Thank you for signing up to receive our Rocky Mountain Wild News! We send out news periodically (usually one every month or every other month). Be sure to add Rocky_Mountain_Wild@mail.vresp.com to your approved contacts so you can be sure to see our emails.
But first, here’s what we’ve been up to most recently:
- Expanding our Front Range Pika Project citizen science opportunity. In 2018, we were able to expand the project to cover Rocky Mountain National Park and the White River National Forest! We were able to survey 86 sites and train more than 80 volunteers who did 1,115 hours of field work. To help fund this work, we are currently offering pika adoptions! Adoptees get an adorable plush pika (filled with environmentally-friendly recycled plastic) and an adoption e-certificate.
- Protecting Wolf Creek Pass. We are up against the unlimited resources of Texas billionaire Red McCombs in the battle to protect Wolf Creek Pass from the “village.” But Red McCombs is up against our team of dedicated staff and tenacious supporters who submitted hundreds of objections to the Village at Wolf Creek Road Access Project in 2018. The federal court ruled in our favor for our merits case, upheld a challenge to that ruling, and dismissed an appeal to that ruling! While we were fighting that battle in court, the Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture sent a letter to the Forest Service demanding road access to build their Village anyway. Our supporters submitted hundreds of objections to the project to the Forest Service, which were quickly rejected but remain part of the public record. Last month, the Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas signed a Final Record of Decision that could result in an easement to facilitate construction of the massive “Village.” We will continue to fight this unnecessary development.
- Raising funds to finalize a design for wildlife crossing structures along the I-70 mountain corridor. In 2018, we completed our Wild I-70 Audio Tour to help people understand the importance of wildlife crossing structures along I-70 and we had over 1,100 people sign our I Support Wildlife Crossing Structures petition! We have also secured seed funding from Vail Resorts to begin the design and engineering process for crossing structures on east Vail Pass.
- Monitoring wildlife trying to cross I-70 using wildlife cameras. We have hundreds of thousands of images from this project that need identifying. Our monitoring project documents the animals in the Vail Pass Wildlife Byway’s proposed site so that we can help inform the bridge design. Along with our partners at Denver Zoo, we developed an interactive Zooniverse page where citizen scientists can help us identify the wildlife that are captured in the photos!
- Working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to find and map lands with wilderness characteristics. Using our Assessment of Biological Impact tool, we advocate for their protection.
- Continuing our Wednesdays in the Wild program. Last summer, we launched our Wednesdays in the Wild program – a schedule of films, hikes, and activist opportunities hosted by the 100 Women for the Wild planned every fourth Wednesday of the month. These events were open to the public, and are a chance to connect with others in the community who care about furthering the mission of supporting women in STEM fields. We will start this program again once the weather allows!
Those are the highlights of our major programs currently. If you would like to get involved in any of them, please do let us know! We definitely have volunteer opportunities. We also have opportunities to support our work by becoming a member or a donor.
If you want to follow us on social media, we do have a Facebook page and our Twitter handle is @RockyMtWild.
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