UT: See Gunnison sage-grouse

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, call Brent Stettler at
435-613-3707.

Each trip is limited to the first 15 people who call.

Details

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 7 p.m. They’ll include presentations
by graduate students from Utah State University and a wildlife
biologist from the Division of Wildlife Resources. You’ll learn
about the ecology, life history, geographic distribution and 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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