Sens. Mark Udall and John McCain strolled somberly through a meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park Monday inspecting beetle-killed pines, lamenting the damage of global warming and pledging their bipartisan support for nuclear power as part of the solution.
Colorado wildlife overseers flummoxed by a rash of bear-human conflicts are searching for options, from “adverse conditioning” to haze nuisance bears that have been trapped to raising the number of hunting permits to thin the population.
Wildlife officials say hundreds of clashes this summer in mountain towns — including a fatal attack, a mauling and myriad break-ins — require an aggressive response.
A project once considered far-fetched — piping water from western Wyoming across the Continental Divide to Colorado’s booming Front Range cities — is getting a renewed look.
Colorado agriculture officials are widening their battle against the West’s most voracious invasive weed, tamarisk, by deploying a controversial leaf-eating Chinese beetle east of the Continental Divide. As national expenditures in a decade-old campaign to combat invasive species top $1.3 billion a year, proponents see these beetles as cost-saving gems.
But there are concerns. The Diorhabdas may threaten an endangered bird, the southwestern willow flycatcher, which uses tamarisk in New Mexico and Arizona for nesting. The federal government recently was forced by a lawsuit to suspend its releases of Diorhabda beetles in eight Western states — where tamarisk has gobbled more than 1.5 million riparian acres.
Yet Colorado biologists contend the beetle is relatively benign and are pressing ahead — determined to suppress tamarisk with fight-the-enemy-with-its-enemy tactics that so far have proved successful.