PLNR-16-2-Lynx Management Post-Reintroduction

WHEREAS the Canada lynx was listed as Threatened in the contiguous United States, including Colorado, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on March 24, 2000; and

WHEREAS we have learned that, “… the generally low hare densities…in western Colorado…suggest that even the best potential lynx habitat in the Southern Rocky Mountains is marginal and unlikely to support lynx populations over time.” (Sept 12, 2014 Fed. Register); and

WHEREAS the habitat for the lynx is forested public land that provides many uses for the people of the state of Colorado; and

WHEREAS of the 13.8 million acres of National Forest System lands in Colorado, the U.S. Forest Service has designated  about 8.7 million acres of these lands as Canada lynx habitat; and

WHEREAS the U.S. Forest Service approved the Southern Rockies Lynx Amendment in 2008 for the purpose of contributing to the recovery of Canada lynx, and is currently implementing that directive for all of the National Forest System lands in Colorado; and

WHEREAS the Southern Rockies Lynx Amendment of 2008 has posed unique issues for the management of forest regeneration following the mountain pine beetle and spruce bark beetle epidemics on approximately 5 million acres in Colorado; and over the next 15 to 30 years will set the stage for the health and productivity of Colorado’s future forests; and

 WHEREAS pre-commercial thinning is virtually prohibited in lynx habitat in Colorado’s national forests even though this management prescription is an essential silvicultural step in managing young regenerated stands to enhance timber outputs, long-term forest health, and a diversity of wildlife habitat conditions; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports proactive landscape-scale forest management, including pre-commercial thinning, to improve the long-term health and multiple use goals of the national forests in Colorado; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports management of the lynx so as to protect the other multiple uses of the state’s public lands and specifically the national forests, and urges agencies to resist “single species” management; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 urges the U.S. Forest Service to revisit the Southern Rockies Lynx Amendment during the current rounds of forest planning in order to promote recovery of Canada lynx without precluding all tools available to achieve the long-term forest health and multiple use goals  of Colorado’s national forests; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 urges the Colorado State Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to work cooperatively with the U.S. Forest Service on the development of strategies, including pre-commercial thinning, that will concurrently contribute to the recovery of Canada lynx and the health and productivity of Colorado’s national forests.

Adopted 9/9/2016