Wildlife Depend on Wildlands
Big-game thrives in Gunnison County with some of the most productive Game Management Units (GMUs) in the state. Gunnison County has been called a sportsman's paradise, with extensive, intact backcountry habitat and gold-medal waters on the Taylor and Gunnison River.
HABITAT PROTECTIONS FOR ALL SEASONS
The quantity and quality of wintering habitat is the primary limitation to productive and sustainable populations of mule deer and elk. Mule deer populations, especially, are currently below population objectives. While natural winter die-offs in 1999, 2008, and 2017 are the driving factor behind the low population, unfragmented winter habitat is critical to the long-term resiliency of big game populations. The GPLI has proposed protecting some of these lands, particularly as winter range in Gunnison County tends to be near roads and towns.
PROTECTED LANDS SUPPORT HEALTHY STREAMS
The cold, clean streams of Gunnison County are also home to numerous populations of native Colorado River cutthroat trout including ten conservation populations. Keeping streams remote and free from development is critical to the future health of these trout.
Hunters and anglers provide significant economic contributions to Gunnison County. In 2014, fishing and hunting combined contributed $6.1 billion to the Colorado economy.