Funds secured for wildlife projects |

Funds secured for wildlife projects

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Two projects that will enhance wildlife habitat in the Basalt area are receiving funds from the sale of special hunting licenses in raffles and auctions in Colorado.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife works with eight nonprofit conservation groups on the raffle and auction program. The hunting licenses are popular because they give hunters an opportunity to access many areas around the state. The auction and raffle raised $480,000 for wildlife projects this year.

Former hay meadows in the Basalt State Wildlife Area are being converted into habitat for big game and other species. The Lucksinger Fields Project received $41,060 from the auction and raffle revenues. The replanted and rehabilitated meadows will provide needed winter range.

A second project received $25,000 in funds. The Light Hill Habitat Improvement Project thinned over-mature mountain shrub and pinyon and juniper stands on Light Hill, in the Old Snowmass area. The thick and aged plants on the public lands held by the Bureau of Land Management are difficult for wildlife to travel through and provide limited forage for wintering big game animals.

“With increasing development in the Roaring Fork Valley, big game winter range is extremely limited,” the division said in a statement. “Increasing the production and carrying capacity of existing winter range is the best alternative to provide for dwindling big game winter range.”