From the Colorado Division of Wildlife
-- The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) is interested in hearing from the public about management of deer and elk big game herds in and around Glade Park. Public input is critical in helping revise herd management plans, called Data Analysis Unit or DAU plans. DAU plans establish herd population objectives and set goals for male-female ratios within populations.
Interested members of the public are invited to attend a DAU planning meeting for deer and elk in Game Management Unit 40. Meetings will be Aug. 19 at the Mesa County Fairgrounds Sagebrush Room at 6:30 p.m., and Aug. 20 at the Glade Park Community Building at 6:30 p.m.
Deer DAU D-18 and Elk DAU E-19 cover the Glade Park herds, which occupy the area east of the Utah state line, south of the Colorado River and north and west of Highway 141. The area includes Glade Park, the McInnis Canyons NCA, the Colorado National Monument and the west side of Unaweep Canyon. The DAU plans will guide management in Game Management Unit 40, which is known for producing quality buck and bull hunting opportunities.
"Herd size is a function of biology, but it is also a function of what the public desires for a population," added Ron Velarde, regional manager for northwest Colorado. "While the DOW is well-suited to make biological decisions, we need public input to determine if larger or smaller herds would be acceptable."
Sportsmen, outfitters, business owners and landowners all have a vested interest in the big game populations in an area. Sportsmen may want larger herds for increased hunting opportunity or male-female ratios that create bigger bucks but less hunting opportunity. Outfitters and hunting-tourism dependent businesses like hotels and restaurants may want increased hunting opportunity that brings more hunters to an area. Landowners may want decreased herd sizes to limit damage to crops and fences. Large landowners may also want herd gender ratios that promote bigger bucks and result in more desirable private land licenses.
DAU plans are based on wildlife management principles and public input and are revised approximately every 10 years. To aid the public in discussion, several management alternatives will be presented at the public meetings. The alternatives cover increasing or decreasing overall herd size and male-female ratios or leaving the populations and gender ratios at their current levels. The benefits and drawbacks to each alternative will be presented.