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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.

Court calls for review of lynx habitat

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Courtesy of USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will need to reconsider designating the southern Rockies for special protection for lynx.

In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made a decision to designate critical habitat for lynx in the northern Rockies, but did not include areas in southern Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

Local nonprofit Wilderness Workshop and other environmental groups successfully sued the agency, asking for a re-examination. This could mean that areas in Colorado may see further protection of key lynx habitat.

Lynx, which are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, prey primarily on snowshoe hare and live in forested areas with deep snowpack.

“They’ve got these really big paws that allow them to travel over the snow and get into areas where coyotes and other predators can’t,” said Will Roush, conservation director at Wilderness Workshop.  

Designating areas as critical habitat is a safeguard against development that could impact the lynx population.

 

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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