Outside Briefs for Sept. 18, 2016

National Public Land day is Saturday

National Public Land Day, the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands, is Saturday.

This year, the Grand Mesa Nordic Council is partnering with the Forest Service for a work day “sprucing up” the ski trails on the Grand Mesa.

Volunteers will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Skyway Parking lot, located approximately five miles west of the Grand Mesa Visitor Center (off Highway 65). Lunch will be provided if volunteers contact GMNC prior to the event: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

On Friday, the Forest Service is also hosting an environmental education day for many of the fourth graders in the North Fork Valley.

This event is part of the “Every Kid in a Park” Initiative.

Fourth graders will visit the Gunnison National Forest near Paonia for a field trip where they will learn about forestry techniques, invasive weeds, “Leave No Trace” principles, meet the Rocky Mountain Mule Pack string and explore the forest on a nature hike. 

The Bureau Of Land Management will also host a work day on the Blackridge Trail in the Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 1.

Contact Robin Lewis at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information on this project.

Saturday is also a fee-free day for all federal public lands and many state parks, with some federal lands also celebrating the National Park Service centennial.

Practical Tackle now available for sale


Practical Tackle, the product developed by 14-year-old Brayden Kelley of Fruita, has been released for sale to customers. Practical Tackle is now officially available for ordering at http://www.practicaltackle.net

Kelley, who won last year’s young entrepreneur program, created a convenient tackle box that attaches to the fishing rod for the on-the-go angler. Each Practical Tackle is made of quality canvas, with a variety of pockets to suit any angler’s needs.

Practical Tackle will be sold at local events in Mesa County, including (Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce new member showcase, Fruita fall Festival and Fruita farmers market, over the next few months.

The product is manufactured in Grand Junction.

African birds program set for Monday


The Grand Valley Audubon Society will present a program about African birds at 7 p.m. Monday at the First Presbyterian Church, 3940 27 1/2 Road.

The program, entitled “Tim Henson and Birds of Africa,” will be a slideshow and a movie Henson created documenting his extensive birding adventures in Ghana, Rwanda, Zaire, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia. Henson is retired biology and geology teacher who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana in 1969-1971. He has since traveled to various regions in Africa and, during the program, will share images of birds he has seen.

Information: 970-242-1923.

Prairie dog surveys take place Oct. 1


Colorado Parks and Wildlife will conduct aerial prairie dog surveys through Oct. 1.

Residents and hunters in the northeast and southeast regions of Colorado are advised that biologists will be using a low-flying airplane to conduct the surveys.

Aerial prairie dog surveys are part of an ongoing effort to monitor populations in the state. CPW last surveyed black-tailed prairie dogs in 2006-2007, and the current work will follow an updated methodology being used throughout the 11-state range of the species to provide more comparable estimates.

The current work is being funded through grants.

Big-game hunters clinic set for Tuesday


Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering “Field Dressing 101” for big-game hunters. The class will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area near Fruita.

The class is detailed and will include the use of real animals to provide thorough examples of how to properly field dress big game. Instructors will demonstrate gutting and gutless methods of field processing, quartering, and suggestions for transporting the meat out of the field.

Information/registration: 970-250-6100, or http://www.register-ed.com/events/view/87706.


CPW seeks predator management input


In an attempt to increase deer populations in two areas of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is proposing a predator management study in each area and is seeking input on the proposals at an upcoming meeting in Denver.

Due to a variety of factors, including habitat fragmentation, disease, development, increased outdoor recreation and predation, mule deer populations remain below desired levels in parts of Colorado.

A moderated listening session will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday at the Hunter Education Building, 6060 Broadway, Denver. Public comments will be accepted to gather as much input as possible during the two-hour meeting.

The meeting will end promptly at 8:30 p.m. and if all comments have not been heard, the public can submit their thoughts to the Commission’s email address.

More information regarding the plans can be found at the following websites: http://www.cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Research/Mammals/ Piceance-Basin-Predator-Management-Plan-Overview.pdf; or at http://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Research/Mammals/Upper-Arkansas-River-Predator-Management-Plan-Overview.pdf.


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