Craig briefs: Workshop to address prairie dogs

— Conservation of prairie dogs in Northwest Colorado will be the subject of a one-day workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Highway 13.

The workshop is an early step in the implementation of the Gunnison and White-tailed Prairie Dog Conservation Plan, which is being developed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and various stakeholders.

The purpose of the planning effort is to ensure conservation of prairie dogs and to avoid the need for a listing of the species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

At the workshop, interested stakeholders will consider the options presented in the conservation plan and help identify specific management actions that will be most effective at the local level. Stakeholders will discuss issues unique to Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, rank proposed conservation strategies and develop an outline for a local action plan.

While many interested stakeholders have been personally invited to attend the daylong workshop, it is open to members of the public who are interested in participating in the group discussions to develop the local conservation solutions and strategies. More than 40 stakeholders have been invited to participate, including private landowners, conservationists, concerned citizens and representatives of local, federal and state agencies.

"This work session is not an opportunity for people to explain how they feel about prairie dogs," said Brad Petch, DOW senior wildlife conservation biologist for Northwest Colorado. "We understand the debate, but we need to move past it to make sure we conserve this species and avoid the need for it to be federally listed."

Anyone who did not receive an invitation and information packet but who would like to attend the full-day workshop should contact Brian Holmes, DOW conservation biologist, at brian.holmes@state.co.us or 970-878-6063.

Collecting Western History class June 17

Local resident Bill Mackin, founder of the Museum of Northwest Colorado's Cowboy & Gunfighter Museum and author of "Cowboy and Gunfighter Collectibles," will teach the Wellness Wednesday course, Collecting Western History.

The course introduces community members to collecting Western historical artifacts and the lore of Wild West history and legend.

The four-week course begins June 17 and runs through July 18 at American Legion Post 62, 1055 Moffat County Road 7. The class is free to Moffat County residents 62 and older. The cost is $60 for other students.

Mackin has collected guns, antique cowboy gear and Western artifacts for 60 years. In addition to his book, he also has written more than 100 magazine articles, and he serves as Western Americana appraiser/consultant and a consultant for Schroeder's Antique Guide.

For registration information on the class, call 824-1100.

Picnic to honor retiring preschool educator

All former students of St. Mark's Preschool and friends of Rosie Crosthwaite are invited to attend a free picnic, scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, at the preschool.

The picnic is to celebrate Crosthwaite's 27 years at the preschool. Her tenure ended a few weeks ago.

Members of the Lutheran Church of Grace and St. Mark's will be serving lunch and hosting Crosthwaite at the picnic.

Lunch will include grilled hot dogs, chili, sauerkraut, chips and ice cream. There also will be a large card for visitors to sign for Crosthwaite.

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