Sportsmen, wildlife groups address mule deer declines

Mon, 09/22/2014

Sportsmen and wildlife advocates in Wyoming and Colorado are exploring the reasons for mule deer declines and solutions. iStock Photo

BOULDER, Colo. – Wyoming and Colorado have long been home to some of the country’s largest mule deer herds, but continuing declines in the quintessential Western species are prompting hunters and wildlife enthusiasts to team up with state agencies and researchers to stem the losses and boost populations.

The National Wildlife Federation and its Colorado and Wyoming affiliates are working with other advocates and state wildlife agencies to determine what’s driving down mule deer numbers and how to reverse the troubling trend.

NWF and CWF participated in a recent statewide summit hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to get input for its Colorado West Slope Mule Deer Strategy. Biologists will present the draft plan to the wildlife commission in November. A CWF/NWF fact sheet, “Legacy in the Crosshairs: Colorado’s ‘Mule-Deer Factory’ on the Decline.”

The Wyoming Wildlife Federation helped establish the Wyoming Mule Deer Coalition, which, in cooperation with Wyoming Game and Fish, organized the first annual mule deer sumit  in August to explore the causes of the muleys’ decline and solutions.



Celebrating 50 Years of American Wilderness

Emily Lande, Sept. 18, 2014

On September 3rd we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act and this week, folks in DC are continuing that celebration in the only
way we know how: by asking members of Congress to continue to put this legislation to work. 
Wilderness designation is the pinnacle of landscape conservation; it provides protection into perpetuity. There are still countless landscapes, where wildlife live and thrive, that are under constant attack by those who
would rather develop than hunt, fish, hike, or recreate on these largely untouched tracts of lands.
The best way to celebrate this significant anniversary and demonstrate to your elected officials how much you care about protecting America’s wilderness is to get
outside and enjoy it! Here are some of our favorite places, found all across the country, where you can do just that. What is your wilderness wonderland?





South Park residents prep for public lands planning process

Tue, 09/16/2014

Bill Dvorak of the National Wildlife Federation talks during a meeting in Fairplay. Photo by Judith Kohler

FAIRPLAY, Colo. -- Public meetings on a blueprint for oil and gas development in Colorado's South Park could start as early as October.

The Bureau of Land Management expects to issue an official notice sometime in late September that it will write a new resource management plan for the district that includes South Park, about 75 miles southwest of the Denver area. The BLM will simultaneously prepare a master leasing plan for South Park to protect the area's important fish, wildlife and water resources. Keith Berger, field manager for the BLM's Royal Gorge office, said Monday that the agency plans six public meetings to get input into what the plan should include.

Berger was one of the speakers at a meeting hosted by Park County to let people know about the planning process. New leases will be put on hold while the plan is being written, he added.

"South Park is in a good place because we're starting from scratch" on the master leasing plan, Berger said.

Last year, the BLM announced that it would prepare a master leasing plan, or MLP, for South Park. The decision followed formal requests from the Park County commissioners, the town councils, area residents, sportsmen's and conservation organizations. 

NWF, sportsmen and civic leaders hail renewable energy poll results

Wed, 09/10/2014

Photo by Matt Vincent

BOULDER, Colo.  – A new poll reinforces what hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts have been saying for a while: that there’s strong support for “smart-from-the-start” energy production on public lands that conserves our fish, wildlife, outdoor recreation and great Western landscapes.

The poll conducted in 11 Western states by Peak Campaigns and released Wednesday found that voters overwhelmingly endorse responsible renewable energy development that doesn’t harm wildlife and avoids important landscapes. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed support provisions of the bipartisan Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act that would direct a portion of the royalties and lease fees to land and wildlife conservation and local governments.

Now is the time to move forward with the legislation, H.R. 596 and S. 279, sportsmen’s and wildlife advocates said.