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Nearly 350 plant and animal species depend on sagebrush habitat for their survival.


Western Public Lands

mule deer

Win for Wildlife: Master leasing plan proposed in southwest Colorado

Thu, 10/06/2016

Colorado BLM has proposed a master leasing plan for parts of southwest Colorado. Image: Flickr-PDK Outdoor

DOLORES, Colo. -- After hearing from hunters, anglers, area residents and outdoor enthusiasts, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management has decided to pursue development of a master leasing plan for new oil and gas development on public lands in southwest Colorado.

The master leasing plan, or MLP, has been proposed in Montezuma and La Plata counties and includes the gateway area to Mesa Verde National Park and archeological sites.

“The Tres Rios area has valuable wildlife habitat that includes important migratory routes, winter range as well as calving and lambing areas. It deserves the additional management protections for these areas that an MLP can provide,” said Bill Dvorak, the National Wildlife Federation’s public lands organizer in Colorado.


NWF voices concerns about oil, gas plan for CO’s ‘mule-deer’ factory

Sun, 08/23/2015

A new BLM oil and gas plan could add 15,000 new wells in Colorado's 'mule-deer factory.'

Western Colorado's White River deer herd has been one of the most prolific in the region, prompting people to call the area it roams the mule-deer factory. But the herd has experienced declines and state wildlife officials are studying the effects of oil and gas development on mule deer in the area. 

The National Wildlife Federation is concerned that a new oil and gas plan by the Bureau of Land Management's new oil and gas plan will further stress the herd.

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.



Wyoming summit explores mule deer declines, ways to rebuild populations

Mon, 09/01/2014


Fremont Lake is a top concern for mule deer migration, where an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 mule deer must cross the outlet or Pine Creek in a quarter-mile surrounded by human activity. Photo by Lew Carpenter

By Lew Carpenter

A recent gathering in Pinedale, Wyo., explored the declining populations of mule deer and how to increase public support for conservation and management of the popular Western big game species.

The group, known as the Wyoming Mule Deer Coalition (WMDC), is a consortium established by Bowhunters of Wyoming, the Mule Deer Foundation, Muley Fanatic FoundationWyoming Wildlife Federationand the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. WMDC met with the Wyoming Game and Fish Departmentand other stakeholders in the hope of establishing a network of sportsmen and conservation organizations, businesses and individuals to work together to ensure the future of Wyoming mule deer populations.

“To make things happen on the ground that require high level decisions by our commission (Wyoming Game & Fish Commission) there has to be public support,” said Brian Nesvik, chief of the Wildlife Division for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, WGFD.