Spring 2018 Newsletter

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Spyware for Bumblebees!

Catching the buzz in the underground
Researchers will be out on MALT’s property at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area this summer eavesdropping on wild bumble bee colonies. The researchers were recently awarded a National Geographic Society grant to track bumble bee colonies using acoustics. MALT Ambassador and Professor of Biological Sciences at University of Missouri, Dr. Candace Galen outlined the research details to MALT. “To figure out the best conservation plan for a wild species, we need to understand the threats they face in their natural habitats. Entomologists believe that most bumble bee colonies fail early in their life cycle, but getting good data to back this up in the field has been challenging. We will use miniature tile-based acoustic sensors to eavesdrop on wild bumble bee colonies. As the colony thrives and grows, our tiny microphones will track increases in the volume of buzzing. Dwindling numbers will tell us that bee numbers have deteriorated and give us clues to why — allowing us to match periods of colony stress with outbreaks of parasites, incidence of weather extremes and flower resource deficits. On Pennsylvania Mountain, long term records of bumble bee distributions and flower abundances coupled with isolation from roads and industrial noise provide us with a promising “laboratory” for piloting this technology. And, if we are very lucky, we may even figure out what the bumble bees are saying to each other as they attend to life underground.” Learn More.

Water Quality Monitoring on Pennsylvania Creek

Monitoring critical streams and rivers
MALT is excited to announce the development of two water quality monitoring site on Pennsylvania Creek, within the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area near Fairplay, Colorado and the other on a conserved property on the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. These sites have been developed in partnership with River Watch and Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center, who recently developed a watershed program on neighboring Sacramento Creek. The development of the new sites will allow for the monitoring of conservation values on both streams. Data collected by researchers and citizen scientists will serve as baseline information for this previously unstudied aquatic ecosystem and provide MALT a greater understanding of the Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area.

In Case You Missed It

75 acres conserved in priority area
In early March, MALT announced the closing of a Conservation Easement on 75 acres in Jefferson County in the center of MALT’s Peak to Peak priority area. The property is owned by Greg and Frances Penkowsky. Greg is a MALT Ambassador and the recipient of the 2014 Bud Simon Preservationist of the Year award.

Conservation work continues in 2018 including two current land and water projects and four additional initial inquiries. Conservation Easements on these properties will protect significant wildlife habitats and corridors, natural areas such as meadows, streams and rivers, working ranches and land under threat of future development.

Pending Projects:
110 in Clear Creek County
330 Acres in Park County
Current Inquiries:
40 acres in Park County
83 acres in Park County
62 acres in Jefferson County
151 acres in Jefferson County

Celebrate Land and Water Conservation on July 14th!

Former Bronco and Author Reggie Rivers to be auctioneer
Join MALT at A Night in the Park on July 14, 2018 at Alderfer Three Sisters Open Space Park. Enjoy live auction fun with auctioneer Reggie Rivers, music by Dakota Blonde and catered dinner from Fresh Tracks Foods & Catering all supporting land and water conservation. Jim and Jeanne Hill will serve as honorary chairs for this year’s event.

Buy your tickets today and plan to join us to celebrate!

Summer Trail Building at Floyd Hill Open Space

Trail Building Dates Announced
MALT is delighted to once again be working with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) this summer on Floyd Hill Open Space trail building projects! VOC partnered with MALT in 2015 and 2016 to create and build the Pika Trail at Pennsylvania Mountain Natural Area.

Thanks to Clear Creek and Jefferson County Open Space programs and The Trust for Public Land, a significant portion of Floyd Hill is open to the public and with these projects will eventually offer a number of hiking and biking trails.

VOC has been motivating and enabling people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources since 1984. VOC says, “By breaking ground on a new trail on Floyd Hill Open Space, volunteers will contribute to the development of an expansive trail system that will ultimately provide miles of hiking and mountain biking opportunities for residents and visitors alike.” The first of three volunteer project dates will be on June 9th, National Get Outdoors Day followed by July 9th and August 25th. Sign up today!

Meet MALT”s Land Steward

Dylan Sondermannjoined MALT as the Land Steward in March 2018 after receiving a Master of Science degree in Conservation Leadership Through Learning (CLTL) from Colorado State University.

Dylan is excited about his role as Land Steward because of the opportunity to reach out and work with the landowners of MALT’s Conservation Easements. His formal training provides him with the skills to understand the human dimension of natural resource conservation and the different perspectives held by stakeholders. During the summer months, this includes annual monitoring of Conservation Easements and working collaboratively with landowners. He also utilizes his technical skills in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to maintain and update the data about MALT’s conservation holdings.

Thank you to our Business Sponsors who support Land and Water Conservation.