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Release Date: 04/27/12
Contacts: Denise Adamic, BLM Front Range District (719) 269-8553    

BLM and GARNA offer Salida youth experience in natural resources management (04-27-12)

BUENA VISTA, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management and the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association will host field trips for 160 sixth and tenth graders to learn about natural resource management April 30 and May 1 at the Midland Hills Trail System in the Fourmile Travel Management Area, southwest of Buena Vista.

The field trips are part of an ecological literacy program including classroom and outdoor lessons for every third, sixth, and tenth grader in the Salida School District.

“On Monday the tenth graders will get a glimpse of a career managing natural resources,” said Kalem Lenard, BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner. “On Tuesday the sixth graders will learn about the natural resources and important history of this area.”

The third grade session will occur separately at Frantz and Sand Lake State Wildlife Areas in Salida.

The field trips are separated into two sessions. First, students visit grade-specific stations aimed at outdoor education. In the second session, students learn the basics of trail building and maintenance. Sixth graders will learn about falconers, foresters, and the explorer Zebulon Pike. Tenth graders will learn about terrestrial biology and Leave No Trace principles.

The ecological literacy program began two years ago when BLM awarded GARNA funds to create outdoor education opportunities. From the beginning, the goal was to involve local youth in activities that could lead them to careers in natural resources management. 

“Eventually, we would like to expand the program to include students from the Buena Vista School District,” said Alison Ramsey, Executive Director for GARNA. “It would be amazing for every student in the Upper Arkansas River Valley to experience this program.”

In just two years, BLM and GARNA have expanded their partnership to include the U.S. Forest Service, Southwest Conservation Corps, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Collegiate Peaks Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the Pike National Historic Trails Association.

For more information about the ecological literacy program, visit For photos from the field trips, visit and like the BLM Royal Gorge Recreation Facebook page

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 04-27-2012