Craig briefs: Moffat County Board of Education to convene on Thursday
The Moffat County Board of Education will hold its first meeting of the school year at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Moffat County School District Administration Building at 775 Yampa Ave. All are welcome to attend.
Beware of mountain lions at monument
Staff at Dinosaur National Monument are reminding visitors that they are visiting mountain lion country when traveling in the monument, especially in the backcountry and along the river canyons, according to a press release.
On July 22, fresh evidence of an animal killed by a mountain lion was found in the Echo Park area. Signs of the kill included paw prints, blood, fur and drag marks from the mountain lion moving an animal from a meadow south of a restroom, across a road and into the brush along the Green River. A 72-hour closure was placed on the area immediately around the kill site to minimize disturbance of the mountain lion as it feeds. The closure has now been lifted. Prior to this event, a visitor on a rafting trip on the Green River noticed a mountain lion watching him from a ledge above the Rippling Brook campsite.
Visitors are reminded that although mountain lions, also known as cougars, are rare to see, all of Dinosaur National Monument is suitable habitat. Visitors should take appropriate precautions when recreating within the monument.
“As the higher-elevation areas in the monument dry out, deer and elk will move to the river corridors to find better forage. Mountain lions will follow these animals since they are the lions’ preferred food source,” Chief of Resource Management Wayne Prokopetz said in a statement.
Hikers, boaters and campers are encouraged to be alert for their presence and report mountain lion sightings as soon as possible at a visitor center or ranger station. Visitors should remember the following safety tips:
To prevent an encounter:
■ Don’t hike or jog alone.
■ Keep children within sight and close to you.
■ Avoid dead animals.
■ Keep a clean camp.
■ Leave pets at home.
■ Be alert to your surroundings.
■ Use a walking stick.
If you meet a mountain lion:
■ Don’t run, as this may trigger a cougar’s attack instinct.
■ Stand and face it.
■ Pick up children.
■ Appear large, wave arms or jacket over your head.
■ Do not approach, back away slowly.
■ Keep eye contact.
If you encounter a mountain lion, and it acts aggressive:
■ Do not turn your back or take your eyes off it.
■ Remain standing.
■ Throw things.
■ Shout loudly.
■ Fight back aggressively.
In addition to mountain lions, other wildlife, such as deer, elk, black bear and bighorn sheep, are prevalent in the monument. Be alert for animals crossing the roads — particularly at dawn and dusk. Never approach or feed any animals in the monument.
For more information about Dinosaur National Monument, call 435-781-7700. You also can visit http://www.nps.gov/dino, or follow DinosaurNPS on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr.