Colorado Parks and Wildlife

bull moose
Kent Miller / NPS

The moose population on the Grand Mesa is growing. The area is home to more than 400 of the large animals. This Saturday, July 25 is the sixth annual Grand Mesa Moose Day event. 

students, nature
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

In science class students learn about the world around them. However, getting kids to make a connection to nature without them experiencing it firsthand is a challenge. That’s why a Western Slope school district in partnership with a state wildlife agency is taking middle school students to the woods. 

Stacy Lischka, a scientist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is surrounded by 15 sixth-graders in a forest on the Grand Mesa. 

She's leading them in lesson on stream ecology. The students are looking for macroinvertebrates, animals without a backbone, in Mesa Creek. 

rainbow trout
Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation

State wildlife officials say rainbow trout populations in Colorado are finally on the rebound after they were hard hit by whirling disease in the 1990's. KVNF’s Laura Palmisano spoke to Eric Fetherman, an aquatic research scientist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, to learn more about the recovery of the fish. 

cameo, grand valley
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The state collects severance taxes from companies that extract nonrenewable resources in Colorado. Some of this money goes to communities in the form of large grants. Most of these grants go to communities to help build fire stations, upgrade water systems, restore historic sites, and aid with other infrastructure or economic development projects. The program is also providing funds for a shooting range on the Western Slope. 

Roger Granat is the 73-year-old mayor of Palisade. He grew up there. And as a boy, he would often visit the neighboring community of Cameo. 

"The general store and the post office sat over here on our right," Granat said on a recent visit to the old town site.  

black bear
U.S. Forest Service

A bill that calls for the state to study black bears advanced at the capitol Wednesday.  

H.B. 1304 instructs Colorado Parks and Wildlife to study the management of black bears in the state. They are they only known species of bear still found in Colorado. 

Republican Representative Yeulin Willett of Grand Junction is co-sponsoring the measure.

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Jake Ryan / KVNF

Last weekend was the Winter Celebration at Crawford State Park.   It was a chance for the park to highlight the recreation available to winter enthusiasts.  One of the events was an ice fishing seminar and demonstration.  KVNF’s Jake Ryan was there.

The day started with a class led by Senior Ranger Scott Rist.

“Today we’re teaching people how to catch crappies through the ice, focusing on equipment, strategies, electronics, just everything that’s involved,” says Rist.

An animal protection organization has donated $10,000 for information leading to convictions in two Roaring Fork poaching incidents. 

archery
Laura Palmisano

Hunting and fishing are male dominated sports, but the number of women participating in these activities is on the rise. 

It's been a cutthroat existence for Colorado's state fish.

The rare greenback cutthroat trout, for years on the receiving end of a well-meaning, but taxonomically misguided attempt to save it, now seems to be back on track (though not out of the woods).

pika
Sally King / National Parks Service

The American pika is closely related to a rabbit. They are about the size of a guinea pig and are found throughout Colorado's high country and other Western States in mountainous areas.

In the early 2000's pika were being considered for the endangered species list because they are susceptible to climate change, according to wildlife officials. 

flickr.com/captspaulding

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it has plenty of leftover big-game licenses for the 2014 season.

The agency said it has about 6,000 deer, 30,000 elk, 5,000 pronghorn, and 1,800 bear licenses for the fall hunting season. 

Joe Lewandowski, a spokesman for Parks and Wildlife, said the deadline to apply for big-game licenses was in April. He said most hunters don’t get their first choice and the agency usually have leftover licenses available for purchase.

mountain lion
National Parks Service

Colorado State Patrol has a failed to report a vehicle hitting a mountain lion near Hotchkiss on Sunday to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

A mountain lion was reportedly hit by an SUV outside of Hotchkiss on Sunday.

Kathy Linnell, a Paonia resident, said she struck the cat on Highway 92.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Mule Deer populations across Colorado and specifically western Colorado are continuing to decline. 

Flickr user tuchodi.

Mule deer populations are declining around the West, and Western Colorado is no exception. Now, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is hoping to bring a diverse group of people together to brainstorm what to do about it. Randy Hampton is a spokesman for the agency. KVNF's Emily Guerin asked him to explain what's going on with mule deer.

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Headlines

  • Use of Drones for Hunting May Soon Be Illegal in Colorado
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Headlines:

  • Republicans Still Outpacing Democrats in Voter Turnout
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  • Colorado Farmers Say Proposed Air-Quality Regulations are Too Weak
  • CPW Accepting Public Comments on Management Plans for Mule Deer
  • Independence Pass Closed for Season
  • Free Entrance to National Parks This Weekend
Randy Hampton/Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Recently on the Almanac, Peter Cullen noticed he hasn't seen many bears in the mountains of New Mexico this year.

Bears are foragers, and Cullen says the lack of piñon, oak and juniper trees caused them to head down to mountain towns looking for thrown-away leftovers.

That got us thinking about our bear populations here in western Colorado.

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Anda Rojs Smalls

Unlike other Western states, Colorado’s moose population is growing. It’s healthier than ever with an estimated 2300 moose across the state. While other states are grappling with why their herds are shrinking, Colorado is studying the population’s fast growth. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Anda Rojs Smalls has lived in the Aspen area for over a decade. But, it was just recently that she saw a moose.

"My first moose sighting was about two years ago, in the summertime, with my kids up at the Maroon Lake," she says.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say a mountain lion ate a colt near Cedaredge last week, and they have shot a bear that killed some 40 chickens near Paonia. When wildlife are a danger to livestock or people, it’s up to the state’s Parks and Wildlife agency to put them down. Last year about 45 wild animals were shot or euthanized in the Muddy Creek area of Delta and Gunnison counties – mostly for predation of sheep.