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Wildlife Habitat Tours & Cheatgrass Control Workshop
July 19, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm MDT
Tour a ranch in Morgan County to learn about cheatgrass control and sandsage habitat management for nesting and brood rearing wildlife. Speakers include the Bayer Stewardship Representative, NRCS’s Area Biologist, Colorado State University Weed Management Specialists and a private lands wildlife biologist from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies.
Friday, July 19, 2019 • 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Meet at the Country SteakoutCountry SteakoutCounCountry Kelse in Fort Morgan.
19592 E 8th Ave, Fort Morgan, CO 80701
RSVP to Kelsea Holloway (Bird Conservancy Private Lands Wildlife Biologist) via e-mail or by phone: (970) 534-2296
8:30 – Kickoff with coffee & cinnamon rolls at Country Steakout
9:00 – Welcome and Introductions
9:15 – Sandsage Ecology
9:40 – Bijou Ranch Test Plots
11:00 – Back to Country Steakout
11:15 – Esplanade Presentation
12:00 – Lunch
Buffet lunch provided by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Morgan Conservation District, Centennial Conservation District and Bayer.
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Drought has been a consistent reality across the Western Slope of Colorado and the arid west for decades. This complex ecological force creates a wide variety of issues for people, habitat, and wildlife. Stewardship biologists at Bird Conservancy work with landowners to increase climate resilience in the face of drought, by implementing a variety of habitat restoration techniques that can better retain moisture on the landscape and promote healthy, native ecosystems. Improving resilience on sagebrush rangelands is difficult due to the arid nature of these environments, but wet meadow restoration and invasive species management for cheatgrass and invasive conifers can be used to increase climate resilience.
Fire is a fact of life in the American West, of that you can be sure. Our forests have long been shaped by fire, and efforts to prevent it have significantly changed forests and often backfired —making wildfires worse. Today, we are correcting course by using a process called forest restoration which uses land management tools to transition forests back to near historic conditions to make forests more resilient to natural disturbances, such as fire, while also providing benefits to people and wildlife.
High-severity fires have occurred for millennia, but historically were isolated to cool, moist forests that burned infrequently. Due to the practice of fire suppression that has become common in modern times, today’s fires are fed by over a century’s worth of accumulated fuel. Further, a warming, drying climate in the American West has dried the fuel, and expanding human development and recreation have increased ignition sources – the proverbial match in the tinderbox. These factors allow high-severity fires to burn indiscriminately across forest types. Projections vary, but all agree that the number of acres burned by these fires that are extreme in both size and intensity – now known as megafires – will increase in coming decades. Let’s take a look at what these modern wildfires mean for wildlife, and birds in particular.
The forests of the American West have long been sculpted by fire. Modern human expansion and land management practices often suppress natural fires, an in the absence of natural fire, forest conditions have been changing. Modern “megafires” are largely a result of these changes. But what were forests like before the “megafire” era? And how can our understanding of historical fire regimes improve our management practices today?