Posted on September 17, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
New lynx assessment could affect forest management and recreation planning; ski ares excluded from conservation zone
Mapping a lynx conservation strategy in Summit County. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service.
A Colorado Parks and Wildlife map shows habitat use by 118 lynx, with yellow representing low use, orange showing moderate use and blue showing high use.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — U.S. Forest Service biologists have identified a lynx conservation zone in southern Summit County where they hope to preserve and enhance as much lynx habitat as possible. The mapping was done after an assessment concluded that cumulative effects in the area may be “approaching or exceeding impact thresholds.”
Lynx tracking by Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists shows that Summit County is a critical area for lynx dispersing north from core habitat areas in the eastern San Juans. That trend could increase, as spruce beetles have devastated large swaths of favored lynx habitat in the southwestern part of the state.
Additionally, Summit County has several resident lynx. Denning females with kittens have been documented, so protecting movement areas and improving habitat could ensure the persistence of those lynx, as required by the Endangered Species Act.
“Summit County is right in the middle of it all … it’s pretty compelling. We have a lot of data to work with and it was time to pull it together, given Peak 6, and knowing all the other projects that were coming up,” said Dillon District Forest Service biologist Ashley Nettles. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, endangered species, Environment, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, Uncategorized | Tagged: biodiversity, Canada lynx, Colorado, endangered species, Environment, lynx, Summit County Colorado, U.S. Forest Service, White River National Forest | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 3, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Pittman-Robertson Act crucial to maintaining Colorado game herds
Funding derived from the Pittman-Robertson Act helped Colorado establish a moose population. Photo by Bob Berwyn.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Without much fanfare, wildlife managers around the country are celebrating a milestone this month, as the Pittman-Robertson Act turns 75.
If you’ve never heard of the Pittman-Robertson Act, you’re probably not alone, but if you value wildlife, you’ve probably benefited from what might is probably the single most effective funding tool for wildlife management and restoration.
Along with a companion measure — The Dingell-Johnson Act — passed several years later, the 11 percent excise tax on firearms and ammunition has helped restore charismatic species like wild turkeys, bald eagles and peregrine falcons. In Colorado, the funds have also been used to help pay for management and operations at 300 state wildlife areas. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks, federal government, fishing, hunting, recreation, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado parks and wildlife, Dingell-Johnson Act, hunting, Pittman-Robertson Act, wildlife conservation | 4 Comments »
Posted on August 21, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Study tracks north-south movement with more than 10 years of data
“Due to the poor precision of telemetry location estimates and the amount of time elapsed between locations, the straight line movement paths depicted in this analysis DO NOT represent exact or even approximate locations where lynx crossed I-70.” ~ Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks, endangered species, Environment, I-70, Summit County Colorado, transportation | Tagged: Canada lynx, Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Interstate 70, lynx, lynx dispersal in Colorado | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 31, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Southwestern Colorado trout fishery threatened by bass
Smallmouth bass illegally introduced to Colorado waters threaten native fish.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Bucket biologists are causing more headaches for Colorado wildlife managers by illegally stocking fish, including smallmouth bass at Miramonte Reservoir in San Miguel County.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is now planning to eradicate smallmouth bass by using an organic pesticide to kill all the fish in the reservoir and then rebuild this renowned trout fishery that attracts anglers from throughout the West. The operation is tentatively scheduled to occur in late summer or fall of 2013.
Along with threatening trout in the reservoir, the smallmouth bass are also a potential threat to three native fish species: Roundtail chub, the bluehead sucker and the flannelmouth sucker
In the meantime, Parks and Wildlife is implementing an emergency order that removes all bag and possession limits on smallmouth bass at Miramonte Reservoir.
“Killing all the fish in the reservoir lake is something we wish we didn’t have to do, but we know we must,” said Renzo DelPiccolo, area wildlife manager in Montrose. “People who illegally move fish into lakes, ponds and rivers are not only committing a criminal act, they are endangering native species, stealing a resource and recreational opportunity from thousands of anglers and negatively impacting the local community.” (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks, fishing, recreation | Tagged: Colorado, endangered species, fish, fishing, native species | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 22, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Wildlife managers implement voluntary fishing closure on the Yampa
Some Colorado rivers and streams will take a hit from the drought this summer, but fishing should be fine at high elevation reservoirs like Clinton Gulch.
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — During what should be the peak of the runoff season, some of Colorado’s streams and river are already on life support, including the Yampa River in Steamboat Springs, where state officials have asked anglers to observe a voluntary fishing closure.
The closure will be in effect from the upstream boundary of the Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area downstream through the city limits of Steamboat Springs, and anglers are asked to avoid this area.
Ron Velarde, regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the closure is voluntary for now and anglers are asked to avoid fishing there during the hottest part of the day, or preferably, to fish in other areas. If conditions worsen and several criteria established by regulation are met, a strict emergency closure enforced by law may become necessary. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Drought, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Blue River, Colorado, Colorado River, drought, fish, rivers, Yampa River | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 1, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Relatively low river flows make for good angling this year
Trent Park, Silverthorne, Colorado.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After the earliest snow-melt on record, many Colorado rivers and streams are already running clear and warming up. And with flows projected to drop off quickly going into summer, the upcoming free fishing weekend might be the perfect time to get into the groove of the season.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife traditionally sets aside the first full weekend in June to promote sport fishing. For this weekend only, anglers do not need a valid fishing license in order to wet a line. The state fishing report is online here.
“Fishing is one of Colorado’s most important outdoor traditions and a great way to hook kids on healthy outdoor recreation,” said Greg Gerlich, aquatic section manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Free fishing weekend also gives anglers who haven’t fished for a while a chance to reconnect with the simple pleasure of being on the water.” (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks, Dillon Reservoir, fishing, recreation | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado fishing, Colorado parks and wildlife, Colorado State Parks, free fishing in Colorado, free fishing weekend | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 25, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Some bears look cute and cuddly from afar, but they can cause trouble when habituated to humans and human food. PHOTO COURTESY USFSW.
Forest Service temporarily limits camping to hard-sided campers at Difficult campground
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — He might not be quite as smart as Yogi, but a black bear in the Aspen area seems to know that a campground might be an easy place to score a free meal.
Repeated sightings of the bear in the Difficult Campground, 6 miles east of the Aspen, have prompted Forest Service officials to enact camping restrictions, with to tents or soft-sided trailers or campers permitted for the time being. As per normal precautions, all unattended food and coolers must be contained in a bear box or locked vehicle and all garbage must be disposed of in trash containers. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, US Forest Service, White River National Forest, wildlife | Tagged: Aspen Colorado, bears, camping, Colorado, United States Forest Service | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 7, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Major restoration project set for the summer
Historic smelting activity around Leadville helped build Colorado’s wealth but destroyed precious natural resources. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Acid mine drainage in the Upper Arkansas River Basin. PHOTO COURTESY EPA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Decades of industrial-scale mining left parts of the Upper Arkansas around Leadville mostly lifeless, but restoration efforts at the California Gulch Superfund Site, along with treatment of contaminated water, should help boost some aquatic life to one of Colorado’s big rivers.
This summer’s project is a key part of the federal and state effort to restore an 18-square mile area where mining led to the discharge of heavy metals and acid at the headwaters of the Arkansas, making the river in that area unable to sustain healthy fish populations. The river currently supports a good trout population because of earlier mine cleanup efforts and will be further enhanced by the upcoming habitat improvements. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Arkansas River, California Gulch, Colorado, Colorado parks and wildlife, EPA, Leadville, Superfund cleanup | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 24, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A mule deer in Colorado. PHOTO COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.
Wildlife officers say mule deer carcass was left to rot in a dump near Granby with its head cut off
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — State wildlife officials are asking the public for help in tracking down a trophy hunter who left a headless mule deer carcass in a dump site along the Colorado River, a few miles west of Granby.
The carcass was discovered March 20, but based on evidence at the scene, wildlife officers believe the deer was harvested legally during last year’s hunting season, but never skinned and prepared for human consumption as required by law. The condition of the carcass suggests it was dumped only days before it was discovered.
Leaving the meat to waste is illegal in Colorado.
“This was a waste of Colorado’s wildlife resource, and we take it seriously,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife district wildlife manager Scott Murdoch. “It appears that the person who did this hung the animal after it was killed months ago, but never got around to actually preparing it for consumption.” (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, Granby, hunting, Mule deer, wildlife | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 21, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Licenses for the 2012-2012 season on sale; state fishery experts warn against ‘bucket biology’
Fishing in glassy water at a "hidden" cove along the shore of Dillon Reservoir.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Early spring weather might not be the best thing for skiers looking to extend the season, but it could be good news for Colorado anglers looking to get early access to high country lakes and streams.
And with the 2o12-2012 license year just a few weeks away, it could be a good time to make sure you’re ready by buying or renewing your license. The latest fishing brochure, with regulations and other info, is also available where licenses are sold and online at http://www.flipseekpubs.com/publication/?i=99616.
Memorial Day fishing at the Dillon Marina.
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks, fishing, recreation, seasons, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: 2012 fishing season, brook trout, Colorado, Colorado fishing regulations, Cutthroat trout, fishing, fishing license, Rainbow Trout, Summit County fishing | 1 Comment »