Hundreds of elk on the move delay traffic in South Park. Photo by Richard Hamilton.
Wildlife scored a victory when the Colorado State Land Board voted to defer proposed oil and gas leases in the James Mark Jones State Wildlife Area in South Park. The area is important winter habitat for mule deer, elk and pronghorns. Park County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and sportsmen's and wildlife groups asked the land board to withdraw the leases, set for auction in February, because the Bureau of Land Management is developing a master leasing plan to guide oil and gas development on public lands in South Park.
“The Colorado Wildlife Federation is pleased the State Land Board voted not to lease its oil and gas rights under the James Mark Jones State Wildlife Area. This area is important for wintering elk and pronghorn as well as for recreation,” said Colorado Wildlife Federation Executive Director Suzanne O’Neill.