ONTD Political

US Forest service may blow up ranger cabin to get rid of frozen cows

3:32 pm - 04/19/2012
A group of stray cows that froze to death in the Colorado mountains must be blown up or set on fire to avoid water contamination, forestry officials say.

The carcasses were discovered near the Conundrum Hot Springs in Aspen by two Air Force Academy cadets in late March.

The cows were found in a ranger cabin where it is thought they wandered during a snowstorm after they were separated from the herd last year.


The plan is to remove the dead animals before they begin to thaw.

US Forest Service spokesman Steve Segin told the BBC: "Obviously, time is of the essence because we don't want them defrosting."

He told the BBC that "negative interactions" with other wildlife were also a concern.


Winter temperatures in the area regularly drop to below 0F (-18C).

The hot springs are inside a federal wilderness area high in the Rocky Mountains, which prevents mechanical options, like chainsaws, from being used.

The options include letting the cows decompose and closing off the area, setting off explosives to break up the animals and speed up the decomposition process, or setting the cabin on fire.

Officials say there are about six cows inside the cabin and several just outside.

Michael Carroll, a spokesman for the Wilderness Society in Colorado, told the Associated Press: "They need to use the minimal tool to get the job done.

"They don't want to leave the land scarred."

According to Mr Segin, the cows' owner has been found through the tags on the animals. Cows and other animals are allowed to graze on federal wilderness land if the owner has a permit.

source:BBC News
Hilarious to us, but a real pain in the ass for the park service. How DO you get several 1000 pound animals that are frozen stiff out of there?
layweed 19th-Apr-2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
I always wanted to be a US Park Ranger when I was a kid. Perhaps I should look into it. Especially if you get the odd "Well golly we can't figure out any better way of clearing this up than using EXPLOSIVES!!!!!"

Also, how soon before this ends up on Mythbusters? 'Cos frozen cows + explosives sounds right up their alley.
bella_cheval 19th-Apr-2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
Same here!! Especially the explosives.
layweed 19th-Apr-2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah.... I really wouldn't want to risk that one.
paulnolan 19th-Apr-2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
Doubtful... the temperature wouldn't be constant, so the meat would be spoiled by a cycle of freeze & partial thaw.
world_dancer 19th-Apr-2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
I now have the urge to play Unexploded Cow.

http://www.cheapass.com/freegames/uxcow

hinoema 19th-Apr-2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
Hilarious to us, but a real pain in the ass for the park service. How DO you get several 1000 pound animals that are frozen stiff out of there?

Barbecue? Feed the bears?
makemerun 19th-Apr-2012 07:54 pm (UTC)
Poor cows.

Is anybody having flashbacks to Oregon's Exploding Whale Incident?

Wow... this is a pretty tough situation to resolve. :/ IDK anything about explosives, tbh, but what is the likelihood of the explosion just spattering cow remains everywhere in this situation too? It's not a whale, sure, but that's a fuckload of cow. I assume we have gotten better at blowing up animals since 1970...? IDEK what to think, lol. I am just like o.0
layweed 19th-Apr-2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
I wonder if that was the basis of that episode of The Simpsons a few seasons ago where they found a beached whale and blew it up with explosives.
madman101 19th-Apr-2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
"Hilarious to us, but a real pain in the ass for the park service."

I imagine the cows felt a bit put-out as well.

solution: either leave them there and make the area into a survivalist vacation spot or else, um,

air-lifting the carcasses to hungry people? just a thought.
alierakieron 19th-Apr-2012 08:09 pm (UTC)
You don't know how long they've been there, or if they were kept below freezing the entire time.
magli 19th-Apr-2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
This could be the comedy relief subplot of a West Wing episode. Imagine C.J. Cregg saying "Obviously, time is of the essence because we don't want them defrosting".
alierakieron 19th-Apr-2012 08:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you for a much needed belly laugh.
lickety_split 19th-Apr-2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
OMG @ THOSE OF U SAYIN U WOULD SRSLY SERVE SOME RANCID ASS DED-FUH-DAZE CATTLE TO PEOPLE

Just because they froze to death doesn't mean the ENTIRE CARCASS is frozen and cold enough for preservation. There's a reason why animals are taken apart soon after being slaughtered.
makemerun 19th-Apr-2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU OMG

I wrote this long comment and then was like, oh god, I can't post this. I don't want to get into an internet argument over not eating cattle that froze to death (and most likely froze and refroze throughout day-night cycles) and got pissed on by woodland creatures.
chantalzola 19th-Apr-2012 08:50 pm (UTC)
LOL this!!!!!!!!!! I grew up on a farm from ages 8 to 13, and we had some animals freeze to death on us (upstate NY). We usually ate our own meat, etc., but uh, not them.
spyral_path 19th-Apr-2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
Hilarious to us?

The mental image of several terrified animals slowly freezing to death is anything but hilarious. This is why I can't even talk to people who believe free range beef is humane.
sesmo 19th-Apr-2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
Free range cows = cows that wander around. Not clear how that relates to freezing to death, or for that matter how they are slaughtered.
tigerdreams 19th-Apr-2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
Does anyone have any notion of how difficult it would be to dismember these frozen cattle with axes? Because I get that they can't use power tools, but if they could send a bunch of guys in to hack them apart with axes and that would be even remotely feasible, it seems a lot less drastic than blowing up or setting fire to the whole building.
layweed 19th-Apr-2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
There's probably an accessibility issue, and then they would have to hack them up and carry them out by foot or something. It'd probably be easier to send in some people with explosives.

Of course, I can't imagine why blowing them up and leaving the bits and pieces would be any different than hacking them up and leaving the bits and pieces.
kira_snugz 19th-Apr-2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
am i the only one who thinks that this would make an awesome exercise for a military logistic unit? they are supposed to be able to get anything from point a to point b. and they would have so much money set aside for exercises, so why not do and exercise that will actually do some good. they call the military in to handle flooding and natural disasters, so i don't see why they can't call them in for this.

but i guess the park services can't really just call up the air force and be like "So theres these cows right? On a mountain, frozen to death. Some of them are in a cabin, and some of them are not. Maybe you guys could just, like, handle that for us?"
jwaneeta 19th-Apr-2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
Well, Park Service Rangers like to solve problems, and this is their problem rather the military's, after all. And those hotshot SRA kids are probably quite taken with the idea, heh. It is pretty hardcore, and they live for the gnarly and the hardcore.
jwaneeta 19th-Apr-2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
*blink blink*

Well, that's certainly a head scratcher for the rangers, I guess.

I went over the Rockies this last winter and I was amazed at all the livestock out in the frigid countryside. How can they avoid freezing to death, i wondered. I guess they don't. :/ Poor cows.
ms_maree 20th-Apr-2012 01:11 am (UTC)
Poor cows. I don't really find this hilarious tbh.
illusivevenstar 20th-Apr-2012 04:49 am (UTC)
How exactly is this hilarious? Animals slowly freezing to death is something to laugh at? wtf?
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