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Nature & Wildlife
2020 February/March
Pg 11- The Sunshine Express
* February 9 - Full Moon, Supermoon, phase
occurs at 07:34 UTC, known by early Native
American tribes as the Full Snow Moon because
the heaviest snows usually fell during this time
of year, has also been known by some tribes as
the Full Hunger Moon since the harsh weather
made hunting difficult, the first of four super-
moons for 2020, may look slightly larger and
brighter than usual.
* February 10 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern
Elongation of 18.2 degrees from the Sun, the
best time to view Mercury since it will be at its
highest point above the horizon in the evening
sky, look for Mercury low in the western sky
just after sunset.
* March 9 - Full Moon, Supermoon, phase
occurs at 17:48 UTC, known by early Native
American tribes as the Full Worm Moon because
this was the time of year when the ground
would begin to soften and the earthworms
would reappear, has also been known as the
Full Crow Moon, the Full Crust Moon, the Full
Sap Moon and the Lenten Moon, the second of
four supermoons for 2020, may look slightly
larger and brighter than usual.
* March 20 - March Equinox, occurs at 03:50
UTC, The Sun will shine directly on the equator
and there will be nearly equal amounts of day
and night throughout the world, also the first
day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Northern
Hemisphere and the first day of fall (autumnal
equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.
* March 24 - Mercury at Greatest Western
Elongation of 27.8 degrees from the Sun, the
best time to view Mercury since it will be at its
highest point above the horizon in the morning
sky, look for Mercury low in the eastern sky just
before sunrise.
* March 24 - Venus at Greatest Eastern Elon-
gation of 46.1 degrees from the Sun, the best
time to view Venus since it will be at its highest
point above the horizon in the evening sky, look
for the bright planet in the western sky after
sunset.
Feb
1st
9th
15th
23rd
Visible Planets
[ Feb ][ Mar ]
Mercury -
[ Dusk ][ Dawn ]
Venus
-
[ Eve ][ Eve ]
Mars
-
[ Morn ][ Morn ]
Jupiter
-
[ Morn ][ Morn ]
Saturn
-
[ Dawn ][ Morn ]
Mar
2nd
9th
16th
24th
Night Time Delights
The Moon Dance
SUNSHINEEXPRESSMEDIA.COM
& WESTERNSLOPENEWS.COM
visit us online at:
Each winter, Eagle Ice Dads, a group of volun-
teers from town, build & maintain ice rinks in
front of Centennial Park stage at the Eagle Town
Park.
These rinks are free to use & open to public,
9a-9:30p daily, and will stay open as long as
Mother Nature cooperates and we have good
ice.
If you have any skating or hockey equipment to
donate please drop off at the Ice Skating Dona-
tion Locker at the rink. Folks who need skates
welcome to look through locker to find what¡¯s
needed.
Andy Clark is the unofficial leader of the group,
and his company Alliance Moving Systems helps
foot the bill for some of the materials, storage,
etc.
¡°These Dads are amazing, they come out and
work so hard to get the rink up and running and
then volunteer to maintain it all winter long,¡±
said Andy, ¡°They all love skating and they love
to see the folks of Eagle coming out and enjoy-
ing the ice, especially the kids.¡±
Thank you Ice Dads
For more information about the Eagle Town Park
Ice Rink go to: eagletownparkicerink.com
These actions will help the agen-
cies achieve conservation objec-
tives for bighorn sheep herds on
National Forest System lands.
This will be the third year that
helicopter crews will be used to
capture and collar bighorns in
the Weminuche Wilderness.
The remote nature of the Wemi-
nuche bighorn herds has made
detecting and monitoring the
animals from the ground dif-
ficult. Consequently, the U.S.
Forest Service Rocky Mountain
Region has approved landing the
helicopter in the wilderness for
the project.
Weather permitting, the capture
crew will attempt to capture up
to 15 animals. They anticipate
1-2 days of flight operations with
no more than 34 landings.
In the primary capture area,
roughly between Vallecito Creek
Dolores: Dolores Ranger District¡¯s House Creek
Campground, located north of Dolores on McPhee
Reservoir, is undergoing a major site renovation
this year.
New electricity and water infrastructure is being
added to the facility that was originally built in
the early 1990s, in order to address power black-
outs and leaking water lines.
Popular sites near the reservoir edge will be
improved with new power, water, and shade
structures.
During construction the campground will be
closed and no reservations will be taken until
project completion.
Construction should be completed in June.
Lake boats will still be allowed to launch at the
House Creek campground.
For additional information on the House Creek
Campground contact the Dolores Ranger District
at: 970.882.7296.
Eagle Town Park Ice Rink
and Wolf Creek Pass, there are
about 395 bighorns that reside
primarily in the Weminuche Wilderness.
¡°We don¡¯t know a lot about how these bighorns
use the landscape,¡± said Brad Weinmeister, a ter-
restrial biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife
in Durango, ¡°We know that this area provides
good habitat, but we¡¯d like to get more informa-
tion to help us with management plans.¡±
Four of the five Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
herds occurring on the San Juan National Forest
are in the Weminuche Wilderness.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife considers the Wemi-
nuche population to be a top priority for state-
wide inventory and monitoring, habitat protec-
tion and improvement, disease prevention and
research.
The project is being funded by the U.S. Forest
Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Society.
For specific wildlife questions please contact
Joe Lewandowski, Public Information Officer,
Colorado Parks and Wildlife Southwest Region,
970.375.6708.
A Top Priority
Bighorn Sheep Research Project to
Continue in Weminuche Wilderness
Durango, January 13, 2020: To gain a better
understanding of wild Rocky Mountain bighorn
sheep in the Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado
Parks and Wildlife, and the U.S. Forest Service
will continue their efforts on a five-year project
to study the cliff-dwelling mammal.
Starting in late January or as conditions allow, a
helicopter crew will be used to locate and cap-
ture bighorns and fit them with GPS telemetry
collars. The collars will allow biologists to follow
daily movements of the animals and determine
what areas of the wilderness they use.
Crews may also swab nasal tissue and take
blood samples that could be used to determine
if the bighorns have been exposed to diseases
that can adversely affect the animals.
Campground Improvements