Audubon Rockies River Trips:
The Audubon Rockies Grand Canyon trip April 30 – May 7, 2018 is full! If you are still interested in floating with us, we are taking names for the waitlist. Contact Abby Burk, Western Rivers Program Lead for Audubon Rockies at firstname.lastname@example.org for trip details and to be placed on the waitlist.
CO Western Water Newsletter APR 2018
Abby Burk | Western Rivers Program Manager | Audubon Rockies | email@example.com
Audubon Rockies and WRV 2018 Restoration Projects
Native riparian and wetland vegetation is critical in supporting thriving bird populations, ecosystem services, and for providing clean drinking water for people. We have a way for you to help these essential habitats that we all depend upon! Building upon the great successes in 2016 and 2017, Audubon Rockies and Wildland Restoration Volunteers (WRV) are teaming up again in 2018 to enhance and restore streamside and wetland areas across Colorado. Project days are full of “how to” education, citizen science monitoring, community friendships, and “environmental therapy” for your heart. Sign up early for projects directly through the links provided. Early registration helps us to forecast volunteer meals and needed labor. We cannot do this without you! If you cannot donate your time, please consider a financial donation to Audubon Rockies to support these vital projects. Together, we are making a difference for birds and rivers!
May 12, 2018: Big Thompson
(40 volunteers needed)
The historic flood of September 2013 caused major damage throughout watersheds across Colorado’s Northern Front Range, and scoured much streamside vegetation that is so vital for wildlife, streambank stability, and water quality. Since 2014, WRV has been working with local, state and federal land managers and watershed coalitions in many watersheds, including the South Platte River, St Vrain Creek, Left Hand Creek, James Creek, Little Thompson River, Big Thompson, and Poudre River, with the goal of re-establishing healthy riparian plant communities.
WRV, partnering with Audubon Rockies, completed extensive revegetation in 2017. Did you know that the north fork Big Thompson projects on National Forest lands have shown some of the highest seed emergence seen by WRV and forest botanists alike? In 2018, we will continue work spanning multiple watersheds. Volunteers will spread pre-staged piles of compost, broadcast native seed that has been specially collected by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, apply engineered wood straw mulch, and plant native container-grown plants from WRV's own micro-nursery facility. Your efforts will help protect the water supply and improve wildlife habitat!
September 5-8, 2018: Uncompahgre Plateau Sage Grouse Habitat Restoration
(30 volunteers needed/day)
Wet meadows and riparian areas in sagebrush shrublands provide important brood-rearing habitat for the Gunnison sage-grouse, listed as threatened by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. These habitats are also important for numerous other species, including neo-tropical migratory birds, elk and mule deer, as well as to ranchers for livestock grazing.
In 2018, we're taking the success that WRV has had in Gunnison over the past 4 years and moving up to the Uncompaghre National Forest to replicate this work. We will be camped out for four days at a historic Civilian Conservation Corps camp (with showers!) and travelling from there to work sites each day. Food will be provided by talented volunteer cooks!
Volunteers will be constructing multiple rock structures on small streams and drainages in the watershed. We will apply the approach of restoration expert Bill Zeedyk, author of Let the Water do the Work: Induced Meandering, An Evolving Method for Restoring Incised Channels (2012). We will be using rock to build small scale erosion control structures which help to trap sediment, raise the water table over time, and sustain the plant community that the Gunnison Sage Grouse depends upon. This work helps make the ecosystem more resilient to the effects of climate change.
September 10-11, 2018: Dolores River Restoration and Tamarisk Removal
(30 volunteers needed/day)
Spend a few days camped out under the cottonwoods in the spectacular Gateway Canyon! 2018 is the fifth year of a collaborative effort with WRV, Rivers Edge West, the Dolores River Restoration Partnership, and Audubon Rockies to restore a priority native ecosystem inside the stunning Dolores River Canyon Wilderness Study Area. In 2018, volunteers will cut small tamarisk trees, or regrowth of previously cut larger trees, and may also cage cottonwoods to protect them from beavers.
This is a celebrated project, known far and wide for fabulous food, awe-inspiring scenery and intriguing local history. *Sign up for the Uncompahgre Plateau Sage Grouse Restoration Project from September 6-9th and make a whole week of it. Anyone who signs up for both projects can get to ride in the WRV carpool from Boulder and go on a special day-off adventure with us!
October 10, 2018: St Vrain Creek Tamarisk Removal
(20 volunteers needed)
Tamarisk (Salt Cedar) grows aggressively, choking native vegetation which negatively impacts bird habitat. Following the September, 2013, flood, thousands of tamarisk have germinated along St Vrain Creek, east of Longmont. These tamarisk seedlings are intermixed with native cottonwoods, willows and other native seedlings that are naturally growing in response to the flood. Tamarisk pose a major threat to watershed health across the west, costing billions of dollars in degraded habitat and lost water.
Come enjoy panoramic views of the Front Range as you continue work from 2016-2017, and help remove tamarisk through hand-pulling small seedlings, pulling with weed wrenches on the medium sized plants, and possible "cut and stump" treatment on the larger plants that cannot be pulled. This treatment involves sensible dabbing of a small quantity of herbicide to the stump. You'll be rewarded for your efforts by likely seeing circling eagles as we work to remove tamarisk.
CHECK BACK SOON FOR 2018 TRIPS