DURANGO, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking public comments on proposed big-game management plans for the San Juan mule deer herd and the Dolores River desert bighorn sheep herd in Southwest Colorado. Comments must be received by Dec. 22.
Herd management plans are developed by CPW biologists and take into consideration several factors, including: available habitat, population trends, hunting preferences, agricultural conflicts, wildlife viewing potential and recreation impacts.
The proposed plans are posted on the CPW web site. Both can be found at: https://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/HerdManagementPlans.aspx.
The location for the desert sheep plan is the Dolores River below McPhee Reservoir to the Paradox Valley. The game management units are referred to as S-63 and S-64. CPW estimates about 175 animals are part of that herd.
The location for the deer herd plan extends from the Animas River east to Wolf Creek Pass. It includes Game Management Units 75, 77, 78, 751 and 771. CPW estimates the population of that herd at about 27,000.
Both plan proposals seek to maintain stable to increasing populations. After public comments are evaluated, the proposals will be sent to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission early next year for review and approval.
Comments on the bighorn plan can be sent via email to: Montrose Terrestrial Biologist Brad Banulis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments on the deer plan and the bighorn plan can be sent to: Durango Terrestrial Biologist Brad Weinmeister at email@example.com.