Gunnison Sage-Grouse Festival and Summit

Dr. Patrick Magee
Wildlife Biologist
Western State
Colorado University

Jonathan Coop
Ecologist
Western State
Colorado University

Janice Welborn
Director, Sponsored
Programs & Grants

Western State
Colorado University

Chris Dickey
Editor and Owner
Gunnison Country Times

Doug Washburn
Rancher
Gunnison Stockgrowers Association

Marcella Fremgen
Gunnison Resident


News: Gunnison Sage-grouse
Endangered Species Listing Update.
New Date for the listing decision
is 12 May, 2014. Read more...

Welcome to Sisk-a-dee

Gunnison Sage-grouse Viewing UPDATE
Visitors interested in viewing the Gunnison Sage-grouse at the Waunita Watchable Wildlife Site should know that the grouse have dramatically shifted their location this season.  Historically, Gunnison sage-grouse males have strutted in the hay meadow directly east of the parking lot and viewing trailer.  This year they have used a variety of locations and most notably and consistently they have been observed on the ridge east of the traditional lek.  To locate them, aim your scope on the top of the ridge to the east of the lek and then scan along the ridge top moving to the north.  Lately, most of the birds have been observed fairly far to the north where the flat ridge dips forward or to the west.  The birds are very far away and the views we are used to on the traditional lek are not available.  Since the middle of April, few if any grouse have been observed on the traditional lek.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us at Sisk-a-dee (970-641-3959 or pmagee@western.edu).  The viewing site is open until May 15.  Please continue to follow existing protocols for viewing the Gunnison Sage-grouse.

Mission Statement:
Sisk-a-dee was founded in 2000 to promote the implementation of the Gunnison Sage-grouse Conservation Plan within the Gunnison Basin, Colorado.

Background:
Sisk-a-dee is the only organization completely dedicated to the conservation of the Gunnison Sage-grouse. The Gunnison Basin holds the largest remaining population of Gunnison Sage-grouse in the world. As the grouse have declined over the last half century, concerned land managers, environmentalists, and landowners developed a Conservation Plan (1995) to restore habitat and populations. Sisk-a-dee has worked cooperatively with the Gunnison Sage-grouse Working Group to identify the biological and cultural challenges facing the grouse. Sisk-a-dee has sought coordination and strategic planning in the implementation process. Sisk-a-dee works with county, state and federal agencies, including Western State Colorado University, and other non-profit organizations, as well as landowners.  

Sisk-a-dee has coordinated the Watchable Wildlife Program for Gunnison Sage-grouse since 2001 in cooperation with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The Conservation Plan recognizes recreational use of the Gunnison Sage-grouse during the spring lekking season as a viable human activity, but as a potential impact on grouse population status. Since 2000, when the Gunnison Sage-grouse gained species recognition, birders from many parts of the world have visited Gunnison in order to view the grouse. Sisk-a-dee has worked collaboratively with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, Western State Colorado University, and the Gunnison Sage-grouse Working Group to develop protocols for viewing and for monitoring and managing the basin's Watchable Wildlife Program. Currently, Sisk-a-dee works closely with Western State Colorado University to provide a well monitored viewing site for the public and for commercial groups. Students and others are present on the site every morning during the spring viewing season. They also collect data on grouse numbers and behaviors and collect data on human numbers and behaviors. These dedicated individuals also enrich the experience of visitors.

Check out Waunita Sage-grouse Blog for daily updates of the Gunnison Sage-grouse activity at the Waunita Watchable Wildlife Site.


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