February 25, 2024

Wolverines to be Reintroduced to Colorado

Colorado is looking to bring back the wolverine, thus successfully "retconning" that Cold War movie hit Red Dawn. (Supposedly set in Colorado, it was actually filmed in and around Las Vegas, New Mexico,  just like the Longmire TV series decades later.)

This, not C. Thomas Howell, is a wolverine. (Photo by Chris Stermer/
California Department of Fish and Wildlife.)

According to Colorado Public Radio

Colorado’s wildlife specialists are nearly finished with updates to a plan that could return a carnivorous mammal to the Centennial State. 

Aside from the first five letters of their name, wolverines have little in common with wolves, the species that draws the majority of headlines for wildlife management. One thing they do have in common is that they were once prolific in the West. 

“Wolverine was largely extirpated from the Western United States by about the 1930s,” Jeff Copeland, director at the Wolverine Foundation in Idaho said. “We don't know, necessarily, exactly why. It probably had to do with at the turn of the century there was heavy livestock grazing in the Western United States — heavy enough that it tended to displace other large ungulates — deer, elk, moose, sheep — animals that are very important to the wolverines, particularly as winter diet. Plus, there was widespread, wholesale poisoning campaigns going to keep predators away from livestock.” 

At least wolverines won't be as "sexy" as wolves. There probably will not be any wolverine-viewing bus tours. You won't hear people bragging on their wolverine X dogs, since they are mustelids (like weasels), not canids.

Probably won't see Governor Polis holding a photo op either.

"After the movie was released in 1984, The National Coalition on Television Violence deemed Red Dawn 'the most violent movie ever made.'" The NCTV obviously never met a real wolverine.


Darrell said...

For the Last Wolverine
They will soon be down

To one, but he still will be
For a little while still will be stopping

The flakes in the air with a look,
Surrounding himself with the silence
Of whitening snarls. Let him eat
The last red meal of the condemned

To extinction, tearing the guts

From an elk. Yet that is not enough
For me. I would have him eat

The heart, and from it, have an idea
Stream into his gnarling head
That he no longer has a thing
To lose, and so can walk

Out into the open, in the full

Pale of the sub-Arctic sun
Where a single spruce tree is dying

Higher and higher. Let him climb it
With all his meanness and strength.
Lord, we have come to the end
Of this kind of vision of heaven,

As the sky breaks open

Its fans around him and shimmers
And into its northern gates he rises

Snarling complete in the joy of a weasel
With an elk’s horned heart in his stomach
Looking straight into the eternal
Blue, where he hauls his kind. I would have it all

My way: at the top of that tree I place

The New World’s last eagle
Hunched in mangy feathers giving

Up on the theory of flight.
Dear God of the wildness of poetry, let them mate
To the death in the rotten branches,
Let the tree sway and burst into flame

And mingle them, crackling with feathers,

In crownfire. Let something come
Of it something gigantic legendary

Rise beyond reason over hills
Of ice screaming that it cannot die,
That it has come back, this time
On wings, and will spare no earthly thing:

That it will hover, made purely of northern

Lights, at dusk and fall
On men building roads: will perch

On the moose’s horn like a falcon
Riding into battle into holy war against
Screaming railroad crews: will pull
Whole traplines like fibres from the snow

In the long-jawed night of fur trappers.

But, small, filthy, unwinged,
You will soon be crouching

Alone, with maybe some dim racial notion
Of being the last, but none of how much
Your unnoticed going will mean:
How much the timid poem needs

The mindless explosion of your rage,

The glutton’s internal fire the elk’s
Heart in the belly, sprouting wings,

The pact of the “blind swallowing
Thing,” with himself, to eat
The world, and not to be driven off it
Until it is gone, even if it takes

Forever. I take you as you are

And make of you what I will,
Skunk-bear, carcajou, bloodthirsty

Lord, let me die but not die

Chas S. Clifton said...

Thanks for that.

Pitch313 said...

I read your post yesterday morning [2/25/23], thinking of my connection to the University of Michigan as a guest student.

The afternoon news reported a wolverine sighting in Barlow, Oregon, not all that far from where I reside.

O my synchronicity.