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NOW: SAGE-GROUSE LEK VIEWING SEASON
Sage-grouse go all out for the prospect of winning the favor of the ladies: not only do
they strut their pointy tail feathers, they also have killer dance moves.
Here's how to catch them in action before mating season is gone.
Sage-grouse males inflate the yellow, balloon-like sacs on their chests and beat them together to create a booming sound that can be heard nearly a mile away. If you hope to catch a sight of lek antics this season, here's a map of leks in Wyoming, or see if your local 
Audubon Chapter offers a lek-viewing field trip! Sage-grouse are most active between 6am-10am MDT, so if you can't make it to a lek, grab a cup of joe at home and catch their smooth moves on the live lek cam. Live coverage will stream until May 15th.
DOWNLOAD SAGE-GROUSE LEK VIEWING GUIDE
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OTHER NEWS THIS MONTH   

congressional bulls-eye on Sage-grouse

Yet again we’re reporting on efforts to undermine, dismantle and defund the federal management plans for Greater Sage-grouse. Two bills, brought by Utah Congressman Bishop and Idaho Congressman Risch, propose harmful changes to sage-grouse management. Read More. 
 

In response, key folks involved in Wyoming’s progressive management of grouse, traveled to Washington DC in late March to make sure Congress heard the real story about the serious flaws of this bill. Three members of Wyoming’s Sage-Grouse Implementation Team (SGIT) met with not only the Wyoming Congressional delegation but also 15 other Representatives and Senators from around the country who’ll be hearing these bills and other sage-grouse related riders in committees. Doug Thompson (former County Commissioner and rancher; SGIT), Paul Ulrich (Jonah Energy; SGIT), and Brian Rutledge (Audubon; SGIT) were joined by Rick Danvir (member of the Casper Local Working Group) to bring the Wyoming perspective to Congress.

While not perfect, the federal management plans:

  • provide certainty for the oil and gas industry and the multiple-use of public lands,
  • provide important and valued funding sources to stakeholders in the states (which has been leveraged to yield even more funding).  This funding has been critical to help offset costs of doing business in an era of habitat restoration and active management, especially to private landowners.  Without this funding, states will have great difficulty meeting these needs (currently WY, MT, CO, and ID are facing tight budget cycles),
  • address issues at the landscape scale.  Therefore, benefits to sage-grouse through sound habitat management, benefits a wide range of wildlife – including others that are also imperiled. 
Loss of federal plans, as proposed by the Bishop and Risch bills (H.R. 527, S. 273):
  • would erode the years of collaboration amongst stakeholders, which has occurred here on a never-before seen scale,
  • risks kicking the can down the road on management of grouse, which puts us at risk of dealing with a bird in a more serious situation later on (with fewer options and loss of relationships among stakeholders).
Make your voice heard and tell your elected officials that these bills are bad for Wyoming and bad for Colorado.
OPPOSE THESE BILLS. HERE'S WHO TO CALL & WHAT TO SAY
the potential big impact of Trump's clean water rollback
"Under the Trump administration, seasonal streams and wetlands might not be protected. That could pollute waters near you. The Cathy Fromme Prairie, in the southwestern corner of Fort Collins, Colorado, is a window to the past—a remnant of the shortgrass prairie that once covered this region."
READ ABOUT CO WATERS in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

ambassadors for natural habitats swell in numbers 

The Habitat Hero Wildscaping 101 Ambassador program has certified 220 individuals who will teach their communities to restore natural habitats with pollinator, native plant, and water-wise skills. Wildscaping 201 will pick up again in fall 2017 in WY and CO's western slope, but if you can't wait until then, you can start a native plant garden in your backyard this spring. 

CREATE YOUR NATIVE PLANT GARDEN
A big thank you to our Wildscape Ambassador workshop sponsor, and partners,
Colorado Native Plant Society and High Plains Environmental Center.
We recently sponsored a road trip to Rowe Sanctuary in Nebraska to witness the incredible migration of the sandhill crane. Click the screenshot above to watch  60,000 cranes take off on the Platte River! 
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: UPCOMING EVENTS
volunteer: St. Vrain flood restoration

Please join us as we work to restore North St Vrain Creek near Button Rock Reservoir. Your efforts will help protect the water supply for Lyons and Longmont.  Activities will include soil amendment to improve fertility, native seeding, diverse plantings of native trees and shrubs, and mulch application.

REGISTER for ST. VRAIN CREEK RESTORATION
march for science 

The March for Science, scheduled for Earth Day, champions publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest. This is an unprecedented gathering of people standing together to acknowledge and voice the critical role that science plays in each of our lives.

FIND YOUR LOCAL MARCH

volunteer: Left Hand Creek flood restoration
 Join us on Earth Day as we continue the massive flood restoration process at a site on Left Hand Creek, just north of Boulder. Your efforts will help protect our water supply and restore wildlife habitat by re-vegetating scoured stream banks. This project is an opportunity to learn about river restoration at its best.
REGISTER for LEFT HAND CREEK RESTORATION
birds and global climate change at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
 
Garth Spellman, Denver Museum of Nature & Science curator of ornithology, takes you to Central America to see how global cooling during the Pleistocene allowed house wrens to become the species with the largest range in all of the Americas. Concludes with a discussion of how current global warming is affecting birds. Audubon members receive discounted admission! Use code BIRD17 when you purchase your ticket online.
SNAG YOUR TICKET ONLINE
volunteer: Campbell Valley 
 
Just 20 miles north of Fort Collins exists one of the most important mountains-to-plains ecological transition zones in the Front Range: The Laramie Foothills Conservation Area. Erosion gullies on Campbell Creek range from 5 to 30ft deep and run up to 1,000ft across the land--and ever increasing leakage from the canal continues to threaten the valley's stability.
REGISTER for CAMPBELL VALLEY RESTORATION
Thunder Feathers exhibit now
through May at Lander Art Center
Thunder Feathers participants learn about the sagebrush ecosystem at the Lander Arts Center.
Thunder Feathers: Greater Sage-grouse Strut the Plains is at the Lander Art Center in Lander, Wyoming from March 17-May 13, 2017. The exhibit highlights, through arts and sciences, Greater Sage-grouse behavior and sagebrush habitat characteristics. Thunder Feathers will also travel to the University of Wyoming Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center in Laramie for June and July 2017, and The Science Zone in Casper September through November. Other locations will be scheduled. Learn more.
Leaving a gift to Audubon Rockies by bequest in your will or trust, through an IRA, or other financial account is a way to ensure that your values endure. It’s a way of extending your reach beyond the bounds of time. Many gifts cost you nothing now, there is no minimum contribution, and you are not locked into a decision you make today. Call John Kloster-Prew, directly, at 970-416-6931 
or email jklosterprew@audubon.org
DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF GIVING WISELY
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