Forest Service in quandary about Colorado frozen cows

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DENVER — It may take explosives to dislodge a group of cows that wandered into an old ranger cabin high in the Rocky Mountains, then died and froze solid when they couldn’t get out.

The carcasses were discovered by two Air Force Academy cadets when they snow-shoed up to the cabin in late March. Rangers believe the animals sought shelter during a snowstorm and got stuck and weren’t smart enough to find their way out.

The cabin is located near the Conundrum Hot Springs, a nine-mile hike from the Aspen area in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area.

Michael Carroll, a spokesman for the Wilderness Society in Colorado, said cattle are often allowed to wander on federal wilderness lands as long as ranchers get a permit from the Forest Service, and sometimes the animals get separated from the herd.