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Comments sought about bighorn sheep management plan

Biologists from Colorado Parks and Wildlife are seeking comments from the public about management of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in a large area in the San Juan mountain range in southern Colorado.

The agency is developing a management plan for bighorns in the sheep management units known to hunters as S-21 and S-33. It spans from the upper Rio Grande Valley to Ouray and from Lake City to Silverton. Agency biologists define the area as Data Analysis Unit RBS-21.

At two upcoming public meetings, biologists will talk about bighorns in the area and ask for comments from the public. The first meeting will be in Lake City at 6:30 p.m., Aug. 31, at the Coursey Annex Meeting Room, 311 N. Henson St.; the second meeting will be in Ridgway at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 1, at the Ridgway Community Center, 201 N. Railroad Ave.

At the meetings, biologists will discuss some of the history of wild sheep in the area, current population status and trends, and other management issues of concern. They’ll also talk about how Parks and Wildlife works with the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management on bighorn management issues. Parks and Wildlife biologists invite the public to share concerns, issues and observations regarding bighorns.

For those who can’t attend the meetings, comments can be made to: Brad Banulis, terrestrial biologist in Montrose at (970) 252-6051; or Brandon Diamond, terrestrial biologist in Gunnison at (970) 641-7071.

For more information about bighorns, see the Parks and Wildlife website: http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/Profiles/Mammals/Pages/BighornSheep.aspx.

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