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Colorado: Wildlife experts to offer update on mule deer studies

Mule deer in winter. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Mule deer in winter sagebrush habitat. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say they want feedback from public

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With several extensive research projects on northwest Colorado mule deer populations under way, biologists say they want to update the public on those efforts. A long-term trend of declining populations has spurred several studies, as scientists look at predation, food supplies and energy development as possible factors.

To discuss their findings so far, wildlife managers are inviting the public to a presentation with biologists, researchers and wildlife officials, Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main Street in Meeker. Continue reading

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Biodiversity: Draft wolverine plan gets mixed reviews

Draft listing proposal ends with mixed reviews

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The USFWS takes another step toward finalizing a wolverine recovery effort. Photo courtesy USFWS/Steve Kroschel.

By Bob Berwyn

*Click here for more Summit Voice wolverine stories

FRISCO —A draft federal proposal to list wolverines as threatened under the Endangered Species Act elicited mixed reviews as the formal comment period ended May 6. Some states  in the northern Rockies opposed the proposal, saying that wolverines don’t need federal protection, but Colorado is generally supportive of the plan. At the same time, coalition of conservation groups asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ratchet up protection with an “endangered” listing.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will now consider all the comments and finalize a listing decision during the next year.

Wolverines are the largest member of the weasel family. They were hunted, poisoned and trapped to near extinction across much of their range in the early 20th century. Since then, populations recovered in the North Cascades, as well the Northern Rocky Mountains in Idaho, Montana, Oregon (Wallowa Range), and Wyoming. Continue reading

Colorado: Volunteer camp hosts wanted

Summer stints include guiding activities at state hatcheries

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Enjoy the great outdoors as a volunteer camp host with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Staff Report

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is looking for Volunteer Camp Hosts for the 2013 summer season. Being a camp host is a great way to spend the summer enjoying the outdoors and helping out at wildlife areas, hatcheries or campgrounds. Continue reading

Colorado: Celebrating migratory birds

May is prime-time for our fine-feathered friends

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Itinerant shorebirds sometimes wind up at Dillon Reservoir, in Summit County, Colorado, for a short stop-over. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — If you’ve been hearing a lot of chirping and twittering in the great outdoors these days, it’s  because the birds are back. More specifically, dozens of species of migratory birds are on the move, headed for nesting grounds in North America from non-breeding areas in South and Central America, and the Caribbean.

That’s why birders are gearing up for International Migratory Bird Day, held each year on the second Saturday in May as a way to recognize the winged wonders that travel the globe each spring and fall, migrating thousands of miles from their wintering grounds to nesting grounds and back again. Continue reading

Colorado: Poaching investigation ends with convictions

Michigan men hit with fines, banned from Colorado for 5 years

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A Colorado elk herd. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Three Michigan men who poached elk, bear and bobcats in Colorado have been convicted and sentenced for their crimes after a long-running investigation by wildlife officials in both states.

In all, the investigation implicated eight men, including several from Colorado, who were engaged in systematic violations of game laws during illegal hunts that took place in the King Mountain area of southern Routt County in Colorado. Continue reading

Colorado: Drones eyed for greater sage-grouse monitoring

Public invited to learn more about the use of unmanned aircraft at a demonstration in Kremmling

FORT scientist and Raven-A sUAS pilot Leanne Hanson launches the drone. USGS photo.

FORT scientist and Raven-A sUAS pilot Leanne Hanson launches the drone in the San Luis Valley as part of an effort to monitor sandhill cranes.  USGS photo.

Greater sage-grouse. Photo courtesy USFWS.

Greater sage-grouse. Photo courtesy USFWS.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — State and federal scientists may use small drones to monitor greater sage-grouse in their breeding grounds, and will offer the public a chance to see how the technology works starting next week.

The planned test flights are a collaboration between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Geological Survey. The agencies will conduct test flights to evaluate whether the small unmanned aircraft can save time and money and offer a safer and enhanced alternative to gather greater sage-grouse data.

The low-flying aircraft may be able to get more detailed counts of the threatened birds, and may even help biologists find previously unknown leks.

“The aircraft proved successful in other recent wildlife inventory projects conducted by USGS,” said Lyle Sidener, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Hot Sulphur Springs. “We are interested to see if greater sage-grouse will tolerate the craft flying near their leks at the lower altitudes necessary to provide useful data.” Continue reading

Summit County: State biologists want your input on fishing

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Fishing at the Dillon Marina.

Public meeting set for March 18 at Silverthorne library

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Fishing season is right around the corner, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists want input from local anglers on fish management in Summit County’s lakes, reservoirs and streams.

“In addition to science and biology, we rely on the public’s input for our wildlife management decisions and strategies,” said Jon Ewert, aquatic Biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Hot Sulphur Springs. “We want to make decisions the public will support, so we encourage everyone to come out and tell us what they think.”

Ewert said this week’s meeting at the Silverthorne library (Monday, March 18, 6:30 p.m.) upcoming meeting at the  will function as a “data workshop” which he describes as being effective in encouraging discussion and interaction between the agency and sportsmen. Continue reading

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