Discussion on Gunnison sage grouse

The Gunnison sage-grouse was proposed last January for protection under the Endagnerd Species Act. Fewer than 5,000 of the birds remain, with the largest population found in the Gunnison Basin. Geoff Tischbein/Special to the Sentinel

The Gunnison sage grouse, considered one of the country’s most-endangered birds although not yet officially listed as such, will be the topic of attention at two gatherings in the next two weeks.

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission travels to Gunnison on Thursday and Friday for its monthly meeting, and part of the time will be spent talking with Gunnison County representatives about the sage grouse.

Last January, the Gunnison sage grouse was proposed to be listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act.

While there is no exact population number available, Western State Colorado University researchers say only one population, the Gunnison Basin population, has more than 500 individuals during the breeding season, and that population contains approximately 75 percent of all remaining individuals in the species.

Also, the Parks and Wildlife Commission will discuss elk-management plans for parts of western Colorado and hear a presentation about revenue concerns and a budget update.

The commission is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Arizona Game and Fish and Dakota Partners about efforts being done in other states to retain and recruit hunters.

The commission meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Aspinall-Wilson Center on the Western State Colorado University campus.

A full agenda and meeting details are available online at wildlife.state.co.us.

The Black Canyon Audubon Society will feature Leigh Robertson, coordinator of the San Miguel Basin Gunnison sage grouse working group, as the speaker at the BCAS annual summer meeting and banquet at 6 p.m. June 13 at The Bridges Golf Course in Montrose.

Robertson is scheduled to speak about the efforts of listing the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act and the pros and cons of such a listing.

Information about the Black Canyon Audubon Society annual summer meeting is available from Elaine Probasco, 252-0918, or Jon Horn, 249-6761, ext. 14.


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