The White River National Forest is seeing some close calls between moose and people. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, the agency is drawing up a moose management plan.
Since 2005, the number of moose in areas like the West Maroon Valley, the Thompson Divide and Frying Pan is increasing. In the last few years, the White River National Forest has seen four to six close encounters per year between people and moose. Wildlife Biologist for the Aspen/Sopris Ranger District Phil Nyland says a handful of people statewide have been injured in moose attacks.
“Because they’re so big and they’re very fast - up to 35 miles an hour - they’re dangerous. Because we’re a destination district on a destination forest, we have people from all over who have never seen a moose, maybe only in a book or on the internet.”
The moose management plan will roll out this summer with signs and and educational materials. Trail closures near the Maroon Bells and possibly a “no dogs” rule are also in the cards.
Major support for Aspen Public Radio's environmental reporting comes from the John Denver Aspenglow Fund at the Aspen Community Foundation, promoting responsible stewardship of the lands and wilderness of Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley.