Wildlife Conservation


Gunnison County contracts with the Natural Resources Conservation Service Colorado (NRCS) to provide wildlife conservation services.

Gunnison Basin, Gunnison Sage-grouse Brood Rearing Habitat/Riparian Resilience/Restoration Project

Project Description

Wet meadows and riparian areas in sagebrush shrublands provide important brood-rearing habitat for the Gunnison Sage-Grouse, listed as Threatened by the US Fish & Wildlife Service. These habitats are also important for numerous other species, including neo-tropical migratory birds, elk and mule deer, as well as to ranchers for livestock grazing. Wet meadows and riparian areas, already compromised by erosion and lower water tables, are at great risk from drought and high intensity rainstorms associated with a changing climate.

Volunteers will address these challenges by working to restore riparian and wet meadow habitats in sagebrush shrublands in the Upper Gunnison Basin. We will apply the approach of restoration expert Bill Zeedyk, author of Let the Water do the Work: Induced Meandering, An Evolving Method for Restoring Incised Channels (2012).

Working above 8000 feet, Volunteers will help to build small rock structures in small streams and drainages to raise the water table helping to support plants and insects needed by wildlife.

Camping is available and encouraged at the nearby Miller Ranch State Wildlife Area, owned and managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Food will be provided by talented WRV Volunteer Cooks!

Wildlands Restoration Volunteers is happy to be a partner with so many groups including: Gunnison Climate Working Group Members: Bureau of Land Management-Gunnison Field Office, Colorado Natural Heritage Program; Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Gunnison County, Gunnison Conservation District, Gunnison County Stockgrowers Association, Lake Fork Valley Conservancy, National Center for Atmospheric Research, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rocky Mountain Biological Lab, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, Western State Colorado University, and Western Water Assessment.

Notice of Gunnison County, BLM and USFS Road Closures

Gunnison County, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) temporarily closed a number of roads to all motor vehicles to protect Gunnison Sage-grouse during their mating season and to prevent road damage during wet spring conditions. These roads were closed March 15, 2019. County and BLM roads reopened on May 15, 2019, unless it was necessary to extend a closure to prevent resource damage. The U.S Forest Service Closures were extend through June 16, 2019 to protect nesting Gunnison Sage-grouse.

The cooperation of the public is required to successfully implement these road closures. The closures will aid in the preservation of the Gunnison Sage-grouse and may assist in reducing impacts on residents and visitors of Gunnison County from the Federal listing of the grouse under provision of the Endangered Species Act. Copies of the closure list and maps are available with link, and at Gunnison County Public Works, 195 Basin Park Drive, Gunnison County Community Development Department, 221 N. Wisconsin; Colorado Parks and Wildlife office, 300 W. New York; Bureau of Land Management office, 210 West Spencer, Unit A, and the U.S. Forest Service office, 216 N. Colorado, Gunnison, Colorado. These closures apply to all motor vehicles. Do not park at the closures in a manner that blocks access through the closure gates. All non-motorized trail users are also requested to use Gunnison Basin roads/trails only after 9a.m. during this period to help reduce disturbance to Sage-grouse. For additional information call Gunnison County Public Works at 641-0044; BLM at 642-4940; or the USFS at 641-0471.

U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Gunnison Sage-grouse Listing Decision

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Gunnison Sage-grouse as Threatened Under the Endangered Species Act.

Gunnison County Files Notice of Intent to Sue U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regarding the Gunnison Sage-grouse Listing Decision and Critical Habitat

Federal Register Proposed Rule on the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo

On October 3, 2014 the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo was listed as a threatened species (see Listing Rule (PDF)).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed critical habitat for the cuckoo, and the comment period will close on January 12, 2015 (see Proposed Designation (PDF)).

Saguache County Sage-grouse Information

Visit the Saguache County website for additional information on the Gunnison Sage-grouse.

Antler Collection Now Closed In Gunnison Basin

The Colorado Parks & Wildlife released an article in the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Insider informing that antler collection is now closed in the Gunnison Basin. Collection of shed antlers is prohibited on public lands within units 54, 55, 551, 66 and 67 from January 1st through March 14th. Shed antler collection is prohibited from legal sunset to 10 am from March 15th through May 15th. For more information, please visit or contact the Colorado Parks & Wildlife.