Earth Briefs

Mesa Verde to begin two bird programs

Mesa Verde National Park will participate in the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship project and a second project managed through the Hummingbird Monitoring Network.

The Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship project involves the placement of mist-nets in the piñon-juniper woodlands. During the morning hours from May through July, the nets are regularly checked and captured birds are extracted, measured and documented, and then banded with a sequentially numbered leg band before release. This capture data is reinforced with substantial numbers of direct field surveys, called point-counts, performed by trained observers.

The second park project, managed through Hummingbird Monitoring Network, captures, measures and bands some of Mesa Verde’s breeding and migrating hummingbirds.

For more information, call George San Miguel at 529-5069.

Applications accepted for incentives program

The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Colorado is taking applications through July 2 for 2013 funding in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

Applications received after July 2 will be considered during a later time and will be processed throughout the fiscal year as needed.

The program provides financial assistance for conservation systems such as irrigation system improvements, cross fencing, and water developments for improved grazing management, riparian protection and wildlife habitat enhancement. Projects that improve water quality in Salt Creek and the Florida River will be given special consideration.

Apply at the Durango office, 31 Suttle St., or call 259-3289, ext. 3.

Energy workshop to take place July 7

Colorado State University Extension will offer a workshop about reducing energy bills and determining whether solar or wind might be viable options from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 7 at the La Plata County Extension Office, 2500 Main Ave.

Participants will learn to use computer tools to help with energy assessment and analyze both the practical and financial feasibility of renewable energy at their home.

There will be up-to-date information about financing energy improvements. The fee is $10, and lunch will be included.

Pre-registration is required. To register, email Sharal Foss at or call (970) 491-6281.

For more information and a schedule, visit

Historian to speak at Navajo State Park

Navajo State Park in Arboles will host local historian John Porco of Pagosa Springs at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Navajo State Park Visitors Center Conference Room.

Porco will talk about the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad. He will explore the former Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad in southern Colorado between Chama, N.M., and Durango, focusing on the history of the line and its operation through the years. Porco will share rare and unusual photos, both of the railroad in its heyday and of its current traces.

For more information, call 883-2208 or visit

Volunteers needed to set bear-hair snares

Heather Johnson, who is leading a Colorado Parks & Wildlife bear study in Southwest Colorado, is looking for volunteers to help with bear-hair snares in the Piedra area.

People interested should email or call 375-6715.

HD Mountains trail to be closed Monday

A portion of the Green Canyon Trail No. 672 in the HD Mountains will be temporarily closed from Monday to July 1, to allow the Forest Service to perform archaeological assessments.

The closure will be put in place for public safety while contractors excavate six 1-meter-by-1-meter grid squares within the trail corridor to determine the condition and archaeological potential of the area to plan future trail work.

The southern 1.75 mile section of the Green Canyon Trail No. 672 from the trailhead on Zabel Canyon Road No. 123 will be closed to the intersection with the Ute Creek Trail.

Maps and information are available at the Columbine Ranger District, 367 South Pearl Street, Bayfield, or by calling 884-2512. Information also will be posted at

Herald Staff