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Nature & Wildlife
2014 April
Pg 10 - The Sunshine Express
The agencies will meet annually to discuss proj-
ects and progress, and to plan conservation work.
A full range-wide species assessment will be
conducted every five years.
¡°Rio Grande cutthroat trout are facing many
issues, including habitat loss, competition from
the introduction of non-native trout, drought, fire
and other changes,¡± Alves said. ¡°A major, coor-
dinated effort like this one is what¡¯s needed to
maintain this important species.¡±
(source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
dian River and the Pecos River in Colorado
and New Mexico. It now only occupies just 12
percent of its historic habitat in approximate-
ly 800 miles of streams. Biologists estimate
that 127 conservation populations now exist
in the two states, and 57 of those populations
are considered to be secure.
The historic range of Rio Grande cutthroat
trout has been reduced over the last 150 years
due to many changes on the landscape, in-
cluding: drought, water infrastructure, habi-
tat changes, hydraulic changes, hybridiza-
tion with rainbow trout and other species of
cutthroat trout, and competition with brown
trout and brook trout. As a result of these
changes, Rio Grande cutthroat trout popula-
tions are restricted primarily to headwater
streams.
¡°This agreement provides a detailed road
map of the ways local, state, federal and tribal
agencies will work together to continue to
conserve this trout,¡± said Kirk Patten, assis-
tant chief of fisheries for the New Mexico De-
partment of Game and Fish. ¡°The Rio Grande
cutthroat trout is unique. It is found only in
the southwest and has the distinction of being
the southernmost distribution of any form of
cutthroat trout.¡±
For more than 20 years, agency biologists
have been searching for Rio Grande cutthroat
Agencies Dedicated To Trout
Colorado Signs On To Rio Grande Cutthroat
Trout Conservation Agreement
3/6/14, DURANGO: An updated conservation
agreement and strategy plan to protect the Rio
Grande cutthroat trout was recently signed by the
states of Colorado and New Mexico, three Native
American tribes and several federal agencies.
The agencies started working on range-wide
protection plans for the species in 2003. This is
a continuation of the initial agreement, but also
assures that the agencies will work cooperatively
to maintain the viability of this special species of
trout. The agreement provides overall guidance
to each agency and sets a conservation strategy
that will be used in Colorado and New Mexico
where significant populations of the fish exist.
¡°This is a voluntary agreement, but all the par-
ties are dedicated to working on important Rio
Grande cutthroat trout issues,¡± said John Alves,
southwest region senior aquatic biologist for
Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The agencies that signed the agreement are: Colo-
rado Parks and Wildlife, the New Mexico Depart-
ment of Game and Fish, the U.S. Forest Service,
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the BLM, the
National Park Service, the Jicarilla-Apache Na-
tion, the Mescalero-Apache Nation, and the Taos
Pueblo tribe. The effort is also being supported by
Colorado Trout Unlimited and the New Mexico
Council of Trout Unlimited.
As stated in the agreement, the goal of the new
10-year plan is to ¡°assure long-term viability of
Rio Grande cutthroat trout throughout its historic
range by minimizing or removing threats to the
species and promoting conservation.¡± The agen-
cies have completed numerous conservations
projects for the species throughout Colorado and
New Mexico. To read about some of the projects,
go to: cpw.state.co.us/Research/Aquatic/Cut-
throatTrout/Pages/CutthroatTrout.aspx
The trout has been a candidate for listing under
the federal Endangered Species Act since 2008. A
decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on
whether the species will be listed is scheduled for
September.
The Rio Grande cutthroat is classified as a species
of ¡°greatest conservation need¡± by New Mexico,
and as a ¡°species of special concern¡± in Colorado.
The agencies are working cooperatively to protect
the populations to keep the species healthy. The
cooperative effort might also provide the advan-
tage of keeping the fish off of the federal endan-
gered species list.
The fish is found primarily in high elevation
streams and lakes of the Rio Grande, the Cana-
$1.1 Billion To States For Wildlife
populations, studying habitat and restoring the
species to streams. That work and more will con-
tinue under the conservation agreement.
Some of the work that the agencies will conduct
includes: maintenance of Rio Grande cutthroat
brood stock; stream surveys and habitat improve-
ment; construction of barriers to keep non-native
trout out of conservation waters; removal of
non-native fish and restocking with this species;
testing for disease; conducting genetic analysis;
fencing sensitive riparian areas; and on-going
monitoring of populations.
excise taxes generated by the sale of sporting
firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fish-
ing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard
motors. Recreational boaters also contribute to the
program through fuel taxes on motorboats and
small engines.
¡°Anyone who enjoys our nation¡¯s outdoor heritage
should thank hunters, anglers, recreational boaters
and target shooters,¡± said Dan Ashe, director of
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ¡°Through the
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, these
individuals have created a 75-year legacy for con-
servation of critical wildlife habitat and improved
access to the outdoors for everyone.¡±
The total distributions this year are $238.4 million
higher than last year because of the inclusion of
funds that were not distributed last year because
of the government sequester and an increase in
excise tax receipts from sales of firearms and am-
munition in the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.
The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Pro-
gram apportionment for 2014 totals a record $760.9
million, which includes $20 million that was se-
questered from FY 2013 but subsequently returned
to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund.
The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Pro-
gram apportionment for 2014 totals $325.7 million,
which includes $18.5 million that was sequestered
from FY 2013 but subsequently returned to the
Sport Fish Restoration Trust Fund. The FY 2014
Sport Fish Restoration apportionment is $34.1
million lower than FY 2013 due to lower domestic
fishing equipment excise tax receipts.
The Service¡¯s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration
Program reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost of
each eligible project, while state fish and wildlife
agencies contribute a minimum of 25 percent, gen-
erally using hunting and fishing license revenues
as the required non-federal match.
Funding is paid by manufacturers, producers and
importers and is distributed by the Service¡¯s Wild-
life and Sport Fish Restoration Program to each
state and territory.
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs
have generated a total of more than $15 billion
since their inception to conserve fish and wildlife
resources. The recipient fish and wildlife agencies
have matched these program funds with more
than $5 billion. This funding is critical to sustain-
ing healthy fish and wildlife populations and pro-
viding opportunities for all to connect with nature.
Please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service¡¯s
Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program web-
site at wsfrprograms.fws.gov for more information
on the goals and accomplishments of these pro-
grams and for individual state, commonwealth,
and territorial funding allocations.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
is working with others to conserve, protect, and
enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for
the continuing benefit of the American people. We
are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and
wildlife conservation, known for our scientific ex-
cellence, stewardship of lands and natural resourc-
es, dedicated professionals, and commitment to
public service. For more information on our work
and the people who make it happen, visit:
www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie
Do You Have What It Takes To Strap On
A Helmet One More Time?
Well, if you¡¯ve ever wished that you could play
football one more time, you¡¯re wish has been
granted. Alumni football is coming to Norwood.
Gridiron Alumni is planning several full contact
alumni football games. Gridiron Alumni travels
the nation pitting old football rivals against each
other one more time. Hundreds of players and
thousands of fans swarmed stadiums to watch
their hometown heroes strap it on one more time.
Gridiron Alumni is targeting teams like Norwood,
Nucla, Montrose, and many others. Players from
the local area are invited to register and play. The
first 40 players on each team get to play. The team
that gets 30 people registered first gets home field
Sign Up For Alumni Football
Recreational Users Provide Critical Support
for Conservation Projects
March 25: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
announced today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service will distribute nearly $1.1 billion in excise
tax revenues, paid by sportsmen and sportswom-
en, to state and territorial fish and wildlife agen-
cies, to fund fish and wildlife conservation and
recreation projects across the nation. Colorado is
scheduled to receive $26,957,671 of the total.
¡°People who enjoy hunting, fishing, boating and
recreational shooting provide a strong foundation
for conservation funding in this country,¡± Jewell
said. ¡°The taxes they pay on equipment and boat-
ing fuel support critical fish and wildlife manage-
ment and conservation efforts, create access for
recreational boating, and underpin education
programs that help get kids outdoors.¡±
The Service apportions the funds to all 50 states
and territories through the Pittman-Robertson
Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport
Fish Restoration programs. Revenues come from
Rio Grande
Cutthroat Trout