San Juan Mountains  Great Place, Great People.

The Nature Conservancy, Telluride, Colorado
Stories from the San Miguel

San Miguel Project Update for June and July, 2002

Upcoming Events:

Birds, Beavers, and Bears Field Trip: Wednesday, August 7th & 14th at the South Fork Preserve. Call TNCís Telluride office for details at (970) 728-5291.

Burn Canyon Fire Field Trip: August 10, 2002. The Uncompahgre Plateau Project in conjunction with the San Miguel Watershed Coalition, invite the public to attend a field trip of the Burn Canyon Fire that recently burned near Norwood. Meet at the Norwood Community Center at 9:00 A.M.. We will car pool from there and plan to be back at about 1:00 P.M. Bring water, hat and sunscreen. Snacks and refreshments will be provided by the PLP. For more information, please contact UP Public Education and Outreach Coordinator Daniela Howell at 970-249-0353 or

Exciting Newsletter Opportunity!
TNC's e-newsletter, Nature News, goes out to 54,000 subscribers worldwideAs part of a new, 3 month pilot program, subscribers will be able to tailor e-newsletters to their own interests to include more local information. So, Colorado residents who have signed-up for Nature News will get information about Colorado in their October e-newsletter. Go to and click on the "eNewsletter" button (upper right corner) to become a Nature News subscriber!

Wildflower Hikes Successful!

While wildflowers did suffer from the drought, there were still many flowers blooming in high alpine areas. Nature Conservancy interns led two wildflower hikes up to Hope Lake during the month of July. Participants saw everything from Colorado Columbines, Larkspurs, and Saxifrages, to the beautiful Fringed Grass of Parnassus. However, Hope Lake is little more than a puddle because it has been drained to maintain Trout Lakeís water level which supports the Ames power plant. The Nature Conservancy will host two more field trips this summer at the South Fork Preservee to bird watch from the boardwalk and walk the trail to look for signs of wildlife.

Volunteer of the Month Award!

The Nature Conservancy was fortunate to have Jan Greenough living and working at the Tabeguache Preserve for part of June and July. Jan is an avid supporter of TNC in her home state of Arizona and was willing to volunteer a month of her time to assist the San Miguel Project. Jan was responsible for walking the preserves to identify and treat any weeds in the riparian zones of each of the three preserves. The Nature Conservancy is always looking for volunteers to assist with projects. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please call the office (728-5291) or reply to this email!

The Nature Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. To date, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 12 million acres in the United States, including more than 425,000 acres of Colorado's important landscapes. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy of Colorado, visit the Web site at

The Nature Conservancy, San Miguel Project, 120 S Pine St, suite 201, PO Box 3140, Telluride CO 81435

July 24th and 31st from 10 to 2 The Nature Conservancy is offering a Wildflower Walk at Hope Lake meet at the Hope Lake trailhead and learn the wildflowers as we make our way. It is free of charge and open to anyone

August 7th and 14th South Fork Preserve TNC is offering a Beaver, Birds, and Bears talk and nature walk along the San Miguel.  We will explore the South Fork Preserve, birdwatch from the new platform, walk up to a beaver lodge, and simply enjoy the day. It will be from 10 to 1 at the South Fork Preserve in Ilium Valley, free and open to anyone.  People are also welcome to stay afterward to fly fish (catch and release--of course).

Stories from the San Miguel

SW CO Program Update for March-May 2002

Southern Rockies Ecoregional Plan will be presented again on June 5th!

If you missed the public meeting, you can hear the results of this assessment at the San Miguel County Commissionerís meeting in Telluride on Wednesday the 5th. We are first on the agenda for your convenience! We will present the results of a comprehensive assessment of the Southern Rocky Mountains Ecoregion. Essentially, the assessment provides a guide to what natural elements need to be conserved in the ecoregion, how much and where. The results of this assessment will be shared with the County planning departments, agency personnel, other land trusts, and any interested partners. The result is a vision for the successful conservation of nature in the Southern Rockies. Come learn more about The Nature Conservancy, how we decide where to work, and what we are currently working on. The meeting takes place June 5th at 11am at San Miguel Countyís Miramonte Building in Telluride, room #201.

The South Fork Boardwalk is Finally Completed!

The start of the MountainFilm Festival began with a short and informative nature walk the South Fork Preserve. After a yearlong intensive project, the Preserve now has a newly completed boardwalk trail and viewing platform. The ironwood and steel structure was built entirely by volunteers under the direction of Conservancy staff and Mountain Village resident Frank Cameron. Many groups were enlisted to work on the project including the Southwest Youth Corps, International Adventure Tours, and several school classes and Nature Conservancy volunteers. The Telluride High Schoolís Practical Math Class, led by teacher John Armstrong, put their math skills to use calculating baluster spacing and stair design before designing and then constructing four benches for the platform. Dennis Mitchell, local designer and construction expert, contributed use of his workshop and many hours of instruction for the students. Through the cooperative efforts of THS students, The Nature Conservancy, and numerous volunteers, the South Fork Preserve is evolving into an even more effective living classroom. If you would like to see the completed project for yourself, the South Fork Preserve is open to the public to enjoy during the day.

Reams Construction Co. Completes Tamarisk Trial Period!

The Reams Team kicked off the first phase of the Saving The Natives project. The six-man crew began at Horsefly Creek and moved downstream to the bridge at the power plant, covering 20 miles of the river in six weeks. A majority of the land covered was privately owned, with 100% participation from the landowners, and BLM land was treated as well. The ultimate goal of the project is to completely remove tamarisk from the San Miguel and reduce the Russian olive and Siberian elm found in the riparian area. Saving The Natives will resume after August 15th.

Summer Interns are On Board!

TNC is lucky to have two new awesome interns for the summer and a one month volunteer who will live and work at Tabeguache. Jill Winkler, 22, is from Berkeley, Mich and just graduated from Western Michigan University. Jill has seasonal experience with the Forest Service in Idaho and is considering pursuing environmental law in the future. Jill is concentrating on stewardship of the San Miguel River Preserves this summer. Alston Reeves, 21, is from Okatee, South Carolina and is a rising senior at the University of the South (aka Sewanee) in Tennessee. Alston is an avid boater, loves working with people, and wants to learn more about non-profit management. She will be coordinating environmental education and public outreach for TNC this summer. Please stop by the office or preserves and introduce yourself!

Upcoming Events:

June 20-23rd: Telluride Bluegrass Festival Ė Look for TNCís booth and join us for a nature walk Saturday morning. Location and time TBA. Check the papers.

June 26th: Canyon Clean-up Ė Earn a Greenbuck and help us pick up trash on hwy 145 thru the Canyon Preserve. Call 728-5291 to sign up.

July 24th and 31st: Wildflower Hikes to Hope Lake Ė Join us for a fun and informative look at the regionís wildflowers. Call 728-5291 for more information.

Mallory Dimmitt
San Miguel Project Manager
The Nature Conservancy
120 S Pine St, Suite 201
PO Box 3140
Telluride CO 81435
970 728 5291
970 728 5877 fax