OUR MISSION: 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.
Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition (CCCC) was formed in May 2012 in response to a community discussion regarding the hunting of Greater Sandhill Cranes in Northwest Colorado. Birdwatchers, nature-lovers, and other interested citizens of Northwest Colorado were concerned that these migratory birds, still listed by the state as a Tier 1 species of concern, would decline in numbers and disappear from the area.
Since its inception, CCCC has concentrated on providing public education to ensure the protection of the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes. CCCC presents the annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival every fall and presents educational programs for school children and community groups. In 2021, CCCC started a livestream Sandhill Crane nest camera to use as an educational and science tool. CCCC also monitors the status of cranes in the area and partners with other organizations engaged in habitat improvement projects for cranes and wildlife in Northwest Colorado. CCCC works with willing farmers and landowners in the Yampa Valley through a program called Crops for Cranes to help provide adequate food supplies for staging cranes just prior to migration.
CCCC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and relies on the generosity of volunteers, sponsors and private individuals like you to help maintain all of our programs, including the Yampa Valley Crane Festival. All donations/contributions are tax deductible. Learn about ways to support us.
Erin Gelling has been working as CCCC’s Program Director for the last two years after having been a volunteer for many years. Erin has a strong background in avian wildlife, botany, and environmental education. She completed her Master of Science in Rangeland Ecology from the University of Wyoming working with Greater Sage-grouse and completed her undergraduate degree in Ecology with minor in Geographic Information Systems from Rutgers University. For 15 years, she has worked with a variety of birds, including songbirds, shorebirds, Sage-grouse, and Sandhill Cranes. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide and has worked as a naturalist, bird guide, and environmental educator. A New Jersey native, Erin moved to Northwest Colorado in the fall of 2010 and loves living in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys birding, biking, hiking, skiing, crafting, gardening, and rafting.
CCCC in the News
This article in the Steamboat Pilot & Today highlights the Crane Nest Camera as it goes into its 2nd season livestreaming a Sandhill Crane nest in the Yampa Valley.
Read an article published in the Valley Voice in 2022 about Sandhill Cranes in the Yampa Valley and Greater Sandhill Crane Week. This article talks about CCCC’s various contests to help promote “crane awareness”. The article is located on page 7.
Click here to read an article published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today about CCCC celebrating our 10th year as a non-profit! Read about our nest camera project, new program director, and Creative Arts Scholarship Contest, which offered $10,000 in scholarships in 2021.
Click here to read an article published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today newspaper on August 27, 2019, about the 2019 Yampa Valley Crane Festival.
Click here to read an article published March 16, 2018 in the Craig Daily Press newspaper about progress in our “Crops for Cranes” program, which encourages landowners to plant grain crops that nourish the cranes in preparation for their southern migration in the fall.
Click here to read an article published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today newspaper on March 26, 2020, about the Creative Arts Contest that we sponsor for high school seniors in Routt and Moffatt Counties as one of our educational programs.
Click here to read an article published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today newspaper on January 10, 2020, about China’s invitation to our President, Nancy Merrill, to travel there and share information about our crane festival with them.