The new refuge is part of the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Ventura, Calif.
Rocky Mountain Ecology
The dunes, in the San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado, are among the most biologically significant areas in Colorado, where 700-foot-high dunes rise against the backdrop of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
The proposed expansion would involve construction of four lifts and 885 acres of ski runs, 12.2 miles of service roads and a new restaurant. The Colorado Environmental Coalition believes this development would destroy or fragment most of the wildlife habitat in the area.
The controversial wolf-reintroduction program is an historic milestone as wolves were wiped out of the Rocky Mountains earlier this century to protect sheep and cattle. Most environmentalists hailed the program as a step toward restoring a long-lost natural balance.