CO Parks and Wildlife – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Wed, 11 Dec 2019 22:47:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.5 Commissioners may oppose wolf reintroduction http://www.pagosasun.com/commissioners-may-oppose-wolf-reintroduction/ Thu, 12 Dec 2019 11:57:38 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=192735 The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) may publicly oppose a ballot initiative that would reintroduce gray wolves to Colorado.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

]]>
Free entry to state parks on Black Friday http://www.pagosasun.com/free-entry-to-state-parks-on-black-friday/ Thu, 28 Nov 2019 12:00:59 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=192114 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
You can reclaim Nov. 29 by avoiding the shopping hysteria and getting outside for a breath of fresh air. On Fresh Air Friday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) welcomes visitors to any of our 41 state parks by providing free entry in what has become an annual tradition of encouraging Coloradans to get out and give thanks.
“Studies have shown that spending time outside, no matter the activity, is great for your health,” said Dan Prenzlow, director of CPW. “We’re actively encouraging folks to enjoy their natural surroundings with family and friends rather than participate in the usual shopping frenzy. After all, the Colorado outdoors are the best deal out there.”
However you decide to get outdoors this Fresh Air Friday, CPW has the tools to make it an easy, stress-free experience for the whole family. Discover your new favorite state park with our state park finder, plan a short stroll or thorough post-Thanksgiving workout with our free COTREX trails app, find a secluded fishing spot with our CPW Fishing App or have fun with the kids with Generation Wild’s 100 Things to Do Before You’re 12 list.
To help conserve our natural spaces and keep them wild while recreating, please be sure to follow Leave No Trace Principles. Be Colo-Ready with common-sense practices such as sticking to the trails and packing out all trash (including peels and cores), visiting less-visited and off-peak destinations and keeping wildlife at a safe distance (use your zoom for photos and never feed wildlife).
For more details on these activities or to get more ideas on how to Live Life Outside, visit cpw.state.co.us.
As you enjoy a day of outdoor adventures, make sure to share it with us by using the hashtag #FreshAirFriday on your social media posts.
Most importantly, no matter where you go, get out and turn Black Friday into a blue skies Friday, a great views Friday, a green trees Friday — a Fresh Air Friday.

]]>
OHV grants available for up to 100 percent of project costs http://www.pagosasun.com/ohv-grants-available-for-up-to-100-percent-of-project-costs/ Wed, 27 Nov 2019 22:00:56 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=192127 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) Trails Program encourages local, county and state governments, federal agencies, special recreation districts and nonprofit organizations to apply for available off-highway vehicle (OHV) grant funding before the application period ends on Dec. 2.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

]]>
Survey work to start at Sambrito Wetlands in Navajo State Park http://www.pagosasun.com/survey-work-to-start-at-sambrito-wetlands-in-navajo-state-park/ Fri, 15 Nov 2019 12:00:50 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=191208 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
A crew from Ducks Unlimited will be doing surveys in the Sambrito Wetlands area of Navajo State Park during the next couple of weeks.
The crew is authorized to ride OHVs through the area to do the work; Colorado Parks and Wildlife stated there’s no reason to report the activity.
The Sambrito area, which is at the west end of the park, is being surveyed to determine what improvements can be made to enhance the wetlands.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Reclamation and Ducks Unlimited are working cooperatively on the project that will greatly improve the wildlife habitat in that area. Wetlands provide habitat for every species of wildlife and help to improve water quality.
Structures to help control and move water will be installed. Construction is scheduled to start some time next fall.

]]>
CPW hopes enhanced wetlands will help boreal toad survival http://www.pagosasun.com/cpw-hopes-enhanced-wetlands-will-help-boreal-toad-survival/ Wed, 13 Nov 2019 12:00:11 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=190677

Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife
In an ongoing conservation project, Colorado Parks and Wildlife recently release 1,700 boreal toad toadlets in a wetland in the San Juan mountains.

By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
In mid-September, biologist Dan Cammack walked slowly along the edge of a boggy pond in the San Juan Mountains high above the San Luis Valley and peered into the mud and black water looking for a camouflaged critter the size of a dime.
After just a couple minutes, he saw the jumping movements of tiny boreal toads. The amphibians, colored a brownish-black, sat in the mud, on rocks, in the grass or moved on the top of the water attempting to stay clear of danger. Cammack had placed the toads in the ponds for the first time a few weeks earlier.
“Watch where you step,” Cammack said. “We don’t want to step on them.”
The toads are precious. Twenty years ago, they were abundant throughout Colorado’s high country. Today, however, they are scarce as they battle the mysterious chytrid fungus that is threatening amphibians throughout the world.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists are working statewide to revive populations of these high-altitude amphibians that live from 8,000 to 13,000 feet. But as is the nature of wildlife research, biologists will not know for at least three years if the work will help toads survive.
To start the process, Cammack and his crew collected eggs from two wetlands in the Triangle Pass area near Crested Butte. The fertilized eggs, collected in early summer, were then taken to CPW’s Native Aquatic Species Hatchery in Alamosa, where they were hatched in captivity. By late summer, they grew into tadpoles and were ready for stocking in the San Juans.
In the high country above the San Luis Valley, the West Fork Fire in 2013 burned through 100,000 acres of forest.
Paul Jones, a now retired CPW biologist, had seen research that suggested burned areas might prevent development of the chytrid fungus. He also knew, based on historic records, that toads had once inhabited the area. So, he worked with the Rio Grande National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project and the San Luis Valley Water Conservation District to build small levies in a wetland area to enhance and enlarge optimal reproductive boreal toad habit. The area mimics wetlands created by beaver ponds — favorite breeding areas for toads.
In late August, Cammack and his crew released about 2,700 tadpoles for the first time into the ponds. He traveled back to the area in mid-September to check if the tadpoles had transitioned to toadlets. All along the edge of the five-acre pond, he saw toadlets moving, swimming and hiding.
“It looks like we have a lot of survival,” Cammack said. “The next critical test comes when we come back next spring to see if they survived the winter and hibernation.”
What is particularly challenging for the biologists is that young toads are less likely than adults to contract the fungus. So biologists have to wait to know if toads are affected.
“Making a determination about whether the site is positive for chytrid will not be established for about three years,” Cammack explained. “And reproductive maturity is not reached for five or six years, so it will take patience to see if the toads will breed in these ponds.”
Until then, Cammack and his crew will continue to collect eggs and release tadpoles into the ponds. The ongoing work is needed to maintain multiple “age classes” of the amphibians.
Cammack noted that he has found a few boreal toads at various locations in the mountains. However, outside of the Triangle Pass area, breeding in the wild has been unsuccessful.
“While each sighting is encouraging, the numbers are a mere shadow of the past when toads were once thriving in the region,” Cammack said. “We hope that careful management and novel approaches to encourage reproduction will keep boreal toads from disappearing.”
CPW biologists throughout the state are working on a variety of boreal toad conservation projects.
“We’re working on creative ideas to help bring these toads back. Building these ponds in this burn area is one idea. Hopefully, one of them will work, but it will take time,” Cammack said.
And he’s hopeful: “With wildlife we have to manage with optimism.”

]]>
Hunters urged to be extremely cautious with campfires http://www.pagosasun.com/hunters-urged-to-be-extremely-cautious-with-campfires/ Sat, 26 Oct 2019 11:00:32 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=189809 By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Special to The SUN
Because of extremely dry conditions throughout the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is urging hunters to be extra careful with their camp fires.
Hunters are heading to the high country for the combined deer and elk season that starts Saturday and continues through Oct. 27. Colorado has received little rain since late summer and several fires are now burning throughout the state. Fire can spread quickly through grasses and other dry vegetation.
Hunters, and anyone else camping, are urged to follow these precautions:
• Keep fires small and always keep them attended.
• When heading to bed, make sure the fire is out completely by soaking it thoroughly with water and checking for hot embers.
• If you start a fire in the morning, make sure it is completely out before heading into the field for the day.
• Any time you leave camp, make sure the fire is out.
• In windy conditions, it is recommended not to start a campfire.
• If you are using a wall tent with a wood stove, make sure there is a screen to block sparks on top of the external stovepipe. Check outside the tent occasionally for embers that might be smoldering.
• Don’t drive or park your vehicle over dry grass. Hot exhaust pipes can ignite vegetation. This applies to trucks, cars and off-highway vehicles.
• Don’t allow vehicle chains to drag on the ground or pavement because they can cause sparks.
• Dispose of cigarette butts safely; don’t toss them on the ground.

]]>
Local classes offered for hunter safety card http://www.pagosasun.com/local-classes-offered-for-hunter-safety-card/ Fri, 11 Oct 2019 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179626 By Donald D. Volger
Special to The SUN
Hunter education classes will be offered two more times this season in Pagosa Springs, on Oct. 17 and 18 (before the start of the second rifle season on Oct. 19), and a final class on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (prior to the start of the third rifle season on Nov. 2).
Sessions will take place 5:30-10 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday. Students must attend each session.
Classes will be held at the San Juan Ranger Building, 302 San Juan St.
Please contact Don Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com for updated location information.
The cost is $10 for the class. These courses will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. Students should register online prior to the class. To register, go to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) website, click on “Learn” then click on “Classes — Traditional” under the Hunter Education heading and follow the instructions.
If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.
All programs, services and activities of CPW are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com. To assure that CPW can meet special needs, please notify Volger at least seven days before the class.

]]>
Hunter safety card required for purchasing hunting license: Local classes offered http://www.pagosasun.com/hunter-safety-card-required-for-purchasing-hunting-license-local-classes-offered-3/ Wed, 09 Oct 2019 11:00:24 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179172 By Donald D. Volger
Special to The SUN
Hunter education classes will be offered two more times this season in Pagosa Springs, on Oct. 17 and 18 (before the start of the second rifle season on Oct. 19), and a final class on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (prior to the start of the third rifle season on Nov. 2).
Sessions will take place 5:30-10 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday. Students must attend each session.
Classes will be held at the San Juan Ranger Building, 302 San Juan St.
Please contact Don Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com for updated location information.
The cost is $10 for the class. These courses will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. Students should register online prior to the class. To register, go to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) website, click on “Learn” then click on “Classes — Traditional” under the Hunter Education heading and follow the instructions.

]]>
Hunter safety card required for purchasing hunting license: Local classes offered http://www.pagosasun.com/hunter-safety-card-required-for-purchasing-hunting-license-local-classes-offered-2/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 11:00:21 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178660 By Donald D. Volger
Special to The SUN
Hunter education classes will be offered two more times this season in Pagosa Springs, on Oct. 17 and 18 (before the start of the second rifle season on Oct. 19), and a final class on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 (prior to the start of the third rifle season on Nov. 2).
Sessions will take place 5:30-10 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday. Students must attend each session.
Classes will be held at the San Juan Ranger Building, 302 San Juan St.
Please contact Don Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com for updated location information.
The cost is $10 for the class. These courses will be open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. Students should register online prior to the class. To register, go to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) website, click on “Learn” then click on “Classes — Traditional” under the Hunter Education heading and follow the instructions.
If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.
All programs, services and activities of CPW are operated in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Volger at 264-2197 or ddvolger@gmail.com. To assure that CPW can meet special needs, please notify Volger at least seven days before the class.
These courses are sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department in conjunction with CPW with support from the local chapter of the Friends of the NRA.

]]>
Bear hits dumpsters: Restaurants, residents urged to secure trash http://www.pagosasun.com/bear-hits-dumpsters-restaurants-residents-urged-to-secure-trash/ Thu, 26 Sep 2019 21:00:11 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178658 A bear sighting over the weekend near a local shopping center has prompted wildlife officials to remind business owners and homeowners alike to make sure trash receptacles are locked and secured.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

]]>