CWF, NWF submit amicus brief re US Forest Service failure to protect migration corridors in Rio Grande National Forest

On August 12, 2022 Colorado Wildlife Federation and National Wildlife Federation submitted a joint amicus brief focusing on failure of the US Forest Service (USFS) to protect migration corridors in the Rio Grande National Forest in its forest plan. This landscape is situated in south-central Colorado and functions as a crucial, narrow corridor for wildlife migrating to their winter range in north-central New Mexico. Big game migrate from scattered high-elevation summer ranges in Colorado to this at-risk low elevation winter range in the Chalma Basin special interest area. This region has complex wildlife movements evidenced by data gathered from numerous telemetry studies.The Spruce Hole special interest area in the Rio Grande National Forest plays a key role in wildlife connectivity and migration in the Upper Rio Grande watershed. The 36,000-acre Spruce Hole special interest area also is identified as a major wildlife movement zone by Natural Heritage New Mexico and contains key wildlife corridors at the Colorado-New Mexico border. It is incumbent on the USFS to safeguard the area from fragmentation and development so that this wildlife connectivity can remain healthy. The brief was filed in support of Petitioners’ Opening Brief. Case is filed in the US District Court for the District of Colorado.  Earlier, CWF and NWF had protested the USFS Rio Grande National Forest plan, after advocating unsuccessfully for these protections consistently throughout the USFS planning process.