Calendar of exciting events this spring to enjoy outside
Outdoor opportunities this month include getting river-wise made easy and prying into the sex life of a rare bird:
Monday through Friday — The River Crossings Research Conference and Workshop presented by the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University.
Organized by the Tamarisk Coalition, River Management Society, Bureau of Land Management and International Submerged Lands Conference.
Happenings include presentations, panels and field trips highlighting recent advances and emerging issues in riparian restoration and river-management practices.
Various field-trip options include a float trip down Ruby-Horsethief Canyon and a tour of restoration projects along the Dolores River near Gateway.
Presentations will include wetland restoration work done by Colorado Mesa students and faculty and cottonwood restoration in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.
A special session will focus on the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
Also, the BLM will present the movie, “A Tour of River Restoration Projects Along the Colorado, Dolores, and Escalante Rivers.”
Events will be hosted in the University Center Ballroom.
For information and registration: http://www.coloradomesa.edu/WaterCenter.
Thursday, 2 p.m. — A public celebration of the recently completed Paonia River Park Restoration Project.
The work, coordinated by the Western Slope Conservation Center, included rehabilitating and restoring a half-mile of the river channel and aquatic habitat in the North Fork of the Gunnison River.
The project restored the river to a single meandering channel. Aquatic habitat was improved, thousands of willows were planted, fish-retention pools were installed, and the floodplain was rehabilitated with new vegetation to control flood erosion.
The project was funded by the Bureau of Reclamation’s Minnesota Ditch Project, the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Delta Conservation District.
The project also was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation for landscaping at the park.
To RSVP, contact Joanna Calabrese, river park coordinator, 527-5307, ext. 204.
March 16 — Tundra Swan Day at the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area west of Farmington, Utah, and the Salt Creek WMA west of Corinne.
Farmington is 17 miles north of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15.
The free public event is hosted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Spotting scopes and self-guided tours will be available.
It’s estimated as many as 35,000 tundra swans will be in Utah during the peak of migration.
A similar event at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge was canceled because of to federal budget cuts.
For information: DWR Northern Region Office, 801-476-2740.
March 28-April 7 — Sage-grouse viewing in northwest Colorado. Join Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Conservation Colorado on guided tours to watch greater sage-grouse during their mating dance.
According to the Conservation Colorado website, tours leaves at 4:30 a.m. from Craig and cost $25 to $75 per person. Viewing is done from an enclosed trailer, but there’s no guarantee of how long the birds will be present.
Last spring one viewer enjoyed more than an hour of viewing grouse while another visitor had less than 10 minutes before an early arriving golden eagle chased away the grouse.
“If you are a dedicated bird watcher, sage-grouse mating is certainly one for your life list,” said Watchable Wildlife Coordinator Trina Romero, of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “But even a casual wildlife watcher will be in awe of this beautiful display.”