Hello there again to the public and anyone else that may follow 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. These past few weeks were huge weeks for my team and I, we had a lot to get accomplished as the Blanca Wetlands was opening to the public for recreational uses on July 15, 2018.

We had a lot of tasks such as closing all the service roads gates and cleaning all the parking lots and restrooms up. Also a lot of the fresh water ponds were overgrown by Russian Olive trees so we had a lot of trimming to do for the public that comes to fish. Overall everything that needed work was completed with the help of my awesome team and I. The gates were opened July 15, 2018. The first day was a success with over 50 visitors and all of the brochures at the kiosks were taken the first day.

It makes me happy to see that our wetlands are used by so many people and for so many different reasons. We had people come to the wetlands with their binoculars for birding and watching wildlife, and we also had people come in with their fishing rods and were asking about what ponds have what species of fish. Also there were people there that had never been to the wetlands before that were just driving around checking it out.

This week my team and I were out there just honestly monitoring running into people asking us questions. I honestly love talking to the public and answering some of their questions. I didn’t run into one person that wasn’t respecting the wetlands and the wildlife within. My favorite questions I love getting are bird questions. I had a lady ask me “what ponds can I find the Snowy Plovers at” and also “I seen a sparrow with no wing bars, a rusty cap, and a plain chest and stomach”. I simply pulled out my field guide that I always have on me and we looked through the sparrows together. This is what nature and recreation are all about respecting the land and wildlife and enjoying it at the same time for our happiness. The opening of the wetlands was indeed a great time for me. Stay tuned for the next week blog which is talking about the round two of selenium testing, see you all next time.


While monitoring the wetlands you come across various species of animals in this case it was a mother Spade Foot Toad, Alamosa is in monsoon season with lots of rain so amphibians are going wild.

Baby Spade Foot Toads they are everywhere, seriously, EVERYWHERE!!!

Juvenile Short Horned Lizard Photo 1.

Juvenile Short Horned Lizard Photo 2.

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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