Monday, August 31, 2015

Let's Hear it For the Interns, Student Employees, and Volunteers!

CNHP gives a shout out to all of the students, volunteers, and interns that helped us make our 2015 field season a success! Thanks so much to the following individuals who supported our projects with their energy, enthusiasm, and hard work: Devanshi Kukadia, Abigail Bradley, Joe Tort, Caleb Freeman, Alison Hall, James Hunt, Dominik McLaren, and Maddie Micallef. Good luck on your future endeavors!

CNHP interns (from left) Caleb Freeman and Joe Tort, along with Alison Hall (student employee at Resources for Disabled Students) and David Anderson (CNHP director).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

CNHP Map Will Support Governor's Colorado Beautiful Initiative

Colorado Natural Heritage Program director David Anderson, along with staff members Amy Greenwell and Michael Menefee, were thrilled to participate in The Outdoors Summit in downtown Denver this summer. The Summit convened to help launch new initiatives to protect, preserve and enhance the state’s great outdoors and natural areas. Conservation leaders from around the state attended the event. Speakers included Governor John Hickenlooper and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar among many other notable participants.

Governor John Hickenlooper presents his Colorado Beautiful plan at the Outdoors Summit in Denver, Colorado.
During the Summit, Governor Hickenlooper rolled out his Colorado Beautiful plan, an exciting conservation initiative that ultimately aims to enable every Coloradan to live within a 10-minute walk of an open space natural area. Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) has awarded $15.6 million in grants to support the Colorado Beautiful plan. A hallmark of the plan will be the creation of an interactive trail and recreational lands map. The map will use CNHP's existing map of Colorado's protected areas, called The Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection (COMaP). COMaP is a dataset maintained by CNHP and the CSU Geospatial Centroid.

The complete Colorado Beautiful map is scheduled for completion in 2016. The map will also help guide plans to preserve and strategically protect Colorado’s most threatened landscapes, waterways and urban open spaces. It will also be used to identify 16 high-priority trail projects to help connect people to more recreational opportunities. The map will include all the state's trails, open spaces, parks and protected lands in a single site. “Colorado Beautiful, we believe, is not only about connecting our parks, trails and scenic lands, but about connecting people to the outdoor delights that set Colorado apart as a special place,” Hickenlooper said. “It’s important to bring our newest generations outside, away from electronic distractions and into the splendor of our waterways, forests, wildlife, grasslands, mountains and canyons.”

An image of the Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection map (COMaP) that will be integrated into the Colorado Beautiful map proposed by Governor Hickenlooper.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Local Film Explores Ecological Challenges On Colorado's Front Range

We are excited to share a short film created by Ryan McDonald. Ryan is a Fort Collins native and incoming freshman at Colorado Mountain College majoring in new media and film. Ryan thoughtfully explores the ecological challenges and opportunities associated with rapid population growth and development on Colorado's Front Range in his film short. CNHP wetland ecologist Jeremy Sueltenfuss is interviewed throughout the film, as well as a frequent CNHP collaborator Crystal Strouse from the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas. Ryan created the film for a senior project at Polaris High School. Click here to check it out.

The Keyhole at Devil's Backbone Open Space in Larimer County, Colorado.