Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition ("CCCC") conserves and protects the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes and their habitat using science and education to connect people with this iconic species. CCCC is the collaborative leader in fostering long-term sustainability of the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes.
CCCC was formed in May 2012 as part of the community discussion regarding the hunting of Greater Sandhill Cranes in Northwest Colorado. Birdwatchers, nature-lovers, and other interested citizens were concerned that these migratory birds, designated as "endangered" by the State of Colorado in the 1970s and still listed by the state as a "Tier 1 Species of Concern," would decline in numbers and disappear from the area. Since the hunting proposal was withdrawn, CCCC has focused it efforts on raising crane awareness, educating the public about this iconic species, helping to protect crane habitat in a rapidly developing area of the state, and providing crops for cranes prior to migration. CCCC is primarily a volunteer organization. Each year more than 80 volunteers give of their time and energy to plan and manage the Yampa Valley Crane Festival and educational programs. CCCC relies on the generosity of volunteers, sponsors and private individuals to help maintain all of its programs.
"Crane consciousness is high in the Yampa Valley. There's no doubt in my mind that this is wholly because of the work of the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition and the Yampa Valley Crane Festival. That crane consciousness continues to grow because of the festival's enticing crane curriculum that all third graders get in school. The kids educate their parents. It's also growing because the festival itself is irresistible. Everyone seems to find a nugget of a day or event that draws them in, whether it's via an angle on science, conservation, art or just straight-up engagement with live birds. I think our community feels a strong connection, a strong need to be active in their preservation." - Jennie Lay, Adult Programs Coordinator, Bud Werner Library
"Landowners around Hayden feel that the cranes are pretty cool. There has been a shift, even among ranchers. The festival has brought attention to the cranes that have perhaps been taken for granted all around Routt County." Jay Fetcher, Routt County rancher
"I just watched your (crane nest camera) video highlights. The footage of the interactions with the mink and the raccoon are AMAZING. This is the first time such happenings have been recorded and are of great scientific value. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CRANES AND TO YOU FOR CAPTURING SUCH AMAZING SCENES." - George Archibald, Co-founder and Conservation Scientist for the International Crane Foundation
"The (2019) festival exceeded all my expectations! It was mind expanding and inspiring. There was so much to learn and love about cranes and the people and organizations committed to their conservation locally and in other regions of the world, truly a veritable mini conference with so many speakers and expert presentations. It is remarkable that programming was designed to appeal to all ages and interests. I was impressed with outreach to the community and the opportunity made available for persons to participate in amateur and professional photography/art contests. So many wonderful films! And of course the live birds were amazing."- Kate Fitzwilliams, International Crane Foundation development officer
"It (the crane nest camera) has been an amazing journey. Even my 7 year old grandson was involved by sharing one of the videos with his science class. They all loved it, especially his teacher!"
"This is a citizen-based conservation success story. Camera hunting is better than carcass hunting." - Nancie McCormish, adjunct professor of environmental sciences at CMC