Uncompahgre Partnership works to improve seed planting in state
The Uncompahgre Partnership began in 1998, when state and federal agencies and members of local communities gathered to study mule deer habitat and survival on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
The mule deer discussion soon expanded when it became evident that mule deer, like canaries in the coal mines, were an indicator species of larger ecosystem problems.
In 1999, the Uncompahgre Plateau Project formally began, and by 2001 the Uncompahgre Partnership was formed, consisting of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and members of the community effort known as the Public Lands Partnership.
In 2002, the Native Plant Program was initiated. Two years later, that program had spread across the Upper Colorado Plateau Region, including western Colorado and parts of Utah.
In 2004, Western Area Power Administration and Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Inc, whose power lines cross the plateau, joined the partnership.
Early in its development, the Uncompahgre Partnership realized humans have had a significant impact on the 2,300 square mile (1.5 million acres) plateau, 75 percent which is public land.
“Human activities appear to have significantly changed the ecological complexion of the Uncompahgre Plateau,” states the UP on its web site, http://www.upartnership.org. “The effect of human’s (sic) activities has been an overall reduction in land health.”
Projects include fire management, landscape manipulation, restoring native plant communities and working with livestock raisers.
The Uncompahgre Partnership Native Seed Program is part of the effort and several native plant restoration workshops have been in Colorado and Utah, including one in 2007 in Grand Junction.