Bone yard on Moffat County Road 7 used by CPW and others to dump animal carcasses
A bone yard lies in a gully about an eighth of a mile before the turnoff to Cedar Mountain where farmers, hunters and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have been dumping animal carcasses for an unknown number of years.
“This is an area that has been very commonly used by the public to dispose of animals,” said Mike Porras, northwest public information officer for CPW.
CPW has also used the spot for the same purpose, Porras confirmed.
“We have used it on occasion, not regularly, but when we’ve exhausted all other options to dispose of an animal we have taken it to this area,” he said.
A variety of animals including, mule deer, elk and even a bear are visible in all stages of decay.
Porras said this practice is not ideal and they do not encourage dumping animals on public land, but it isn’t an unusual occurrence. He does not suspect this spot to be related to poaching activity.
Animals struck and killed by vehicles also are placed in the gully.
Dead animals left on the side of the road pose a potential danger to drivers, said Chris Joyner, public affairs specialist for the Bureau of Land Management.
Birds that feed on the decaying carcasses are increasingly susceptible to being struck by passing vehicles the closer those carcasses are to the road.
Joyner said different agencies have different protocols for handling dead animals and although this is not the ideal way of dealing with remains, it is preferable to leaving them on the side of the road.
“If the carcass was posing a safety risk to humans, we’d rather it be dumped there than continue to be a safety risk,” he said.
Joyner emphasized that a deposit of animal remains is a much different issue than illegally dumped garbage.
“If there were televisions and refrigerators and things like that started getting dumped there, then absolutely we would be doing something about it right away,” he said.
Sharing thanks, enjoying some laughs, and shedding a few tears are an indicator of the emotional levels that always seem to come with Moffat County High School graduation.