**Woodpecker of the West – The Lewis’s Woodpecker and its natural history and riparian forest systems in Central Colorado**
The Central Colorado Conservancy is hosting a public program on the life history of the Lewis’s Woodpecker, a species found only in Western North America. In addition, the program will include recent research on the restoration of narrow leaf cottonwood galleries along Deadman Creek in Saguache County. The program is scheduled for March 21, at the Salida SteamPlant Annex, 220 West Sackett Avenue, 7 to 8 p.m.
Central Colorado Conservancy wildlife biologist and naturalist, Cindy Lawrence, will discuss the natural history of the colorful Lewis’s Woodpecker. This will include reasons for its 80% decline in the West since 1966. She will also talk about local conservation efforts for the woodpecker, including a monitoring and habitat identification program started by the Conservancy in partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Cindy will outline several methods people can get involved with reporting observations and helping protect the Lewis’s Woodpecker.
The second part of the program will be conducted by Jesse McCarty, U.S. Forest Service Saguache District Wildlife Biologist. He will discuss recent planned restoration along Deadman Creek, site of a large intact narrowleaf cottonwood gallery with Rocky Mountain juniper. This is a very rare association limited to foothill streams in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Jesse’s work focuses on retaining these unique cottonwood galleries within the juniper associated riparian ecosystem. Such forests provide habitat for over 200 species of vertebrates, including Greater Pewee, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Bald Eagle, and potentially the Lewis’s Woodpecker.
The program is open to the public. The fee is $3 for Central Colorado Conservancy members and $5 for non-members. Individuals can join the Conservancy by going to www.centralcoloradoconservancy.org/become-a-membercontributor. For questions or additional information, contact Julie Richardson at 719-539-7700 or [email protected]
The Central Colorado Conservancy is committed to conserving the region’s land, water and wildlife by partnering with landowners, agricultural producers and the community. For more information on the Conservancy and for upcoming programs, visit www.centralcoloradoconservancy.org.