Montezuma County Commission Chair Larry Don Suckla stated at Monday’s Commissioner meeting that Colorado Parks and Wildlife moved a golden eagle’s nest to the Phil’s World Bike trail area.
He said state officials brought the nest from Granath Mesa near Dolores to an area proposed for trail expansion, and that the nest now “has an effect” on trail development.
Suckla told KSJD in a follow-up interview that his source was anonymous, but “very reliable.”
In an interview with KSJD on Tuesday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesperson Joe Lewandowski denied Suckla’s claim, calling the allegation “ridiculous.” He said the agency did not move an eagle’s nest. He added that Parks and Wildlife is working with the Bureau of Land Management to keep the trail expansion from interfering with the protected birds.
The nest was first noticed by a nearby landowner in 2010, and is considered active by the BLM. The BLM will make the final decision about the size of the trail expansion, possibly by the end of September. It released a preliminary environmental assessment in late August with various options to route the trail around the nest.
Suckla said Montezuma County supports the largest expansion and smallest buffer from the eagle nest. Lewandowski said Colorado Parks and Wildlife has not yet decided which option it will support, but that they want to make sure the few eagles in the area are protected.