Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CNHP director featured in Larimer County video

CNHP director David Anderson makes an appearance in a video about how Great Outdoors Colorado support for our work and that of our partners has helped to transform the face of Colorado in wonderful ways. Watch “Leveraging Colorado Lottery Funds” here:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Celastrina Saison video!

CNHP and Odell Brewing Company have entered a novel partnership to conserve the hops blue butterfly (Celastrina hummulus), which only lives along Colorado's Front Range, exclusively in populations of wild hops. Odell released Celastrina Saison in a Belgian farmhouse 750-ml bottle in late May 2013. The label boldly shows a male hops blue butterfly and along the edge of the label is a description of how $1 of each 750 ml bottle will go toward CNHP for hops blue butterfly research. This partnership between Odell Brewing Company and CNHP developed out of a shared interest in conserving species and landscapes that are uniquely Colorado.


Urban Wetland Surprises: Denver’s Parkfield Park

By Bernadette Kuhn, CNHP Botanist

We recently visited Parkfield Park as part of our EPA-funded wetland assessment project in Denver County. Much to our delight it was teeming with dragonflies, aquatic insects, and waving bulrushes. Our crew of botanists jumped up and down when we discovered floating mats of the world’s smallest flowering plant. The mats were made up of thousands of Wolffia columbiana that creating swirly lime-green patterns on the water. Ralph Brooks collected the only known Colorado specimen of W. columbiana from Yuma County in 1980. We collected voucher specimens to distribute to regional herbaria.

David Leatherman holds a green dragonfly with Billy Bunch (EPA), while
 Laura Cascardi and Bernadette Kuhn get distracted by plants.
Photo by Pam Smith.
Tiny, almost granular Wolffia columbiana plants (indicated by white arrows)
are dwarfed by duckweed, Lemna minor. Photo by B. Kuhn.

A Woodhouse’s toadlet at Parkfield Park. Photo by Pam Smith.
Blog readers stay tuned! We will be posting more photos of our Denver urban wetland work throughout the winter. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dr. Healy Hamilton Visits CSU and Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

On September 26th and 27th, Dr. Healy Hamilton came to Fort Collins to give presentations on her cutting-edge work in communicating about biodiversity, climate change, and land management.  Dr. Hamilton has a long list of accomplishments and has held many leadership roles including Director of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Informatics at the California Academy of Sciences, and co-founder of the Worldviews Network   In November she is going to become the Chief Scientist for NatureServe, and she is currently moving from her home in California to Washington DC.  So we were especially excited that she was able to visit us at CNHP and talk about our visions for the NatureServe Network of Heritage Programs and how we can work with her to achieve them.  We worked with our colleague Dr. Dana Winkelman to host her as the seminar speaker for the Fishand Wildlife Conservation Biology Department, where she talked about the fascinating work she is doing with the Worldviews Network.  

Left to right: Dr. Dana Winkelman, Unit Leader of the USGS 
Colorado Coop Unit, Dr. Healy Hamilton, 
and David G. Anderson, CNHP Director
At the FortCollins Museum of Discovery she gave a presentation for NPS staff and their partners on the planetarium dome, taking advantage of its immersive environment to “place Earth within its cosmic context and connect audiences with ecological and biodiversity issues in their backyards.”  Welcome to the NatureServe Network of Heritage Programs, Healy, and we are so excited to work with you!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Natural Resource Management Decision-Making under Climate Uncertainty: Building Social-Ecological Resilience in Southwestern Colorado

In joint collaboration with several other institutes, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program was awarded a multi-year project from the North Central Climate Science Center (part of U.S. Geological Survey): “Natural Resource Management Decision-Making under Climate Uncertainty: Building Social-Ecological Resilience in Southwestern Colorado.”  RenĂ©e Rondeau, Ecologist and Conservation Planner with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program is the CSU Principal Investigator and will be working closely with Jeffrey Morrisette and Dennis Ojima (North Central Climate Science Center), as well as University of Montana, The Nature Conservancy, Mountain Studies Institute and USGS-Fort Collins over the next few years to facilitate climate change adaptation that contributes to social-ecological resilience, ecosystem/species conservation, and sustainable human communities in Southwestern Colorado while focusing on the Gunnison Basin and the San Juan Mountains.  

Gunnison Basin landscape with East Beckwith Mountain in the background.
The group will develop a set of actionable and prioritized social/ecological adaptation strategies for vulnerable ecosystems and species based on best available science.  These adaptation strategies will incorporate the latest in climate science and must be useful and meaningful to natural resource managers and other stakeholders.  The Gunnison and San Juan Basins ownership and economies revolve around ranches and private industry that relies on natural resources, US Forest Service, US National Parks, Bureau of Land Management, and Tribal Lands, and will be integral in the success of this project.  The frameworks that are developed for this project should be applicable to other western landscapes and will help guide communities in adapting to changes associated with a changing climate.