Dead cows belong to bears, other animals |

Dead cows belong to bears, other animals

Dear Editor:

The Forest Service can easily solve the “frozen cow conundrum” and the coming “hungry bears” problem caused by the record-low snowpack. Ranger Andrew Larson explained to me that chain saws and other motors can be used in designated wilderness only in an emergency.

This potential health threat is far more of an emergency than when a helicopter took out the body of an Aspen doctor who died of a heart attack on the hike to Conundrum Hot Springs about six years ago. (Having spent more time there than anyone in the past 34 years, I told them where to land it.) If it takes a day to carry out a body, rather than an hour, it hardly constitutes an emergency.

The Forest Service should pack in a chain saw, cut up the carcasses, sled them away from areas people frequent, and leave them to the bears and other animals that will have less food this year than normal.

Unfortunately, the Forest Service has wanted to destroy the cabin for decades. It floated the idea in the ’90s, but users protested. I’ve gone up there in winter twice without a tent, relying on the cabin to be there. Even in summer, Conundrum’s extreme hailstorms have destroyed many a tent, sending occupants fleeing to the cabin. Many of these would otherwise have needed a rescue, an expense the Forest Service cannot afford. Nobody uses the cabin unless they really need it; it’s dirty with a broken concrete floor that’s freezing cold all summer.

Anyone who’d like to be on our occasional Friends of Conundrum Hot Springs email list can get on by emailing me at

Evan Ravitz


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