you don’t put land users in the position of having restrictions put on land use that are not based on science,” she said.

The fear, she said, is that ski-resort expansion on federal land, and even existing operations, could be restricted if the government embraces wolverines.

Read more: Colorado ski group wary of possible reintroduction of wolverines with protected status – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16907832#ixzz18mIefYPB


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