Location: Rabbit Valley Recreation Management Area is located 26 miles west of Grand Junction in west-central Colorado.

Vegetative/natural features: Rabbit Valley Recreation Management Area is spread out over high desert terrain, with vegetation consisting of pinyon-juniper and sagebrush scattered among sandstone formations and overhang. Soils at the site are the extremes of very sandy and stoney clays. A small area of the site (approximately 3%) consists of lowland riparian habitat.

Historic features: The McDonald Creek Canyon Cultural Resource Area within the site contains a high concentration of rock art. It also contains a Trail Through Time, a dinosaur trail.

Ownership: Federal (Bureau of Land Management)
Private (private individuals)

Ornithological Summary

The site is among the best in the state for finding Gray Vireos and Scotts Orioles.

An avg of 30 wintering waterfowl and 400 max were observed by nominator 1978-99.

Conservation Issues

Serious threats: Wildfire (which has destroyed a large part of the juniper habitat).

Minor threats: Disturbance to birds by close and frequent approaches to nests by recreationists.

Potential threats: Cowbird parasitism affecting Gray Vireos;Habitat conversion of juniper for livestock range improvement and development.

Efforts to address threats: Bureau of Land Management policy at this site is full fire suppression. Land managers attempt to keep vehicles on designated routes.

Management details: The site is Bureau of Land Management property, with seven private inholders. The BLM plan for this area specifies that juniper woodlands are the "desired plant community?for gray vireos and Scott?s orioles." The site is included within the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area. While it is the objective of the BLM to acquire the private inholdings, a policy of dealing only with willing sellers at fair market prices leaves these inholdings susceptible to development. The site is a Colorado Watchable Wildlife Area.

Habitat

Rabbit Valley Recreation Management Area is spread out over high desert terrain, with vegetation consisting of pinyon-juniper and sagebrush scattered among sandstone formations and overhang. Soils at the site are the extremes of very sandy and stoney clays. A small area of the site (approximately 3%) consists of lowland riparian habitat.

Stay abreast of Audubon

Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives.