Introduction to the Northern Larimer County
Habitat Partnership Program
The Northern Larimer County Habitat Partnership Program (NLCHPP) was created in the summer of 2002. The idea for starting a committee to address wildlife concerns in northern Larimer County began at a Division of Wildlife Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) meeting in Denver on February 14, 2002. At that meeting, two landowners from the Livermore area spoke to the group about concerns over potential impacts of Chronic Wasting Disease and CWD management on wildlife populations, livestock and lands in the north half of Larimer County. The landowners specifically mentioned their fear that as the deer and elk population declined due to disease or control efforts livestock producers might experience increased loss of livestock caused by predation from Mountain Lion and Black Bear. The CWD group recommended exploring the feasibility of a habitat partnership program in the Livermore area to address concerns over CWD and other wildlife related issues.
During the next few months several meetings were hosted to discuss the concept and need for an HPP in the Livermore area. HPP ideas were also brought up at other meetings attended by Division of Wildlife staff. Division of Wildlife HPP staff hosted a cookout and informational meeting about Habitat Partnerships and CWD at the Livermore Community Center. From that meeting a task force of interested landowners was formed. After the meeting, the task force recommended that an HPP committee be formed for northern Larimer County, including Game Management Units 9, 19, 191, 7 and 8.
Initial discussions covered strategies on private and public lands that may assist in managing wildlife populations in a manner to minimize the impacts of Chronic Wasting Disease on wildlife and the local community. However, it quickly became apparent that there were many other issues of interest involving wildlife management and land use in this region. The NLCHPP committee identified ten issues and concerns:
1) Water Resource Optimization.
In stream flows
2) Threatened/Endangered (T&E) Species Management.
Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse habitat management
3) Improvement in Vegetative Condition.
4) Chronic Wasting Disease Management.
5) Potential impact of wildlife herd reductions on livestock depredation
Big game distribution for CWD control
Forage/water management impacts on big game distribution
Hunting access and access to private property for CWD Management
5) Hunting Access.
Lack of access to areas where harvest is needed
6) Fire Management.
7) Fencing issues.
8) Moose, Bighorn Sheep, Bear and Lion Issues.
9) Land Use Development.
Impacts on wildlife and agriculture.
10) Small Parcel Management.
Small acreage management; weeds, hobbystock, livestock etc.
Cooperation between agricultural interests, large and small landowners
After discussion, the committee condensed the list and decided to focus on the first four issues.
Twelve members comprised the initial NLCHPP committee: three persons representing large land holdings, three representing small parcels, one person representing sportsmen, one representing Larimer County Department of Natural Resources, one representing The Nature Conservancy, one representing the U.S. Forest Service, one representing the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, and one representing the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Many others have participated in forming the HPP and preparing the management plan.
Currently, there are three members representing livestock growers, one member representing sportsmen, three members representing public agencies and one member from the Division of Wildlife. In January of 2008 the current committee undertook the periodic review and update of the NLCHPP Management Plan. Rather than draft a new document, the committee decided to update the current plan. The update was completed in March of 2008 and the updated plan was submitted to the Statewide Council for their review.
The NLCHPP would like to thank the many persons and organizations involved with the formation and functioning of this program. Their efforts in meeting, brainstorming, planning, reviewing draft documents and valuable input have been most appreciated. Their assistance will help insure that the NLCHPP will be successful in accomplishing our shared goals. Most especially, we would like to acknowledge the support and assistance of John Worthington, a rancher in northern Larimer County, a founding member of this committee and our friend. We will miss him.