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Colorado Canyons Association received a $23,000 multiple-year National Conservation Lands Science Grant from the Bureau of Land Management. The Colorado proposal is one of only 16 projects (totaling $356,000) selected for funding from a pool of 57 proposals submitted nationally.
CCA will work closely with the BLM to establish a citizen science program in Dominguez-Escalante NCA, which will develop a baseline inventory of the riparian plant communities and monitor riparian health along Big Dominguez Creek.
"CCA was the only group in Colorado to receive an NCA science grant award and our entire organization is excited about engaging the community on this project," said Joe Neuhof, CCA executive director. "These areas were designated for their scientific value and this study kick starts our work with the BLM in training citizen scientists and collecting meaningful data on the ground."
The initial task is for the BLM and CCA to train a group of committed citizen scientists to help with this project. Once trained, CCA staff and volunteers will create a baseline for measuring riparian health with special attention to any new guidance around management in the riparian areas from the Dominguez-Escalante Resource Management Plan. Volunteers and CCA staff will then carry out annual follow-up monitoring for three years beyond the initial inventory with all data housed in a database.
"This project will not only give us important data regarding the health of riparian areas along Big Dominguez Creek, but it will also allow us to gauge how effective our management of the area is in improving and maintaining the resource," said BLM ecologist Nikki Hoffman.
This research will help the BLM determine if future management actions are sufficient to maintain the condition of riparian plant communities upon completion of the current draft RMP. The goal of this annual project is to help build a committed core of citizen volunteers who are interested in helping with scientific data collection in the NCA while creating a process that can be replicated in other protected landscapes across the country.blog comments powered by Disqus