During the weekends of March 29-30 and April 12-13, they will take small groups of people to see Gunnison sage grouse strut on leks (breeding grounds) east of Monticello.
Utah is home to two sage grouse species: the greater sage grouse and the Gunnison sage grouse. Gunnison sage grouse are the rarer of the two.
US Fish and Wildlife is proposing the designation of the grouse as an endangered species and thousands of acres of private land as critical habitat.
To avoid disturbing the grouse, each weekend trip is limited to no more than 15 people. There’s no cost to see the grouse.
If you’d like to attend one of the trips, call Brent Stettler at 435-613-3707.
On the Friday evening of each weekend, an orientation will be held in the commission chambers of the San Juan County Building at 117 South Main in Monticello.
The orientations and presentation begin at 7 p.m. They are led by Guy Wallace, wildlife biologist with 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 al ways occurs just before dawn or right at dawn. Within an hour after sunrise, grouse are usually done strutting.
Please prepare for winter-like conditions. 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 lek with other participants. The trip from Monticello to the strutting ground takes about an hour. For more information, call Brent Stettler at 435-613-3707.