Gunnison Basin mule deer management to be discussed
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has scheduled two public meetings to discuss new management plans for mule deer in the Gunnison Basin.
The first meeting will be from 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday at the College Center building north ballroom at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison. The second meeting will be from 5:30-8 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Coursey Annex, 317 Henson Street in Lake City.
Parks and Wildlife is in the initial stages of revising plans for the three mule deer herds in the area: the West Elk Herd in Game Management Unit 54; the Taylor River herd in GMUs 55 and 551; and the Powderhorn herd in GMUs 66 and 67. At the meetings, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials will explain the process and timeline for establishing the new management plans, discuss the current status of each deer herd and discuss future management with the public.
These meetings will include a formal presentation, but will also provide an open-house setting where members of the public can discuss deer management with the local District Wildlife Managers for their areas.
Brandon Diamond, terrestrial biologist in Gunnison, recommends that those interested in the planning process take a moment to fill out the on-line surveys posted on the Parks and Wildlife website. The short surveys will provide information to wildlife managers about the public’s opinions and attitudes about mule deer and hunting in the basin.
The surveys can be accessed through the agency web site. In the middle of the home page, http://wildlife.state.co.us/Pages/Home.aspx, under “Things to Know”, click on “Public comment needed on Herd Management (DAU) plans.” Then go to the box titled, “Mule Deer in the Gunnison Basin (Survey).”
The surveys will be posted through Aug. 10, and will only take a few minutes to complete.
Draft versions of the management plans are scheduled to be completed by early October and will include a summary of the public process up to that point. They will be posted on-line and the public will be able to review them and submit additional written comments. The final draft management plans will go before the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission for consideration in January. The objectives described in the plans will guide management direction beginning with the 2013 big game season.