Author Archives: mkperkin

**Fire Danger**

The grasslands are currently under extremely dry conditions on the Eastern Plains. Please be aware where you’re parking!

Tall grass and a hot muffler can start a fire under these conditions so park on the dirt roads whenever possible.

If this isn’t feasible or will inconvenience other drivers try to park on a bare spot or at least over very short grass.  There have been numerous fires in the area over the last few weeks, one yesterday was only 8 miles from CPER HQ, so please be careful.

Prescribed burns are one thing, respect the fire danger and don’t start a wild fire!

Check out our new features!

Hello Friends!

Our website has some new features we’d like you to check out.

**UPDATE Mar 17th, 2016: Our Calendar is BUG FREE!**

First, we are now accepting all reservations through our our request form. The form may appear a bit daunting, so we’d like to THANK YOU in advance for taking the time to send us all of that important information!

Second, we’ve added a general inquiries form . This is perfect for those instances when you’re not quite sure who to direct your questions to, just fill it out and we’ll make sure it arrives in the right hands.

Finally, since the facility only occupies a small portion of the C.P.E.R. our visitors need to be aware if your visit takes you off the of the SGRC property USDA-ARS requires visitors to apply for a revocable permit all of those details can be found here.

Thanks,

SGRC

Keep your eye out for the Sandhill Cranes this fall.

 

HWY-85 Construction

Just a heads up HWY-85 is broken down to an asphalt/gravel mix and a single lane. Last week the single lane began just South of our facilities. This highway construction expected completion is 2016.

2015 ~ The year of the Plains Greenthread.

IMG_4238

Every so often, it appears as though Annuals bloom like wildfire and –BOOM– the prairie turns into fields of flowers.

This happens to be one of those years.

Plains Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium) has blanketed the C.P.E.R., what a beautiful site to see.

2015_thfi_larkbunt

**Lark Bunting and NEON Tower** Photo credit: E.Denton-CSU

 

2015_thfi_neon**Neon Tower** photo credit: E. Denton – CSU

 

IMG_4235**CR114 – C.P.E.R**

Fall on the C.P.E.R.

The summer season may be winding down, and cooler days starting to settle in, but the wildlife is still buzzing!

Visitors this fall might find rattlers’ sunning on prairie dog towns before they make their way to their hibernaculum, a location in which they over winter.  In fact, snakes can travel great distances to find their winter home, so, if there’s a hibernac near you, you just might get lucky to see an increase in activity this fall! Read more here: http://bit.ly/1rfRUgq

Another super easy find is the black tailed prairie dog, you can see them out here almost year round, basically any time it’s above freezing. As a pioneer species, you’re likely to spot more than dogs in these town! From HWY-85, head East on CR-114 and in just a few miles in you’ll see two large towns on either side of the road. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1vLwlcf

I can’t say this last critter is the most interesting, picking the most interesting is basically impossible, but it certainly rates high on my list of species to spot, the Sandhill Crane. This time of year these birds are just passer’s by, thankfully, Colorado sits inside their migration! Did you know these birds can travel around 12,000 ft in the air! Neat, right?

Little shared secret, couple years ago, one of the research techs, while conducting prairie dog surveys, walked over a hill and flushed an entire flock! Man, what a site that would have been. Word to the wise, Grasslanders, keep a look out for these magnificent birds. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1qcOqLF

 

Have a story to share?!? We’d love to hear them!

~SGRC

2014 – LTAR Meeting

What a great turn out!

The leadership of the Long-term Agro-ecosystem Research Network (http://bit.ly/LTARpdf) held their first annual meeting Aug 26th – 30th, 2014. The 40+ guests enjoyed the CPER views, facilities, and local cuisine (big shout out to #Honey’s Highway Cafe) in addition to a guided tour of the NEON Core Site Domain 10 (http://bit.ly/NeonD10).

LTAR will utilize networked science, cross-site experiments and long-term historical measurements to sustain an infrastructure for research, education, and outreach to enhance our understanding and forecasting capacities for agricultural commodities under changing conditions.

Items of concern the network plans to address 1) sustained/enhanced agro-ecosystem productivity and ecosystem services 2) climate variability and change 3) conservation and environmental quality 4) socio-economic viability and opportunities.

Can’t wait to see the results of these efforts!

~ SGRC