Hello there again to the public and anyone else that may follow the Environment for the Americas (EFTA). It’s your EFTA intern Ricky Martinez serving the people and the environment here in the San Luis Valley, or Alamosa Colorado to be specific. I am working on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands the gorgeous Blanca Wetlands to be specific. This week has been action packed with so much fun field work including our annual Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus) count and zone allotments aka land health assessments with the BLM. Not only do I want to share how all this took place but I have a variety of photos I know you will all love. So lets jump into the fun!

First off I want to talk about the annual Snowy Plover (Charadrius nivosus) count that took place at the magnificent Blanca Wetlands. This happens once a year in June where a team of wildlife biologists with the BLM meet out at the wetlands at 6:00AM bright and early. The count then starts and since the wetlands is 10,000 acres with multiple salty playas where the plovers nest we break into teams. There were three teams each with three playas to survey so nine playas totals. My team and I  saw the most Snowy Plovers at our three playas with a total count of 31 Snowy Plovers. Why is this so awesome? The Snowy Plover has an estimated global population of 38,000 individuals, and a conservation status rating of near threatened because of a moderate, long term population decline and ongoing threats to breeding and wintering habitats. To be able to see a near threatened species so close up and 31 of them is pretty amazing. Also to know that my Blanca Wetlands that I manage is a crucial habitat for this species and their offspring is so amazing and I am committed to protecting this land for the future generation of the species. I am so proud to manage these wetlands.

Second was zone allotments aka land health assessments with the BLM crew. We had the full team of wildlife biologists, botanist, hydrologists, geologist, grazing specialists and more. So here in the United States the BLM manages an enormous amount of land. Managing a lot of land is not easy and must be assessed periodically and rated unsuitable or suitable habitat. Now this is where is gets tricky depending on what your study or focus is for example, to a wildlife biologists the land might be unsuitable habitat but may be suitable habitat to the grazing specialists. That is why we have a team with a variety of specialties and we all have to observe and rate the land health and do our best to compromise to rate this land. Once the task is complete we must write a report explaining why the habitat is suitable or why it is not. You could probably assume how much more in depth this is and I’m skimming the surface. But it is fun to work with a team of different backgrounds and the ultimate goal is to make sure our lands are managed and cared for if they are damaged to put in place a plan to restore them for the future generations to come.

Thanks for checking out my blog and stay tuned for the next one and lastly please enjoy these photos from my week and see how here with the BLM we make hard and dedicated work so much fun for ourselves. The world is a beauty lets all work together to keep it that way. Thanks everyone!!!!!

My snowy plover count partner Loree who is amazing, smart and a great naturalists.


Blanca Wetlands and perfect Snowy Plover habitat.

Doing the Snowy Plover count Loree and I found a Sage Thrasher nests, what gorgeous eggs.

More amazing Snowy Plover habitat.









Zone Allotment with BLM crew at Black Canyon WSA!

Black Canyon WSA Vista!

Zone Allotment with BLM crew at Black Canyon WSA!

Ricky Martinez

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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