January 14, 2013 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register to designate critical habitat for the Gunnison sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act. The proposed critical habitat encompasses 1,704,227 acres in Chaffee, Delta, Dolores, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache, and San Miguel Counties in Colorado, and in Grand and San Juan Counties in Utah. FWS states that motorized and nonmotorized recreational use could result in the direct and functional loss of habitat for the Gunnison sage-grouse. Should the NPRM be finalized, OHV use would likely be further restricted in the planning area.
Comments on the NPRM are due March 12, 2013. Comments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov at Docket No. FWS–R6–ES–2011–0111; or by mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R6–ES–2011–0111, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM, Arlington, VA 22203.
Additional information found online:
For further information, please contact Patty Gelatt, Western Colorado Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Colorado Field Office, 764 Horizon Drive, Building B, Grand Junction, CO 81506–3946; 970–243–2778; fax 970–245–6933.