on October 13, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Wildlife viewing and nature study offered at Rocky Flats refuge

Wildlife viewing and nature study offered at Rocky Flats refuge

After nearly two decades awaiting access onto the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has scheduled trail nature hikes on the new refuge.

The Rocky Flats refuge, west of Westminster and Standley Lake in Jefferson County, is under management by the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge staff. Trail hiking reservations can be made by calling the Commerce City-based service staff at 303-289-0930.

A variety of wildlife viewing and nature study opportunities are available to the public during National Wildlife Refuge Week being celebrated Oct. 25. The service staff has scheduled a birds of prey show, wildlife art displays, face painting and hands-on wildlife activity booths focusing on bison, bees, butterflies and other Colorado species.

On Oct. 30, kids and families will have a rare opportunity to handle and assemble a bison skeleton from head to tail. Given the success of the bison reintroduction program in the late 1990s at the arsenal wildlife refuge, this unique activity will be something to not miss. A popular tour of the refuge bison herd and range is also on the agenda.

At the state level, the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife is in the midst of statewide predator management listening sessions to get public input on the impact wildlife predators are having on the diminishing population of the state’s mule deer herds. Known predators threatening mule deer, both adult and fawns, include mountain lions and coyotes.

The questions under study are whether other wildlife predator impacts exist. Certainly, state human population growth, land conversion and development factors play a role in habitat loss, typically the biggest single negative impact on mule deer (and wildlife) populations, health and well-being.

Call the Department of Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192 for future public meeting schedues.This significant wildlife issue will get continued attention in the near term by the department.

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