by Mollie Fuller
WALSENBURG- A Rangeland Tour and Annual meeting will be coordinated by the Upper Huerfano Conservation District on August 16, 2008. Funded by a grant from the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, the tour will focus on better management and alternative uses for grazing lands. Tour topics will include wind energy, wildlife management, the treatment of noxious weeds and discussion of various types of assistance available from the district.
The tour group will meet at John Mall High School in Walsenburg at 9 am, with the bus departing at 9:30. Speakers at three tour stops will discuss the challenges that face ranchers and landowners in this part of Colorado and some of the tools being used to address those challenges.
According to the Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center, between 1997 and 2002, 1.26 million acres of agricultural land were converted to non-agricultural uses in Colorado. That’s about 690 acres per day. Colorado is third in the United States for overall loss of agricultural land. Locally, more than half of Huerfano County has been platted for rural subdivisions. On the lands that remain, mounting demands face agricultural producers. In Huerfano County, these include noxious weeds, fire, drought, overgrown forests, and development pressure.
A picnic lunch will be served after the tour, so reservations are required. There is no charge for the tour, but space is limited to the first fifty people who sign up. Please contact Mollie at the Upper Huerfano Conservation District, phone (719) 738-1171 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.