As a complete, stable ecosystem where predators and prey occur in extraordinary numbers, the NCA is a valuable place for research and education. Offering interpretive and educational opportunities is part of the BLM's management mandate because understanding raptors' important role and how various activities can affect their habitat is the key to protecting them.
Oral Presentations | Education Raptors | Classroom Visit with Raptors | The Raptor Box | Spring Hikes | Environmental Education Days | Educator Assistance
BLM staff members are available to conduct talks and/or hikes covering topics about birds of prey, vegetation, geology, archaeology, recreation, grazing, wildland fire, wildlife and fisheries in southwestern Idaho. Presentations appropriate for all age-groups can be made at schools and universities, churches, nursing homes, summer camps, career fairs, community events, etc. in Boise and the surrounding area (within a 2 hour one-way drive).
Classroom Visit with Raptors
BLM staff may bring one or more of our education raptors along during presentations. These birds will captivate any group with their beauty and strength. Contact Education Specialist Barbara Forderhase to schedule a visit, phone: (208) 384-3485
Led by NCA staff, hikers learn about and experience first-hand the NCA's plants, animals (reptiles and birds), geology and cultural history, while highlighting recreation and teaching outdoor skills and ethics. Hikes are scheduled on Saturdays from April through June. Most hikes are designed for ages 9 and older (younger children may be bored with the details).
- Environmental Education Days (EE Days)
- Each spring the BLM hosts Environmental Education Days for area 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classes at the Dedication Point Interpretive Site. The event is a one-day, outdoor laboratory for teachers and students to learn about a desert ecosystem firsthand.
Participants take a walking tour and explore habitat concepts at four stations:
- "Critter Man" - a discussion of raptors and other wildlife found in a desert ecosystem (with live critters).
- "Desert Hunt" - a scavenger hunt allowing students to observe details of a desert environment.
- "Canyon Overlook" - a view of the nesting habitat along the Snake River from the canyon rim.
- "Quick-Frozen Critters" - a game of "freeze tag" that emphasizes the importance of habitat to desert animals of the area.
EE Days are free and open to any schools wishing to participate, but advance scheduling and trip preparation are required. Tour times are assigned on a first-to-call, first-scheduled basis. To find out more, contact Barbara Forderhase, phone: (208) 384-3485.
- Lower Snake River Plain Ecosystem Discovery: An Educator's Guide
A mini-guide tool that will assist teaching about the Lower Snake River Plain ecosystem and environments. Developed for grades 1 through 8, the guide can be easily modified for all grade levels.
- Teachers can use this handy guide to assist with field trips to the NCA.
- Raptor Box
A traveling trunk called the "Raptor Box" has been developed by the NCA staff to share information with public groups, organizations, teachers and students about raptors and the NCA. The Raptor Box is a self contained trunk with lessons and activities that instruct and reinforce basic concepts such as mathematics, English, science, social studies, music, physical education, arts and crafts, language arts and humanities. The activities are targeted for grades 1 through 6, but can be modified for other age levels