If you want a voice in how Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages the Sangre de Cristo and Grape Creek elk herds, your time has arrived.
The agency has planned a public hearing at 6:00 p.m. October 11 at the Lake Pueblo State Park Auditorium, 640 Pueblo Reservoir Road in Pueblo. The hearing is part of the process of revising the herd management plan that will guide CPW for the next 10 years.
Everyone is invited to participate including hunters, ranchers and the general public.
The Sangre de Cristo elk herd spans Game Management Units 86, 691 and 861 from Salida to Walsenburg and includes parts of Chaffee, Custer, Huerfano, Pueblo and Fremont counties.
The Grape Creek elk herd spans Game Management Units 69 and 84 from Canon City to Walsenburg and includes parts of Custer, Huerfano, Pueblo and Fremont counties. CPW has a goal of updating objectives in its herd management plans every 10 years.
The existing herd management plans, also called a Data Analysis Unit or DAU, for the these two herds were approved in October 2005.
Specifically, CPW wants the public's reaction to a proposal to maintain the current objectives for the next 10 years. The current objective for the Sangre de Cristo elk herd is a population of 1,450-1,650 elk. The current objective for the Grape Creek herd is 1,400-1,600 animals with a bull-to-cow ratio of between 35 and 40 bulls to 100 cows.
Under the existing management objectives, hunters seem to be generally happy and CPW has not received many complaints about game damage.
If you disagree with those observations, please speak up. Your opinions and evidence could cause CPW to take a different approach in revising this plan.
Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife