The Gunnison Sage-Grouse, a unique species of North American grouse, is a year-around resident of Gunnison County.
In 1995 local stockgrowers, environmental groups, Gunnison County, and state and federal agencies formed a "Local Working Group" to address concerns about the future of this species. This group completed the Gunnison Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan in 1997. In response to a petition in 2000, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as a candidate species for threatened or endangered status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In 2005 the status of the species was upgraded on the candidate list for consideration of listing.
Having long been involved with management of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse, Gunnison County has been and will continue to be proactive to ensure the preservation of this unique and important species.
Wildlife Conservation Coordinator Jim Cochran works with the Board of County Commissioners, the Gunnison Basin Sage-Grouse Strategic Committee, federal and state agencies, private landowners, and interested citizens to plan, manage, and coordinate the development of the Gunnison Sage-Grouse Conservation Action Plan (PDF).
This plan guides Gunnison County as it moves into the future, insuring that the Gunnison Sage-Grouse will always flourish in our county and the upper Gunnison basin.