On September 1st Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever hosted a habitat tour for resource professionals in Baca County. Partner conservation organizations including the Farm Service Agency, CO Parks and Wildlife and NRCS/PF/QF/CPW Partner Biologist-Cody Strong showcased a new Buffers for Upland Birds (CP33) spring grass and forb planting. With timely rains and proper seed placement, several of the native bunch grass species were already 3 feet tall. Numerous forbs were blooming, including Blanketflower (Galardia).
The next stop was also a pivot corner enrolled in CP33. This new planting had quite a bit of weed competition, however the landowner had conducted some timely, high mowing (12”) which released the understory of native grasses and forbs beginning to establish.
The third stop was an established stand of pollinator habitat including a high diversity of beautiful forbs, shrubs, and bunch grasses. Four-wing saltbush had established from seed planted two years prior. The fourth stop was an establishing Lesser Prairie-Chicken State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (LPC CP38 SAFE), highlighting the high wildlife value of new stands with abundant annual forbs. The last site visited was a three year old LPC CP38 SAFE. It had very good structure and composition and is providing excellent wildlife habitat.
During the picnic lunch, provided by Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Cody Strong-PF/QF Partner Biologist presented Farm Service Agency’s Patty Steinmetz-Program Technician and Bill Hall-Program Technician with the PF/QF Legacy Award in recognition for their commitment to partnership in conservation, delivery of USDA’s State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Conservation Reserve Program, and their stewardship efforts for wildlife habitat.
Good job Patty and Bill!
Patty Steinmetz-FSA, Bill Hall-FSA, and Cody Strong-Partner Biologist.