Last winter SJCA, (along with our partners at Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society) scored a victory to keep bighorn sheep safe and improve the management of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) State Wildlife Areas (SWAs).
During late summer, domestic sheep were grazed on the Coller SWA near South Fork as they were moved from a U.S. Forest Service high country allotment near Creede down to the floor of the San Luis Valley.
We had two main concerns: the potential transmission of disease from domestic sheep to bighorns and the use of the SWA for domestic grazing with no written agreement and no monitoring of grazing impacts. We brought these issues to CPW, and the agency decided to stop the practice.
While CPW has not committed to permanently eliminating domestic grazing in the future, they have agreed that they will only allow such use if wildlife benefits can be demonstrated.