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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.

Mountain lions active on area trail

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Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Mountain lion activity on the Rio Grande Trail near the Aspen Airport Business Center has Pitkin County officials on alert.

Open Space and Trails rangers received multiple reports of lion sightings and found two elk carcasses along the popular trail last month. Evidence points to mountain lions: They tend to disembowel their prey and cache food on cliffs and other high places. There are also identifiable paw prints nearby. One carcass was found near Red Butte and the other near the waterfall on the Rio Grande Trail.

Ranger Pryce Hadley said, while there is regularly evidence of lion activity between Stein Park and Old Snowmass, it’s more likely for humans to see the predators in winter. As the wintering elk herd migrates down in elevation to find food, mountain lions follow.

Hadley warns runners and walkers to travel in pairs, make noise and avoid dawn and dusk, as well as to leash pets. If attacked, fight back.

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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