McClure Pass trail proposal should keep wildlife in mind

The problem with the proposed Redstone to McClure Pass trail, and the entire trail as a whole, is that no wildlife studies have been conducted to get baseline statistics on population numbers, breakdown by gender and age, etc.

So the experts and officials are all speculating as to the impacts instead of following science. There was a very timely article in The Aspen Times on Feb. 24 titled “Study highlights recreational trail impacts to wildlife habitat.” The study quantifies the elk habitat loss and compression in 120,000 acres east of Steamboat Springs.

Organizers of the study say it was initiated after the Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle Valley elk herds experienced a 50% reduction from 1999 to 2015. The study shows a significant loss and fragmentation of elk habitat. The full study can be found on the Keep Routt Wild website under the “Experts & Studies” tab, then “Wildlife Studies.”

Melissa Waters