The Wolverines Make a Comeback in Colorado

Photo courtesy of Sarah Pizzo
I was born and raised in the Colorado Rockies, where I roamed the wild, open space around my childhood home. I woke many dawns to the trumpet-like calls of rutting elk or the chattering of angry squirrels. I spent many nights under starry skies, crickets chirping and coyotes howling around me. There’s nothing I’m more passionate about than my Colorado wildlife.

Except, perhaps, my Michigan Wolverines! As a former University of Michigan athlete, I’m a dedicated Wolverine fanatic. I’ve been watching all season as the Michigan men’s basketball team returns to greatness. Not since “The Fab Five” of the early 90s has the team looked so good. The Wolverines ranked as high as #1 in the nation this year. And they just defeated two perennial powerhouse teams to make it to the NCAA Final Four. After two decades in the making, I think the Wolverines have an excellent shot at winning the Championship.

National Wildlife Photo Contest entry by Robert Postma.
Back on the home front, I’m excited about another wolverine comeback: the return of a wild wolverine to Colorado. Wolverines once flourished in Colorado, where the large quantity of high alpine habitat sustained the winter-loving animals.  By 1919, predator control efforts had completely wiped out the state’s wolverine population. Then, in 2009, a lone male – “M-56” – made his way into the state and took up residence in the high peaks near Rocky Mountain National Park.  Wildlife experts, encouraged by this homecoming, are now mulling the possibility of reintroducing a small population of wolverines in Colorado.

It’s been decades in the making…I think the wolverines are ready for their comeback.