February 5, 2020
Certain places in our collective consciousness seem to exist because they have been the subject of books. The Four Corners belong to Tony Hillerman; the Gila River to Rev. Ross Calvin; and the Pecos Wilderness to the legendary conservationist and former director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Dr. Elliot Barker.
But no one ever wrote a book about Dexter, New Mexico.
You may have never heard of the little village that exists primarily to service dairy farms and ranches. Dexter sits in the shortgrass prairie in Chaves County, overshadowed by its taller sibling, Roswell, a mere 15 miles distant. State Route 2 bisects Dexter, lying pike-straight on a section line like a yellow-striped gray-black ribbon. Pivot-irrigation sprinklers spin slowly over the rich alfalfa fields that feed local dairy cows. Velvet-green crop circles dot the flat countryside and tilt gently toward the Pecos River that bends within walking distance.
“Are you from here?” the woman asked laying open the guidebook in her left hand entitled: Colorado’s Quiet Winter Trails. The skier, who was a first-time visitor to the Leadville National Fish Hatchery’s Trail System, turned out to be a twenty-something Copper Mountain employee who was looking to get away from the crowds over the hill.
Sound familiar? It should, as more and more people are “discovering” Leadville, especially nearby neighbors looking to escape the massive crowds taking over their favorite trails a bit closer to home. It’s a be-careful-what-you-ask-for message after years of Summit and Eagle Counties’ aggressive tourism marketing which rolled out the welcome mat for any travelers who could make it through the Eisenhower Tunnel, leading to increased congestion on their roads and trails.Continue Reading
February 5, 2020
In this ‘Conservation in Cities’ episode of our podcast, we talked to three U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff about the work they do in urban areas. We started in the Windy City of Chicago, where we talked to Louise Clemency, the Chicago Ecological Services Field Office Project Leader. The Chicago Urban Bird Treaty Program is celebrating its 20th year now, and Louise talked to us about the importance of the collaborative work being done in this incredibly busy bird area on the Mississippi flyway.
Then we moved to the Biggest Little City in the World – Reno, Nevada. We talked to Tim Loux at the Lahonton National Fish Hatchery Complex, and he told us about the fish passage partnerships and projects done on the Truckee River that opened up 41 miles of river habitat to the endangered Lahontan cutthroat trout.