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Wildlife and environmental issues

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Guidelines for Watching Wildlife

From the Colorado State Trails Program

  • Observe animals from a safe distance. Be especially sensitive to adults with their young.
  • Move slowly and casually, not directly at wildlife. Allow animals to keep you in view; do not surprise them.
  • Never chase or harass wildlife. Harassment of wildlife is unlawful.
  • Leave your pets at home. At best they hinder wildlife watching; at worst they can chase, injure or kill wildlife.
  • Limit the time you spend watching if animals appear to be stressed.
  • Avoid animals that behave strangely or aggressively. They may be ill.
  • Respect others who are viewing the same animals.
  • Do not feed wild animals.
  • Respect private property. Ask first before entering private land.
  • Be aware of creatures that reside around the trail.
  • If you encounter wildlife, stand still and let it pass. Watch. Don't chase.
  • If you encounter a bear or mountain lion, stay calm. Do not run and teach children not to run. Runners appear to be prey.
  • Look around to make sure you aren't separating the animal from its young, then back away slowly, avoiding eye contact. Make yourself appear bigger.


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