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.


  1. 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

  2. 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.



Play nice, now.