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Colorado wants public input on big game management

Mule Deer

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Wildlife management strategies are constantly evolving in order to come up with the best game plan to produce healthy herds. Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) held a public meeting on Jan. 16 to discuss its new herd management plan for the White River mule deer herd, the Steamboat Pilot & Today reports. This herd migrates within the Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties and is considered one of the largest herds within Colorado.

The original plan was first drafted in 1995. Since then, “a lot has changed,” said Meeker Area Wildlife Manager Bill de Vergie. “Chronic wasting disease is affecting this herd, and we’re dealing with significant loss and fragmentation of habitat.”

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“In addition, there is far more outdoor recreation occurring today, and more people means more traffic leading to more dead deer and an increased danger to motorists,” said de Vergie. “Predation is definitely a consideration as is continuing oil and gas exploration. The next plan will need to account for all these dynamics.”

CPW is also in the process of creating a new plan for the Gore Pass elk herd, which resides in southern Routt County and considering changes to how current big game seasons are structured, according to the Steamboat Pilot & Today. These changes would impact deer, elk, moose, antelope and bear seasons.

CPW held a seminar to discuss these changes on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the CPW Steamboat Springs Office. If you’d like to weigh in on these topics, you can submit your comments online here or here. The comment period ends February 13.

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