Mule deer meetings on tap in Colorado

Populations falling short of target goal

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hosting a series of meetings in western Colorado this month to discuss concerns about Colorado’s mule deer population.

The meetings begin in Gunnison on May 5 and continue in Grand Junction on May 13 and Craig on May 20.

Held in coordination with The Keystone Center, an independent facilitator, the meetings are designed to collect public input on a proposed Colorado West Slope Mule Deer Strategy. The strategy will guide agency efforts to increase mule deer populations.

In recent years, mule deer populations in Colorado and across the West have decreased below the target objectives set by wildlife managers in concert with the public. The meetings launched by Colorado Parks and Wildlife is an effort to bring together all interested parties, including members of the general public, to meet Parks and Wildlife staff and discuss the issues facing mule deer and consider solutions.

“The declining mule deer population is concerning to our agency and many stakeholders across the state,” said Chad Bishop, assistant director of wildlife and natural resources for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Due to the variety of factors that influence deer populations, we are looking for public feedback on an approach that brings together everyone’s limited resources in an impactful way.”

“We truly want to hear from sportsmen, landowners, industry, conservationists and other constituents about their current experiences with mule deer and their ideas moving forward to increase the population,” added Ron Velarde, Northwest Region manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Meetings are set for:

■  Gunnison­— May 5, 6-9 p.m., Western State Colorado University, Aspinall-Wilson Center, 909 Escalante Drive

■  Grand Junction — May 13, 
6-9 p.m. Country Inns of America, 718 Horizon Drive

■  Craig — May 20, 6-9 p.m. Moffat County Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way


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