Central Colorado Conservancy hosts field program at protected Poncha Pass ranch

Visit one of the region’s working ranches and an important regional wildlife corridor by joining Central Colorado Conservancy Naturalist Sally Waterhouse for a special field program on Thursday, July 13, at the Campbell Ranch on Poncha Pass.

Participants will learn the ecology and geological history of the ranchland, while spending about two hours exploring wildlife habitats on this 660-acre property that straddles the Chaffee and Saguache county lines. Poncha Pass acts as a wildlife corridor between the Sangre de Cristo and Sawatch mountain ranges for elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, black bear, mountain lion and lynx. The area has a long ranching history and was used for cattle drives to move stock between the two valleys. Property owner Paul Campbell plans to meet the group and share his knowledge about the ranch, which was protected through a conservation easement with the Conservancy in 2013.

Waterhouse is an experienced educator and naturalist who likes to connect people to their natural world. This is the second year she has helped the Conservancy showcase its preserved land and waterways as a volunteer naturalist. Her field programs present unique opportunities to visit private properties that are not open to the public.

The Campbell Ranch program meets at 8:40 a.m. at the Poncha visitor’s center. Participants should arrive prepared to traverse across uneven ground and hike uphill, with water, sunscreen and other necessities. Designed for adults and children over 12 years of age, the program is free for Conservancy members and $5 for non-members. The group size is limited to 12 participants and is expected to fill up quickly. To register, contact the Conservancy office at 539-7700 or [email protected]

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