Colorado Plan for Desert Bighorns

Colorado Plan for Desert Bighorns

MONTROSE, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is developing a new management plan for desert bighorn sheep in western Colorado and is inviting anyone interested to provide input.

The management plan includes areas near the Dolores River in Montezuma, Montrose, San Miguel and Dolores counties. CPW biologists estimate that about 175 desert bighorns inhabit this area. In 2017, five hunting licenses for rams were issued. The statewide population is estimated at 540.

In Colorado, desert bighorn sheep populations are managed within specific geographic areas. Management plans, written every 10 years, include habitat evaluation, history of the herd, management issues, public comments and establishment of preferred population and sex-ratio objectives. The plan is used to guide the number of hunting licenses that are issued annually.

Public input is valuable and used to help determine objectives within the plan. Those interested are asked to take an on-line survey at the CPW web site. Filling out the survey will help CPW learn what the public thinks about these animals and how people interact with them. The information will be used by CPW to develop its management plan.

The survey can be found on the CPW web site at: The link is on the right side of the page.

If you would like a hard copy of the survey or have any questions about the plan, please contact Brad Banulis in Montrose at 970-252-6051 or by email at; or Brad Weinmeister in Durango at 970-375-6714 or by email at


CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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