Rocky Mountain Research Station needs help from Tenth Mountain members with it's Vail Pass lynx study

Dear 10th Mountain Division Hut users,

The Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) is a mid-sized carnivore that is identified by its long black ear tufts and large feet. Lynx are mostly secretive and rarely seen in the wild. They inhabit remote forested areas in Colorado, including areas near Vail Pass. Members of the USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, MT, in cooperation with the White River National Forest and other agencies, are conducting research to determine if lynx are affected by increased winter recreation, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. We don't fully understand how lynx respond to winter recreation during the winter.

We received your email address from the Colorado 10th Mountain Division Hut Association reservation list. We are asking Hut users to carry a small GPS unit with armband (only weighs a few ounces- see photo), while they recreate on Vail Pass. We are only interested if you are staying in one of the following huts:

1. Shrine Mountain
2. Jackal Hut
3. Janet's Cabin
4. Fowler/Hillard Hut
5. Vance's Cabin
6. Francie's Cabin

Once finished with your hut trip, we request that you return the GPS unit to one of several convenient drop boxes. Your participation is completely voluntary; last year over 90% of recreationists who were invited to participate in this study on Vail Pass chose to participate. No identifying information is retained from recreationist’s tracks. By asking recreationists to carry small GPS units, we are able to “match” recreation use—timing and place—to lynx activities as determined from radiocollared lynx. This information will be used in future management decisions regarding winter recreation and lynx.

If you are interested in participating in this study, we will send you a GPS unit by mail or coordinate a location for you to pick up the GPS. To be included, please email us the following information:

1. Date of planned hut visit
2. Hut name
3. Your mailing address

Thank you for your help,

John Squires
Rocky Mountain Research Station
Research Wildlife Biologist
Forestry Science Laboratory
800 E. Beckwith
Missoula, MT 59801

406-542-4164 - Office