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.
Public invited to learn more about the use of unmanned aircraft at a demonstration in Kremmling
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 “Colorado: Drones eyed for greater sage-grouse monitoring”→
Research to help conservation and recreation planning efforts
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — A multi-year Forest Service study aimed at better understanding how lynx react to human recreational activities was expanded to new areas in Colorado this year, including Loveland Pass, Leadville and Telluride.
Previous efforts have focused on the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area, where scientists captured lynx and fitted them with collars to transmit GPS data. At the same time, the Forest Service researchers asked skiers and snowmobilers to take GPS transmitters along on their excursions.
A thorough analysis of the data will help land managers make science-based decisions about how to allocate resources as they balance the demand for recreation with a mandate to protect habitat for rare animals like lynx, protected under the Endangered Species Act. Continue reading “Colorado: Lynx study expanded to Loveland Pass”→
Outfitter Dennis Eugene Rodebaugh sentenced to 41 months in prison for numerous wildlife violations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — In a classic tale of poacher versus game warden, a Meeker man apparently carried on a hunting business using illegal baiting to lure wildlife for his out-of-state clients, perhaps for as long as 20 years.
After other local residents tipped them off, state and federal agents launched an eight-year investigation that culminated last week, when U.S. District Court Judge Christine Arguello sentencing Dennis Eugene Rodebaugh, 72, owner of D & S Outfitters of Meeker, to 41 months in federal prison. He must also pay $37,390 in restitution to the state and forfeit two all-terrain vehicles and a trailer used in the commission of his crimes.
In September 2012, a federal jury in Denver found Rodebaugh guilty of six felony violations of the Lacey Act, a federal law that prohibits the transportation of illegally taken wildlife across state lines.
Baiting wildlife is illegal in Colorado and most of Rodebaugh’s clients were out-of-state hunters. As part of his sentence, Rodebaugh must also pay a $7500 fine that will go to the Lacey Act Reward Fund.
“This individual showed grievous disregard for wildlife laws, a considerable lack of ethics and he never expressed remorse,” said lead investigator Bailey Franklin, district wildlife manager in Meeker. “It took tremendous resources and man-hours to bring him to justice and we are very satisfied with the sentence.” Continue reading “Colorado: Meeker outfitter gets jail time for baiting game”→
State resource managers seek input from hunters and anglers
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —With deer herds in northwestern Colorado declining and the state’s trout likely facing another long, dry summer, wildlife managers may be looking at some tough choices in the months ahead.
To get some input from active hunters and anglers in the region, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is putting together regional caucuses to meet and discuss wildlife issues with managers, biologists and agency officials, with an upcoming meeting set for Feb. 20 in Grand Junction (6 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel, 755 Horizon Drive).
In addition to the wildlife-related discussion, attendees will select two delegates to represent the region’s wildlife concerns at the newly formed Sportsmen’s Roundtable to be held in Denver next month. The roundtable will provide hunters and anglers from the four regions of the state with direct access to agency officials, including wildlife commissioners. Continue reading “Colorado: New wildlife roundtable forming”→
Colorado wildlife officials disappointed by listing proposal
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Despite ongoing voluntary conservation measures, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this week that the best available science indicates that the Gunnison sage-grouse is in danger of extinction and needs protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Grand County killing described as an ‘egregious act’
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say they are launching an all-out investigation to apprehend the person or persons responsible for killing a cow moose and her two calves in Grand County.
“This is an outrageous incident,” said Ron Velarde, northwest regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “My officers are preparing an all-out effort to find the person or persons responsible and bring them to justice. At this point, we have no reason to believe this was an accident,” Velarde said. “The case is being investigated as a malicious poaching incident.” Continue reading “Colorado game managers seek ‘malicious moose poacher’”→