On Tuesday, we made final preparations for our Action Project. Caylin went over final logistics and made an equipment list for everyone to gather before we went in the field for our Action Project.
Wednesday was the big day we had been planning for the past several weeks. Our plan was to meet Zachary Price with Boulder County Open Space and Mountain Parks in Nederland at 9:45am. Just as we pulled out of the parking lot, I received a phone call from Zack asking to reschedule due to the weather. The night before, our Action Project site at Caribou Ranch received 5 inches of fresh snow. Since we were already on our way, we met Zack and his partner Chad up in Nederland and came up with plan B. We decided to tour another property owned by Boulder County, which was closed to the public. We learned more about the pine beetle issue in Boulder County including the three types of bark beetles infesting the county, the trees that they targeted, and the tactics that land managers in Boulder County used to address the issue. We were able to see what a newly infested tree looked like and what trees hit by pine beetles last year looked like. We learned about the survey methods and techniques that the Foresters used to monitor the pine beetle activity and also learned how to identify Ponderosa pine trees, Douglass Fir trees, Lodgepole pine trees, Limber pine trees, and Spruce trees. We want to give a special thanks to Zack and Chad for taking time out of their busy days to help organize our Action Project and for sharing their vast knowledge of pine beetles with us.
Because of the snow the night before, the service component of our Action Project was cancelled. We ate lunch at Batasso on our way back to Boulder and then headed back to school to finish our FAQ fact sheet about pine beetles and to work on an editorial article. We plan on writing an editorial to pitch to local media outlets to help educate Boulder County stakeholders about what we learned about the pine beetle issue and what we as a class think should be done to address the issue in the future.
On Friday, Sophia Stoller taught CAP for the day while Ford was teaching a survival course with Western State College in Gunnison, CO. Students continued working on the editorial article, worked on the FAQ sheet, and practiced their Exhibition Day presentation to share what we have learned with the New Vista community next week. I want to commend all the students for their hard work with the Action Project this quarter and for being flexible as plans changed – way to go guys!