Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Public Invited To Third Annual Grand Mesa Moose Day

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife is inviting everyone to drive up to the top of the Grand Mesa, Saturday, July 28, for the third annual Grand Mesa Moose Day celebration and enjoy a fun-filled day learning about one of Colorado's more interesting ungulates.

The event attracts moose lovers of all ages from across the state, offering information, fun, and a great opportunity to learn about viewing moose in their natural habitat.

"They are truly magnificent and interesting animals," said event organizer Trina Romero, Watchable Wildlife Coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "This is a fun event and anyone who wants to learn more about our Grand Mesa moose population is encouraged to join us."

Kid-friendly activities include a puppet show and prize giveaways throughout the day. Several presentations are scheduled including moose biology and history, moose viewing tips and information about how biologists transplant and track moose. Kids can earn a prize for going on a hike with a wildlife officer to look for signs of moose activity.

"Moose sightings can be a great experience and we encourage people to learn more about them and how to watch them safely," continued Romero.

In addition to great moose viewing tips and information, A-n-G Outfitters will offer free fly-fishing casting demonstrations. Fishing and wildlife viewing are two of the most popular activities on the Grand Mesa.

The public's fascination with the majestic animals increased significantly when moose were transplanted to the state in 1979. Moose numbers continue to grow throughout Colorado, including the Grand Mesa, making the transplant project one of the state's most successful wildlife management efforts.

In 2001, Grand Valley citizens approached state wildlife managers with a proposal that would bring Shiras moose to Grand Mesa. After conducting an extensive feasibility study, Colorado Parks and Wildlife determined that the area offered suitable habitat and could sustain a healthy population.

The project began in 2005 and during the next two years 91 moose were transplanted to the Grand Mesa. Some came from the other growing populations throughout Colorado, with a significant number coming from Utah. They thrived in their new habitat and today the Grand Mesa population has grown to approximately 300 moose.

Located a few miles east of Grand Junction, the Grand Mesa is the world's largest flattop mountain and has proven to be suitable habitat for moose and many other wildlife species, as well as offering a wide variety of outdoor recreation.

The event will take place at the US Forest Service Visitor Center, located at the top of the Grand Mesa. Take Highway 65 from Interstate 70 by Plateau Creek or drive up Highway 50 from nearby Delta, and follow it up to the event. Be attentive on your drive up, as you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a moose.

Grand Mesa Moose Day partners include the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, US Forest Service, The Moose 100.7, the Grand Mesa Scenic & Historic Byway, Cabela's and A-n-G Outfitters.

For more information about moose on the Grand Mesa, go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/Profiles/Mammals/Pages/MooseReintroductionProgram.aspx

Who: Colorado Parks and Wildlife, US Forest Service, Moose 100.7, the Grand Mesa Scenic & Historic Byway, Cabela's and A-n-G Outfitters

What: Third Annual Grand Mesa Moose Day

When: Saturday, July 28 - 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Where: U.S. Forest Service Visitors Center - 20090 Baron Lake Drive, Hwy 65 - Top of the Grand Mesa

Contact: Trina Romero at 970-255-6191

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, two nationally recognized leaders in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs.

To learn more about Colorado's state parks, please see: http://www.parks.state.co.us

To learn more about Colorado's wildlife programs, please see: http://wildlife.state.co.us