The purpose of this partnership is to support, with both financial and volunteer resources, South Metro’s habitat and pollinator projects at Barr Lake State Park. Oxy is committed to community projects that help wildlife habitat and education of their communities regarding the importance of wildlife in our ecosystems. Barr Lake, another of SMPF’s partners, excels in wildlife husbandry and community outreach/education on the importance of protecting wildlife.
This is a great alliance for wildlife, SMPF, Barr Lake and Occidental. Welcome to the team!!
Pheasants Forever and Barr Lake Expand Pollinator Plot
On Saturday, May 22, a consortium of Barr Lake State Park, Pheasants Forever, Occidental Petroleum and Wildland Restoration Volunteers hosted the Black to Nature Book Club at Barr Lake for a three-hour event.
The focus of this event was twofold: First, the group, guided by PF and Wildland volunteers, and taught by Michelle Seubert, the head park ranger, learned the importance of and the technique of planting pollinator plants. The second focus was getting the job done! Serviceberries, goldenrod, and sunflowers—LOTS of sunflowers. The planting was fun and exciting. The pictures are worth a thousand words! Those displayed here show the group learning the importance of the pollinators and their habitat, getting hands-on training in planting, and gathering to celebrate their success.
Wet meadows, or mesic areas, contain crucial brood-rearing habitat for the Greater Sage Grouse and host numerous benefits to other wildlife and livestock. In these sagebrush rangelands of northwestern Colorado elk and mule deer along with neo-tropical migratory birds use these wet meadows at some point throughout the year. Over time the meadows have been damaged by erosion and lower water tables altered by drought, intense rain events, and a changing climate.
Using simple but innovative techniques derived from restoration guru Bill Zeedyk the group was able to start restoring the meadow with rock, or “Zeedyk” structures. The goal with these structures is to raise the water table, slow erosion, and support a diversity of plants and insects. These wet meadows are crucial to the Greater Sage Grouse as within the first few weeks of being hatched chicks need high protein insects to survive into adolescence and these mesic areas provide this excellent habitat. The wet meadows also allow plants to stay green, and grow later in the season, providing excellent forage for elk, deer, and livestock. Since soil disturbance is an integral facet of the rock structure implementation the PF Seed Program was able to provide a native pollinator forb seed mix in and around these structures to promote greater insect pollinator activity, providing excellent early brood rearing habitat for Greater Sage Grouse. The South Denver Metro Pheasants Forever Chapter of Colorado donated the seed and PF Chapters in CO help contribute to our private land’s biologist program ensuring that projects like these continue to grow.
Dozens of volunteers were mentored and led by Bob Timberman of USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, Shawn Conner of Bio-Logic, Brian Holmes of CO Parks & Wildlife, William Vieth of Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, and Rebecca Burton a Working Lands for Wildlife Biologist with Pheasants Forever/NRCS. Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, a Colorado based non-profit who organizes volunteers to work on conservation projects in Colorado and southern Wyoming, was an integral component of the project as they organized and provided the manpower to make quite an impact. The Covid-19 pandemic brought additional challenges implementing the project, but by limiting the group size to 25 volunteers per day, maintaining social distancing of 6+ feet whenever possible, and wearing masks while working in close proximities allowed to make it a reality.
Throughout the 4-day event almost 50 structures were built, new partnerships developed, and numerous encounters with the Greater Sage Grouse to the point where a few were able to harvest this iconic bird on surrounding public lands. Special thanks goes out to all the partners involved while Pheasants Forever looks forward to other opportunities of wet meadow restoration in the West.
Dear members and supporters of South Metro Pheasants Forever
This morning during Governor Polis’s 3/13/2020 press conference, he instituted a ban on gatherings of over 250 people, if those events cannot guarantee separation of 6 fee or more between participants. You can find more information here: https://www.denverpost.com/2020/03/13/colorado-coronavirus-polis/
With the nature of our event and the size of the meeting space (e.ge., service of concessions and food, game play, auctions), it makes it impossible to guarantee 6 feet of separation. As a result, our chapter has “postponed” our annual banquet until the ban is lifted. We will keep everyone updated on when the new date is set.
David King, President
Start planning to attend the 2020 Annual FUNdraising Banquet on Saturday, March 14 at the Denver Marriott South!
2020 Ticket Costs
Single Meal with 1 New Membership $80
Couple with 1 New Membership $125
Youth /Kids Meal with New Membership $30 (Chicken Tenders)
Early Bird Registration by February 14, 2020 / One raffle ticket per registration – Legacy Pointer Arista 12 ga. O/U