CSA,COHVCO and many other groups have been very concerned about the failure of many federal land managers to address recreational activity in lynx habitat with best available science. Best available science has specifically concluded almost all recreational activity has no impact on lynx that might be in the area. Many land managers continued to manage based on out of date management documents, where there was theoretical concerns about recreational usage. Stakeholder concerns have resulted in the issuance of new management documents that avoids these types of issues in the future by clearly stating roads and trails in habitat are not a major factor for the lynx and that most snow compaction in the Southern Rockies is the result of natural processes rather than recreational usage. The issuance of new management document supersede previous document avoids these types of issues in the future by clearly stating roads and trails in habitat are not a major factor for the lynx and that most snow compaction in the Southern Rockies is the result of natural processes rather than recreational usage. These documents clearly state that only major ski areas may impact lynx behavior and provide extensive analysis that weighs heavily against any claim of Wilderness areas being a benefit for the lynx.
CSA,COHVCO and TPA have partnered to provide a copy of these documents to every office that currently has a draft plan being developed or are areas where lynx management has been an issue previously.
Your input is needed on the Greater Sage Grouse Management Strategy to
protect motorized access
The Department of Interior and Forest Service have released their draft plan for the management of the Greater Sage Grouse for public comment. This proposal will impact the management of motorized recreation and many other uses on approximately 4 million acres of public lands in northwestern Colorado. COHVCO actively supports any efforts to avoid the listing of a species on the ESA list, however, COHVCO is in favor of Alternative A of the proposal as we have many questions including:
1. The status of the Greater Sage Grouse is currently unclear on the Endangered Species list - the Greater Sage Grouse was declared "warranted but precluded" under the most recent listing decision but this is no longer a viable listing status. Alternatives should be developed or identified in the DRMP to address if the Greater Sage Grouse is listed or declined from the ESA list.
2a. There are large amounts of land that is modeled as grouse habitat but has not been actively occupied by grouse since the 1960's. We question if this habitat remains viable and is properly classified as habitat.
2b. There are numerous references to snowmobile recreation in the California Park and Slater park areas but the proposed management of snowmobile recreation is never clarified. These areas must remain open as these are highly valuable snowmobile areas, Snowmobile usage does not impact leks or nesting behavior given the significant snowfalls that are required. California and Slater parks have not been occupied by grouse for a long period of time and are only modeled habitat.
3. No new roads may be constructed in Grouse habitat areas. This standard fails to address future multiple use, more specifically recreational use, or these areas and fails to address the time frame that closures will be compared against.
4. Previous versions of the Management plan proposed to limit soil disturbance to 3% of habitat areas. This proposal moves that standard to 5% but we believe this is too low and fails to provide flexibility for boundary areas with private property.
5. Private land owner support will be critical to management of the Greater Sage Grouse as 50% of the habitat areas are privately owned. Maintaining multiple use on public lands will generate significant support from private land owners in our opinion.
More information on the strategy is available here
Public meetings are currently scheduled for:
Public meetings will be held from 4 pm to 7 pm in October at the following locations:
- October 15, in Craig, at the Memorial Hospital at Craig, 750 Hospital Loop
- October 17, in Silt, at the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office, 2300 River Frontage Road
- October 22, in Walden, at the Wattenburg Community Center, 682 County Road 42
- October 24, in Lakewood, at the Lakewood Heritage Center, 801 S. Yarrow St.
Comment Deadline: November 14, 2013
Send comments to:
Mail to: BLM-Greater Sage Grouse EIS, 2815 H Rd, Grand Junction, CO 81506
Fax to: 970-244-3083