Posted Thursday, 17 March 2011 17:27
Free trips limited to 15 people each
MONTICELLO — If watching the colorful strutting display of Gunnison sage-grouse sounds interesting, state wildlife biologists have an offer for you that might be hard to refuse.
During the weekends of April 1–2 and April 15–16, they'll take small groups of people to see Gunnison sage-grouse strut on leks (breeding grounds) west of Monticello.
Utah is home to two sage-grouse subspecies—the greater sage-grouse and the Gunnison sage-grouse.
Gunnison sage-grouse are the rarest of the two.
To avoid disturbing the grouse, each weekend trip is limited to no more than 15 people. There's no cost to see the grouse, but you will have to pay for lodging, food and gasoline to get to Monticello.
Monticello is about a five-hour drive southeast of Salt Lake City.
If you'd like to attend one of the trips, you must pre-register by calling Brent Stettler at 435-613-3707.
Each trip is limited to the first 15 people who call.
On the Friday evening of each weekend—April 1 and April 15—an orientation will be held at the commission chambers at the San Juan County Building, 117 S. Main in Monticello.
The orientations begin at 6:30 p.m. You'll learn about the ecology, the life history, the geographic distribution and the legal status of Gunnison sage-grouse. You'll also receive information about where and when to meet the following morning.
The best viewing always occurs before dawn or right at dawn. Within an hour after sunrise, grouse are usually done strutting.
Please prepare for winter-like conditions. You'll want to bring a camera and a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope. (The DWR biologist will also have extra binoculars and spotting scopes you can use.)
To lessen the chance of disturbing the birds, you'll be encouraged to carpool to the strutting ground with other participants. Each trip will take about two hours.
For more information, call Stettler at 435-613-3707.
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