Colorado Native Plant Society’s Western Slope Festival
June 3 - June 4$40 - $60
Conserving Native Plant Community Biodiversity:
Colorado’s Western Slope
Saturday, June 3
Presentations – 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Rare Plants and the US Forest Service by Tyler Johnson
Sagebrush Response to Climate Change by Tom Grant
Sudden Aspen Decline Impacts on Biodiversity by Jim Worrall
Using Citizen Science to Protect Native Pollinators by Shay Hlavaty
Rare Plants in the Gunnison Area by Peggy Lyon
Western Slope Locales and Garden Plants by Panayoti Kelaidis
Media Lunas, One Rock Dams, and Zuni Bowls: Improving Wetland Habitat and Diversity One Rock at a Time by Renee Rondeau
What Can You Learn about the Climate by Counting Flowers? By David Inouye
Field Trips – Saturday afternoon, 2:30 – 5:30 pm
(To register for field trips, after registering for the Festival, please return to the Events Calendar and choose the next ‘event’ for June 3-4 Field Trips)
Skiff Milkvetch Survey by Robin Bingham, PhD, Botany Professor at WSCU, with Dara Taylor, USFWS Botanist . Visit skiff milkvetch survey locations at the Hartman Rocks area.
Plant Diversity Monitoring by Western State Colorado University student and BLM intern, Alex McCarty. Visit Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) areas with researcher, Alex, who collects data on plant diversity, foliar cover, sage grouse habitats, gap intercept, and soils in the Gunnison Basin. Alex will also feature spring wildflowers that are in bloom at those locations.
Sagebrush Plant Community by Thomas Grant from Western State Colorado University. Hike around the sagebrush plant community and learn about the surprising diversity that is just steps outside of the Western State Colorado University Campus in Gunnison.
Hartman Rocks Spring Wildflower Diversity by Barb Frase, PhD, Western State Colorado University. Hartman Rocks is a 20 min drive from Gunnison on a paved road. We will walk to three of my research sites, each of which include aspen stands along the drainage, and diverse sage and aspen understory communities. One site has a small perennial wetland. Many forbs and shrubs will be in bloom. We’ll examine diversity within and between communities and think about differences among communities in close proximity. Short easy walks mostly on trails. Bring water, sunscreen, a hat, closed- toe shoes. There may be ticks with such a wet spring, so long pants and long-sleeved shirt recommended.
Alpengardener by Beth Schumacher garden center display and field tour.
Noxious Weed Tour by Jon Mugglestone, Gunnison County Weed Coordinator, walking noxious weed tour in Gunnison.
Roundup Basin Wildflowers by Gay Austin common sagebrush and montane wildflowers. Short hikes.
Saturday Evening Bar-B-Que !
Sunday, June 4
Field Trips – Sunday morning, 9:00am – 12:00 noon
Skiff Milkvetch Survey (repeat) by Robin Bingham, PhD, Botany Professor at WSCU, with Dara Taylor, USFWS Botanist . Visit skiff milkvetch survey locations at the Hartman Rocks area.
Sagebrush Plant Community (repeat) by Thomas Grant from Western State Colorado University. Hike around the sagebrush plant community and learn about the surprising diversity that is just steps outside of the Western State Colorado University Campus in Gunnison.
Almont Triangle Aspen Exclosures by Barb Frase, PhD, Western State Colorado University. The Almont Triangle is a protected big game winter range a 20 min drive north of Gunnison. We’ll walk through rolling sage covered hills on a dirt road. It’s an easy uphill grade and we’ll stop often because there is so much to look at. We will pass “The Toughest Tree in the County”. Our destination is a set of exclosures designed to prevent elk and mule deer from foraging overwinter, and to think about the subtle as well as obvious, differences inside and outside the fences. If time and energy allow, we can continue to another set of exclosures focused on forb and grass community diversity. Bring water, sunscreen, a hat, closed- toe shoes. There may be ticks with such a wet spring, so long pants and long-sleeved shirt recommended.
Riparian Restoration by Renee Rondeau, Botanist with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, and Gay Austin, BLM Natural Resource Specialist. Join Renee and Gay in Wolf Creek or Chance Gulch to observe changes in riparian vegetation and plant diversity in response to manually-placed Zeedyk rock structures.
Bird Diversity by Pat McGee, Wildlife Biologist Professor, at Western State Colorado University.
Free Gunnison Art Walk on Friday, June 2nd 5-8pm to the CoNPS Event Calendar for the Western Slope Festival. Details at:http://www.gunnisonartscenter.org/events/first-friday-artwalk