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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

CPW: Wildlife, human interactions the new norm

Ken Krehbiel via Facebook

Bear activity closed campgrounds, a moose charged a woman and her dog, and three mountain lion kittens were spotted along the Rio Grande trail — all in one day earlier this summer. Perry Will, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), said days like this are becoming the new norm.

There has been particularly strong growth in the moose population, and CPW will offer one bull moose hunting tag this year.

“We’re getting good production and recruitment into the moose population and they’re expanding throughout the range as well,” Will said. “This year we decided we definitely have a moose population that can take hunting pressure.”

Will and rangers with CPW are also keeping an eye on the mountain lion kittens on the Rio Grande Trail, who have not moved far in the past week. Will said he fears their condition is declining, and CPW will consider euthanization rather than placing the kittens in captivity if the mother does not return.

“Wild animals in cages is not a good life,” he said.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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