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The original item was published from 6/17/2014 2:47:10 PM to 9/8/2014 12:05:01 AM.

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Gunnison County Organization News

Posted on: June 17, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Volunteers Sought for Upper Gunnison Basin Habitat Restoration

The Gunnison Climate Working Group, facilitated by The Nature Conservancy, which includes local natural resource agencies, conservation entities, local government entities, including Gunnison County, and private landowners has embarked on a project to restore and improve riparian, wetland and wet meadow habitats across the Gunnison Basin on private and public lands. This project will assist in making the areas more resilient in the face of climate change and will benefit Gunnison Sage-grouse, neo-tropical birds and many other species of wildlife including deer and elk. To address these challenges, restoration methods are being used to raise the water table by installing rock structures on specifically selected water courses.

Volunteers are needed to make this project a success. For more information, contact Jim Cochran at 970-641-5182 or

Minimum Age: 16 (and accompanied by an adult)

Dates: September 3, 2014 through September 7, 2014 (Wednesday through Sunday). Sign up for all 5 days, or just one or more!

Description: Enjoy this fall "volunteer vacation" with us in Upper Gunnison River basin. The Gunnison Sage-grouse is proposed for listing as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Riparian areas, wetlands and wet meadows provide critical brood-rearing habitat for this species as well as neo-tropical migratory birds, elk, mule deer, and domestic livestock. A number of these areas are compromised by erosion and lower water tables, these areas are likely to be further altered by changing climate, drought, invasive species, and erosion from intense runoff events.

To address these challenges, restoration methods are being developed to raise the water table to support wet-loving plants and insects needed by wildlife species and livestock. Carefully designed and placed rock structures are being used to enhance ecosystem resilience of wet meadow/riparian systems.

One goal of this project is to bring volunteers from the Front Range over to work along side local Gunnison area volunteers.

Another exciting goal of this project is to offer Crew Leader and Camp Cook training. Crew Leaders play an important role in organizing large volunteer events by explaining tool use, overseeing construction methods, and maintaining a safe and fun working environment. Cooks are important for keeping the volunteers well fed and bringing everyone together at the beginning and end of the day.

Volunteer projects in the Upper Gunnison Basin will continue year after year. Well trained, experienced leaders will be a vital part of the overall success of these projects. We hope to recruit and train many new leaders in the Gunnison Basin to continue this important habitat work into the future.

Anyone interested in participating in the Crew Leader or Cook Training. please register for the project first and then contact Brian Rasmussen by email and ask to be registered as a trainee -

* Anticipated Training Schedule*
Crew Leader Training - September 3rd & 4th
Cook Training - September 3rd or 4th

ALREADY A TRAINED CREW LEADER? - Please join us for the technical skills training on September 4th and 5th.

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