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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

It's interesting that the introduction into Debeque was based on petroglyphs that said the area used to support bighorns. Biologists I would understand. But petroglyphs? Today's climate may be far different from what it was hundreds or thousands of years ago. It's widely believed, for example, that communal dwellings in the four corners area were abandoned due to climate changes.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this and they're just using the 'glyphs to build some sort of historic precedent. It just seemed like an odd justification.

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

Bringing back the bighorn sheep in Debeque Canyon was a poor decision in my opinion, not because of the petroglyphs, but because a major highway (interstate 70) goes through that canyon. Its a heavily traveled busy road.

The bighorn sheep were introduced on the eastern side of the mountains by Georgetown (west of Denver also along highway 70) a number of years ago, and they are wonderful to see along the highway, but they have caused numerous problems, from collisions to people simply gawking.

The DOW is the first to admit that bighorn sheep don't do well around people, they get easily stressed and sick, so why would they introduce them into a busy heavily traveled canyon?

I'm not familiar with the Animas Canyon, but I hope its doesn't have a major highway running through the middle of it.

[ This Message was edited by: cowgal on 2003-03-13 11:12 ]

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

Nope -- The Durango & Silverton RR runs through Animas Canyon, but that's about it. The tourists are going to love the sheep.

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

I wondered if that was the canyon, I knew it was in the right area but wasn't sure if it actually was the canyon that the narrow gauge used. That will be fun! Better than trying to catch a glimpe of the bighorn from the highway.

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

Yeah just 'glyphs for evidence does sound a bit wacky. Who knows what the creators were actually doodling. The curly thing on the head of the four legged stick figure may have been "artistic liberty".

However, there was the evidence of sheep bones as well and carbon dating would be able to pin down the time frame on the bones pretty acurately.

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

Who knows? Maybe prehistoric petroglyph artists were just rebellious teenagers tagging their turf. Makes me wonder if thousands of years from now somebody will dig up a men's room wall and draw all sorts of conclusions about our anatomy and social habits.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-03-18 19:13 ]

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

That is an interesting possibility. If it was rebelling teens, I wonder if the tribal counsel outlawed the possession of rocks to stop the drawings. Recently several Denver suburbs have banned the possession of markers by youth in an effort to stop graffiti.

The chief anthroplogical information derived from one men's room wall would be that 20th century man only needed to dial a few numbers to have a good time.

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Colorado DOW Releases Bighorns in Debeque and Animas Canyons

O.K. , lets get back to the sheep.The DOW does things that nobody can figure out. It probably is a good political move to put sheep there. The squeeky wheel gets the grease! If they released them in a Wilderness Area-hey, who would see them, except a few Canadian Lynx.

[ This Message was edited by: swollen tongue on 2003-04-15 19:00 ]

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