National Public Lands Day: Volunteer at Gunnison Gorge NCA to Improve Sage Grouse Habitat

By Ben Katz 1 year ago3 Comments

The Sage Grouse, while rarely seen, is one of the most celebrated symbols of Western Colorado.  Only 4,000 remain in the wild today, and many of them call the Gunnison Basin home.

The Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, southwest of Crawford, sustains about 100 Sage Grouse in the flat sagebrush land surrounding the gorge. The sage, serviceberry, and other shrubs provide vital food and cover for the birds.  Sage Grouse are highly averted to areas with juniper and pinyon (or any) trees, as these are prime perching spots for their foremost predators: raptors and red-tailed hawks. In order to improve sage grouse habitat, we need to remove juniper and pinyon trees from this area.

For National Public Lands day this year, WSCC is teaming up with the BLM to gibe back to the public lands we love.

The Work: We will be removing young juniper and pinyon trees using loppers and hand saws. This will remove perches for predatory birds, and we will leave the trees where we cut them, providing habitat for animals and moisture retention for the soil.

Date: Saturday, September 21, 2019

Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Location: Gunnison Gorge NCA near Crawford, CO / C77 Rd

We will be meeting at 9:00 AM at the City Market in Hotchkiss. Free NPLD t-shirt for everyone who joins. Sign up below!


Volunteer Sign Up Sage Grouse
  Events, Public Lands
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  • John Buerger says:

    The Redtail hawks are not as bad a threat to the sage grouse as the crows and ravens that destroy nest eggs fro their lookout posts. I have lethal non poisonous crow and raven baits which get them in check.

    • Karley O'Connor says:

      Interesting! The BLM’s biologist is coming out with us on the 21st, he would be great to talk to about this if you can make it.

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