Hang in there snowfly

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Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a 12-month listing determination for the Arapahoe snowfly, ruling that protection of the insect was warranted under the Endangered Species Act.

Unfortunately, it won’t be happening any time soon because the USFWS says it has higher priorities.

This means that upon publication of the 12-month listing determination, the Arapahoe snowfly will only be added to a candidate species list and will only move toward endangered species protection as priorities allow.

But it isn’t as if time is on the snowfly’s side. The Arapahoe snowfly is found along only two small tributaries of the Cache la Poudre River in Northern Colorado: Young Gulch and Elkhorn Creek. According to a press release from Rocky Mountain Wild, “A recent status review developed by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation strongly indicates that this aquatic insect is critically imperiled and may be on the brink of extinction.” The major threats to the Arapahoe snowfly are logging, habitat damage, livestock grazing, stream de-watering and the application of insecticides in the vicinity of Elkhorn Creek.


The second annual Walk on the Wild Side walkathon for conservation is happening at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 19. The walkathon is a great opportunity to get the whole family outdoors and see some migratory birds and other critters. And while you’re having fun, you will also be helping to preserve an important wetland that is vital to more than 90 bird species.

According to the event website, individuals and families can choose a “1K or 3K walk that explores Walden Ponds’ best wildlife viewing areas. Along the way, participants will be treated to interactive environmental learning activities hosted by local environmental education groups. Registration fees and the additional pledges from friends and family will support bird habitat conservation projects at Walden Ponds.”

The event will offer activities for kids including birdhouse building and award prizes to teams and individuals who rasied the most in pledges. Boulder Audubon Society, Cal-Wood Education Center, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Nature’s Educators, University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks will provided “Education Stations” along the walk’s route.

“We had a great inaugural Walk on the Wild Side in 2011 that raised enough funds to purchase and plant 88 native trees and shrubs. Walkers will be able to see the impact of this planting,” says Susan Bonfield, director of Environment for the Americas.

Registration for the event is $20 for adults, $25 for families, $10 for virtual walkers and children under 12. For more information visit http://walk. birdday.org/boulder.