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Conservancy events highlight natural resources
Blue Mountains Conservancy offering free field trips, talks
The Blue Mountains Conservancy has announced its summer schedule of events, known as the Heart of the Blues series, that will include field trips and talks provided by local natural resource experts.
Events are free, open to the public, and will highlight local plants, wildlife and historical sites within the Grande Ronde Valley.
“Many people are unaware of the unique natural features of our local area,” said Sue Miller, coordinator of the Blue Mountains Conservancy. “We are fortunate to have knowledgeable presenters willing share their experience and passion on a variety of topics ranging from fish and wildlife, to the history of settlement in the valley. All right in our own backyard.”
The Blue Mountains Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust based in the Grande Ronde and Baker valleys. Its mission is to offer stewardship, education and advice for the conservation, preservation and enhancement of agricultural lands, private forestlands and natural scenic and open space lands.
The event series will kick off at 9 a.m. Wednesday with a field trip to the Catherine Creek Spring Chinook salmon fish trap outside of Union.
Laurie Hewitt, retired fisheries biologist for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, will give participants a hands-on experience with efforts to recover Chinook salmon in the lower Snake River Basin. Participants will learn about this endangered species, while collecting a variety of biological information from trapped fish, including genetic samples. The number of participants is limited and pre-registration is required. Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Those curious about the work of the Blue Mountains Conservancy are encouraged to attend a presentation at 2 p.m. June 28 during the SolWest Fair at the Union County Fairgrounds in La Grande. Conservancy board member and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Research Biologist Jackie Cupples will explain how landowners can use voluntary conservation easements to protect the natural and traditional values of their property.