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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.
castalianspring 19th-Apr-2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
It's a tough field to break into, from what Park Service people have told me. Basically you need to be a veteran or start at the bottom by volunteering and get majorly lucky.
layweed 19th-Apr-2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'd imagine it's easier if you have a degree that's related, but with budget cuts and everything..

Plus, it seems like a lot of what the Park Service does these days is policing parks, which isn't something I'd be into. =\
castalianspring 19th-Apr-2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
Well, sort of but not really? The last work conference I went to, the were Park Service people there talking about how to get hired. With all the online automated questionnaires that give applicants a score to get on to the next stage, they said you really had to be a veteran to get through, b/c that would trump other applicants every time.

And yeah, unless you're an interpretive guide, it's lots of policing. Or land management types of things.
chantalzola 19th-Apr-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
I've heard that on top of what you said, you also need to know people already in the service.
jwaneeta 19th-Apr-2012 11:19 pm (UTC)
I'm a veteran and a volunteer and I AM GOING FOR IT. :DDDDDDD
castalianspring 19th-Apr-2012 11:32 pm (UTC)
Best of luck! I hope you can get in :)
jwaneeta 20th-Apr-2012 03:35 am (UTC)
Thank you!
fenris_lorsrai 19th-Apr-2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
My father was the ranger for several girl scout camps across state. He mostly got to fix misc things and occasionally got calls of "OMG THERE'S A BEAR!!!" yes, and... I am supposed to do what about the bear? did you put the food in the knickerbocker like you were supposed to? no... well let the bear eat it and it will go away. problem solved.

He did also get called for dead deer in places. They took months to rot out and you'd still have big piles of bones for almost a year afterward. and they're about 1/5th the size of a cow...
layweed 19th-Apr-2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
Doesn't really seem as glamormous as I'd imagined it to be as a kid. You know, living in the wilderness, sweeping vistas, beautiful forests..
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