Wolf Creek Lynx

By: AP
By: AP

Federal wildlife managers say a development proposed at the base of one of Colorado's most rustic ski areas won't jeopardize overall survival of the federally protected lynx.

But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also says 43 lynx could be lost if Texas billionaire Billy Joe "Red" McCombs builds a huge ski village at the base of Wolf Creek ski area in southwestern Colorado.

The service's draft biological opinion estimates that eleven of the cats could be hit and killed by heavier traffic.

The other 32 could die because of a loss of habitat.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has released roughly 200 Canada lynx in the southwestern part of the state to restore the long-haired cat to Colorado.

Environmentalists and the ski area's operators are suing the ski village developers and federal and local officials, claiming they've rubber stamped approval of the project.

Lynx are classified as "threatened" on the endangered species list and receive federal protection.

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