Enviros Claim Hunting Decimated Rocky Mountain Construction Cranes

Environmental groups such as Cranes Very Limited (CVL) are blaming Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which previously decided to allow limited hunting of Rocky Mountain Construction Cranes, for the fact that these once common beasts now are rarely spotted in Steamboat Springs.A Routt County crane hunter, complete in camouflage gear, lines up a shot for his licensed harvesting of a Rocky Mountain Construction Crane.A Routt County crane hunter, complete in camouflage gear, lines up a shot for his licensed harvesting of a Rocky Mountain Construction Crane.

"When Parks and Wildlife allowed 'limited hunting' of these construction cranes, they failed to take into account that the cranes often travel in packs or 'crews,'" noted Ryg Watcher, head of CVL. "It seems to me, and many other 'crane heads,' that the hunting of a few construction cranes scared off the entire species, as we can't find them anywhere in Steamboat anymore."

The environmental group noted that a lack of construction cranes in Steamboat has had a trickle-down effect on a wide variety of people and businesses--effects that may not have been thought of when the hunting permits were handed out.

"Parks and Wildlife may not have realized this, but it wasn't just about people like me wanting to look at the beautiful construction cranes through our binoculars," added Watcher. "It turns out that it's very difficult to build major real-estate projects without these beautiful creatures. As an unintended consequence, it seems that the construction and real-estate professions have been just as decimated as the cranes by this reckless hunting."

During the latest public meeting, crane scientists noted that the only verified local spotting of a construction crane was seen near the newly opened WalSheens drug and pornography store, but since WalSheens is considered an invasive species and not a natural dweller in Steamboat Springs, it didn't count. Someone also noted that a construction crane briefly roosted at the Ski Howme sporting goods store, but it just held a large bike aloft for some unknown reason and didn't actually do any constructing, so it, too, didn't count in the scientists' official tallies.

The scientists also noted that because the "natural checks and balances of nature" were disrupted by the hunting, a lack of cranes has resulted in a ten-fold explosion of underemployed real-estate agents. Surprisingly, Colorado Parks and Wildlife agreed that the real-estate agent population has unnaturally exploded and could pose a threat to other wildlife species, so the division is hoping to soon introduce hunting licenses that would allow sportsmen and sportswomen to "harvest" 100-150 real-estate agents each year.

Such news was readily welcomed by the local hunting population, which considers real-estate agents "good eats" due to their typically sedentary and well-fed lifestyles. In fact, the news was welcomed by everyone except the actual agents themselves.

"Our family can survive on a typical Coldwell Banker agent for up to a month," noted Redd Meat, a hunter living near Clark, Colo. "We call Coldwells the 'filet mignon' of the real-estate agent species."

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