Celebrating Colorado

Riverbend Park has several events geared to families, youth at Outdoor Heritage Day

A mountain lion pauses along a stream in Grand Teton National Park. The population of mountain lions in Jackson Hole has dropped by nearly half in the past 12 years and researchers suspect wolves are to blame.

The sixth annual Outdoor Heritage Day is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Riverbend Park in Palisade.

Conceived and organized by Frank McGee, Palisade area district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the event offers a wide variety of outdoor activities geared to families and youths.

“We are lucky to live in Colorado, where there are many different outdoor activities to enjoy,” said McGee, who has seen his idea grow to where Delta also hosts its own Outdoor Heritage Day. “Everyone involved in Outdoor Heritage Day has one goal in common — encouraging families to get off the couch, get away from the TV for awhile and have fun outside.”

More than 40 sponsors will offer demonstrations, seminars, and lessons in such activities as watching wildlife, hiking and camping at a local state park or forest, and hunting and fishing.

Youths will have the opportunity to learn to fish, hunt a dinosaur with a bow and arrow, or aim for the bull’s eye at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s supervised .22-rifle shooting trailer.

Additionally Parks and Wildlife will stock the Riverbend pond with large trout. Participants may bring their own fishing equipment or earn a free rod and reel by participating in a short fishing clinic.

“It’s become a tradition for many families to kick off spring at Outdoor Heritage Day,” McGee said. “We look forward to another great turnout this year.”

Parents are reminded to dress for variable weather and bring snacks and water.

Information: http://www.outdoorheritageday.org, or on Facebook at http://www.bit.ly/ohd2013.

Wolves targeted in lion decline: A story in the Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News and Guide says a decline in the local mountain population might be blamed on wolves.

According to the News and Guide story, which also appeared on the Outdoor Hub online news service (http://www.outdoorhub.com), mountain lion researchers say the number of mountain lions in Jackson Hole has dropped by nearly half in the past 12 years.

Part of that decline, the story says, could be attributed to wolves killing the cats’ offspring.

“Wolves appear to be knocking them back,” said Mark Elbroch, lead researcher for the Teton Cougar Project. “And they seem to be targeting kittens. We sometimes find (mountain lion cubs) torn to pieces.”

Elbroch said videos taken at various sites where mountain lions have been feeding on animal carcasses show “tense battles” between lions and wolves, with lions often outnumbered by a wolf pack.

Competition, not predation, may be the reason, Elbroch said.

“You can see that (the wolf) doesn’t care at all about the carcass,” Elbroch said while watching a video of a wolf pushing a male lion off a kill site. “He’s just looking for the cat. He doesn’t care at all. Where’s the cat?”

Elbroch was the lead researcher for the Garfield-Mesa Lion project from 2011-2012 on the High Lonesome Ranch north of De Beque.

According to the High Lonesome Ranch website, the project was “to capture and collar cougars, track them to their kill sites, determine what was killed and what happened to the prey item following the kill.”

A project report is due out sometime this summer.

Grand Lake in running for Ultimate Fishing Town: As of Friday, Grand Lake was only 200 votes out of first in the fourth annual Ultimate Fishing Town contest sponsored by World Fishing Network (WFN.com).

The top vote-getting Canada or U.S. city receives a $25,000 donation for fishing-related causes and a special feature about the town on WFN.

Friday vote totals showed Grand Lake with 2,015 votes trailing first place Cape Hatteras, N.C. (2,225) and well ahead of third-place Cocodrie, La., (1,223).

The current round of voting ends May 3.

Rules and voting information at http://www.worldfishingnetwork.com.


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