Landscape Stewardship Awards - 2016

Front Row, L to R: Doug Ouren (USGS), Missy Siders, (BLM), Joe Oglesby, Nathen Seward (CPW), Stuart Sinclair (CPW). Back Row, L to R: Mark Brennen (USFWS), Dennis Garrison (USFS), Doug Homan (Coordinator), Tanya Banulis (NRCS), Robbie Levalley (Delta County), Bill Day (Black Canyon Audubon Society).

The Public Lands Foundation presents the Crawford Area Gunnison Sage-grouse Working Group with its 2016 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation. The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The Gunnison sage-grouse, which occurs in several small populations in southwest Colorado and southeast Utah, was first documented as a unique species in 2000 and it was listed as a threatened species in 2014. Currently, there are less than 4,400 birds in Colorado.

Well before the bird was listed, the BLM and partners in the Gunnison Basin began working on the Gunnison Sage-grouse Conservation Plan, signed in 1995 – the first sage-grouse conservation plan in the country. The plan establishes a process and a framework that guides a coordinated management effort at a landscape scale directed at improving sage-grouse habitat and reversing the long-term decline of the Crawford population, while continuing to optimize management for the other resources.

In 1995, to address rising concerns about the long-term status of the sage-grouse in the Crawford area, which covers 345 square miles or approximately 220,693 acres, the State of Colorado, federal land management agencies, local landowners, grazing permittees, and interested individuals and groups formed the Crawford Area Gunnison Sage-grouse Working Group.

The current members of the Working Group include the BLM, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Black Canyon National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area, U.S. Geological Survey, National Resource Conservation Service, Black Canyon Audubon Society, local grazing permittees, and private citizens.

This group has demonstrated outstanding leadership, vision and purpose both within the local community and the surrounding area on improving and maintaining healthy landscapes for Gunnison sage-grouse and other resource values for over 20 years. Efforts over the past 6 years are especially notable and accomplishments are numerous.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Crawford Area Gunnison Sage-grouse Working Group with its 2016 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

Signed: Edward W. Shepard, President
September 15, 2016