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1974 'Bone' report on history of area and management intent
2007 proposal to make area a Wildlife Management Area
Corrective Measures Urgently Needed
The Gilpin grasslands need Wildlife Management Area status quickly. Remember two other significant attempts to rescue this land base, the 1972-1973 1945 acre land purchase and the mid-nineties Kootenay Boundary Commission On Resources and Environment were cast aside. This is essential as the wild ungulate and livestock issue is only part of the total ecosystem management dilemma
The great biodiversity of plant and animal species has not been adequately documented and several, such as the badger, are on the Rare or Endangered species list. There should be a joint cooperative program among wildlife, environmental, government and academic interests to gather the missing ecosystem information. Then to incorporate biodiversity and endangered species concerns into planning management and resource use on the Gilpin.

Unless such a cooperative program is achieved within the next few years, degradation to the native grasslands and associated wildlife species and their habitats will continue to worsen.

Within the next decade the ecologically unique Gilpin could become another weed-infested pasture devoid of the great diversity of plant and animal species and habitat types that originally made it an ecological wonder.
Lost Opportunity Costs
What the Public, Societies and Politicians Can Do To Ensure Proper Management of the Gilpin Grasslands
Public individuals and their Naturalist, Environmental and Wildlife Societies should:
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Houndstongue seeds with their Velcro-like surfaces find an easy ride and are widely dispersed by encrusted animals. This weed, like many others that are rampant on the Gilpin, is inedible.
A spring adjacent to Morrissey Rd. that has been battered and denuded by heavy cattle use. Note cattle feces in foreground.
Creek bed degradation due to overuse by cattle
Barry Brandow update Nov 2008:
Motor Vehicle damage 2008
click here pdf
Barry Brandow
Gilpin Newsletter
Nov 2008
An American Grasslands study reports the following:
"The values of non consumptive recreation, biological and other ecological services are rising relative to traditional consumptive uses of public lands. Lost quality of life, reduced recreation values, diminished wildlife and game, degraded archeological resources, impaired watersheds and water quality and flammable forests that result from livestock grazing all represent lost opportunities of the grazing program."

Economists estimate that livestock grazing on US public lands is costing the public purse $16 or more for every $1 in revenue and that figure does not include the 'lost opportunity' costs.

The Gilpin rancher has 1220 AUM's (Animal Unit Months).
So the AUM cost ( $2.19 month in 2013 and frequently less) therefore the revenue from cows on the Gilpin Grasslands is approximately $2671.
An AUM is the amount of dry forage required by one mature cow/calf on Crown land for one month.
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