Here’s the release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is celebrating the success of the state’s moose population with festivals honoring the charismatic ungulates, including the upcoming 6th Annual Grand Mesa Moose Day, Saturday, July 25, atop the Grand Mesa at the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center, a few miles east of Grand Junction.
Then, on Aug. 22, the moose celebration moves to State Forest State Park for the inaugural moose festival in North Park, the site of Colorado’s first moose relocation in 1978.
The rapid growth and expansion of moose populations in Colorado has become one of CPW’s most successful and publicized wildlife management efforts, providing the public with an extraordinary watchable wildlife experience and hunters with increasing opportunity.
“Unlike other states, moose populations are doing very well here,” said Watchable Wildlife Coordinator Trina Romero, of CPW. “We think it’s important to celebrate that, and provide the public with info about moose and how to enjoy them.”
The Grand Mesa Moose Day festival will feature viewing and safety tips, including information about the growing moose population on the Grand Mesa. Visitors can participate in a hike with a wildlife officer to learn about radio collar telemetry, learn interesting moose facts, enjoy a scavenger hunt, make moose antler hats and learn what a moose eats by making ‘moose salad.’ Because fishing is one of the Grand Mesa’s most popular attractions aspiring anglers can take advantage of casting demonstrations provided by CPW staff.
“This is a great event that both kids and adults enjoy,” adds Romero. “We thank all our partners that make the Grand Mesa Moose Day possible, including the U.S. Forest Service, Cabela’s, Moose Radio, and the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway.”
This year, Cabela’s donated prizes for attendees, ranging from a gift card to a hunter pack. Drawings for the prizes will take place during the event.
Wildlife managers estimate there are now over 400 moose from the original 91 animals relocated to the Grand Mesa between 2005-07, increasing the need for education. Colorado Parks and Wildlife continues to remind the public that preventing potentially dangerous wildlife conflicts is everyone’s responsibility.
“There are increasing reports about moose showing up in areas where only a few years ago, it would have seemed unusual,” said Romero. ” This is why it is critical for people to learn as much as they can about a species whose presence is growing in our state.”
Romero reminds the public that moose should always be viewed from a distance, ideally with a camera with a telephoto lens, binoculars or a viewing scope. She adds that dogs are a serious concern and warns people to avoid letting dogs, on or off-leash, approach moose at all times.
“Part of being a citizen of Colorado should include learning about wildlife, how it is managed and how to watch it without causing harm to yourself, or the animal,” says Romero. “We understand that people enjoy taking their pets outdoors, but it is critical that they remain on a leash at all times. Dogs are one of the leading causes of conflicts which includes humans and wildlife, sometimes ending up with one or more involved being injured.”
To learn more about moose, take Highway 65 from Interstate 70, Exit 49, to the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center at FR 121. From Delta, drive east on Highway 92 then north on Highway 65. Anyone heading to the event is reminded to be attentive as it is increasingly likely to catch a glimpse of a moose.
Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and make this a fun day trip for the entire family.
Who: Colorado Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, Cabela’s, Moose 92.3, and the Grand Mesa Scenic & Historic Byway.
What: 6th Annual Grand Mesa Moose Day
When: Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Where: U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center – 20090 Baron Lake Drive, Hwy 65 and FR 121 – Top of the Grand Mesa
Contact: Trina Romero at 970-255-6191
For more information about the moose transplant effort on the Grand Mesa, visit http://www.cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/MooseReintroductionProgram.aspx
For more information about the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/gmug
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