Colorado Wildlife and Recreation

Hi there again from the Environment for the Americas (EFTA) and the San Luis Valley Bureau of Land Management (BLM)!

This week’s blog includes some really exciting information on how many different aspects there are when working for the BLM. This week I was out doing my regular shorebird surveys at the beautiful Blanca Wetlands. For results we are still waiting for more of our shorebird populations to arrive to the wetlands. We only found two Killdeer and some birds of prey in the wetlands. We are seeing a ton of waterfowl and terrestrial birds, but, as I mentioned, we are still waiting for our shorebirds to arrive and that’s what the surveys are based on. Patience is a virtue, and I am very excited for the shorebird populations to arrive.

What was unique about this week was I found some time in my busy schedule to go out with BLM’s campground crew. I got to tag along to two sites called Penitente Canyon and Zapata Falls. Penitente Canyon Campground is a BLM special recreation site that is an internationally recognized climbing area, offering more than 300 incredible sport climbing routes. Zapata Falls is also a BLM special recreation site. The campground sits at 9,000 feet at the foot of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. It offers sweeping views of the San Luis Valley, the San Juan Mountains, and the nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park.

When working with the BLM it is important to always understand that recreation by humans is such an important aspect of protecting wildlife. We love to see the beautiful animals but by maintaining campground sites and keeping them clean we are protecting wildlife. Making sure people are following the rules and regulations for the outdoors and public lands is fun. Sometimes that includes driving around picking up trash and tasks like that, but those tasks sometimes make the biggest difference.  All in all since I do a lot of wildlife work with the BLM, it was cool to go manage and maintain two very beautiful campground sites here in Colorado.

Let’s all maintain and keep our public lands clean for us and the animals. Thanks, and see you next time.

Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree during shorebird surveys at Blanca Wetlands in Alamosa, Colorado.

Rio Grande River that runs through Colorado and Penitente Canyon.

Rio Grande River that runs through Colorado and Penitente Canyon.

State Bridge, spanning the Rio Grande River, Del Norte, Rio Grande County, CO

The beautiful frozen Zapata Falls in Alamosa, CO

The beautiful frozen Zapata Falls in Alamosa, CO

The beautiful frozen Zapata Falls in Alamosa, CO

The beautiful frozen Zapata Falls river in Alamosa, CO. It will start to thaw out soon as spring and summer warm up.

 

 

Ricky Martinez
[email protected]

Im Ricky Martinez Metropolitan State University of Denver Alumni (BS Biology). Also I am a SCA Massachusetts AmeriCorps Alumni (2016-2017). I currently am interning with the San Luis Valley Bureau of Land Management. I consider myself an ornithologist and I love birds.

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