Thanks WCCC for Helping Us Improve Sage-grouse Habitat!

Thanks to the Western Colorado Conservation Corps for their work in August and September to improve habitat for the rare Gunnison sage-grouse! The young adults helped us to:

  • Install 45 structures to reduce erosion and improve wet meadow habitat.

  • Removed fence posts plus trees that were encroaching into sagebrush parks. Grouse tend to avoid anything that could be a perch for a hungry hawk or eagle.

  • Marked wire fences to make them more visible to grouse and other wildlife. This reduces collisions that can result in the death of grouse.

More of this work is planned for 2019.

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Improving Riverside Vegetation for Wildlife and People

 Youth Conservation Corps members cut the invasive species, Russian Olive, along the banks of the Gunnison River. Native trees and shrubs were planted to improve riparian habitat.

Youth Conservation Corps members cut the invasive species, Russian Olive, along the banks of the Gunnison River. Native trees and shrubs were planted to improve riparian habitat.

Russian olive is a pesky, non-native species that's taken over many river banks. It's dense growth and thorns can prevent people who want to go fishing from getting to the river. It also chokes out native vegetation and sucks up water from the floodplain.

To improve riparian habitat and recreational opportunities, the Uncompahgre Partnership (UP) coordinated with various partners to control this invasive plant on 8.9 miles of land along the Gunnison River east of Delta, Colorado.

This project wouldn't have gotten off the ground without funding from the Colorado Water Conservation Board. In addition, several groups completed the difficult work of cutting the trees. Out hats go off to the: River Restoration Adventure of Tomorrow (RRAFT), Western Slope Youth Conservation Corps, Colorado Department of Corrections, and the Bureau of Land Management.

NEW WEATHER STATION DEPLOYED

 Meteorologist Bob Grossman prepares connection to soil temperature and moisture instruments.

Meteorologist Bob Grossman prepares connection to soil temperature and moisture instruments.

Thanks to a team of agency staff and citizen volunteers, there's now a new weather station in Gunnison sage-grouse habitat. The team installed the station in Dry Creek Basin, south of Naturita, Colorado. To see the local weather conditions click here. Click here for the Weather Underground station which shows radar. Note: on WU, they're using our soil temperature info and listing it as the air temperature. We're working with WU to get this fixed.

The data it provides will help land and wildlife managers:

  • See how grouse populations fluctuate compared to local weather conditions over time.
  • Make correlations between the success of habitat improvement projects and weather.
  • See how the local climate changes and how that affects habitat for grouse and other wildlife.

A big "Thank you!" to meteorologist Bob Grossman for his advice and help in setting up the station and making the data accessible. I also appreciated the help of Evan Phillips, Murphy Jacox, Creighton Wood and Dave Schneck in setting up the station. Finally, thanks to Onset, makers of the HOBO data logger, for donating some equipment to the San Miguel Basin Gunnison Sage-grouse Working Group! - Leigh Robertson

"In my mind weather stations are one of the best monitoring investments that can be made. Like a good wine, the older it gets the more valuable the data it's collecting becomes." - Doug Ouren, U.S. Geological Survey

Thanks to our Supporters!

We'd like to say a big "Thank You!" to everyone who's donated or provided grants to the WCLC, including the:

  • Telluride Foundation for funding the Norwood Forestry Internship Program.
  • Gates Family Foundation for generously supporting our Native Plant, Weed, and Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Programs.
  • Colorado Water Board for helping fund the removal of Russian Olive, an invasive species, along the Gunnison River within National Conservation Areas.
  • Colorado Department of Agriculture and Uncompahgre Habitat Partnership Program for funds to control noxious weeds on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
  • National Environmental Education Foundation for money to help fund the development of our new website.
  • The generous individuals who've contributed to our various working groups. Thank you!