Field Trips

NACCB will host four field trips, and provide self-guided field trip itineraries for those looking for additional flexibility. Trips are planned for the days immediately prior to and after the meeting. They have been selected to showcase areas and projects of conservation interest located within and adjacent to Denver as well as wild spaces in relatively close proximity to the city.

The guided trips are scheduled for specific dates and will have a series of planned events, talks, and activities. The self-guided trips can be done on any day; a suggested itinerary and meeting date and time will be proposed to facilitate congress attendees traveling and exploring together.

Important: Please note that guided field trips are subject to cancellation pending minimum attendance by May 31, 2020. If a trip is cancelled, attendees will be notified well in advance, provided a refund, and given an opportunity to swap for a different field trip pending availability.


Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

DATE CHANGE: Half-day Trip: Sunday, July 26, 8:15am meet in Sheraton South Convention Lobby, return to Sheraton by 1:3opm

Located just northeast of Denver, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,000-acre expanse of prairie, wetland, and woodland habitat. The land has a unique story – it has survived the test of time and transitioned from farmland, to war-time chemical weapons manufacturing site, to wildlife sanctuary. It may be one of the finest conservation success stories in history and a place where wildlife now thrives. The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a wildlife treasure, with more than 330 species of animals, including bison, deer, coyotes, bald eagles, burrowing owls, and black-footed ferrets which were reintroduced to the Refuge in 2015 into prairie dog burrows across more than 1,300 acres in the northeast portion of the Refuge. For birders, more than 280 species have been recorded at the Refuge, and it has become a hotspot and destination for wildlife watchers. Participants will explore this incredible refuge with Denver Audubon to search for birds and other wildlife, and learn about the bison, reintroduced to the Refuge in 2007 and the reintroduced black-footed ferrets, which were on the verge of extinction not long ago.

$40 per person (transport + admission)

Minimum number of participants:  10

Maximum number of participants:  32

Bring: appropriate outdoor clothing, hat, sunscreen, water, and binoculars, and snacks if desired


State Highway 9 Wildlife Crossings Mitigation and Monitoring

Monday, July 27, 8:15am meet in Sheraton South Convention Lobby, return to Sheraton by 4:00pm.

This trip will explore efforts to mitigate wildlife-highway conflict in central Colorado. The highlight of this trip will be the State Highway 9 wildlife crossings mitigation project, which was completed in 2016, including Colorado’s first two wildlife overpasses, five wildlife underpasses, 10.4 miles of wildlife exclusion fencing, wildlife guards and escape ramps. This project is located in the lower Blue River valley where large herds of migratory mule deer congregate through the winter months and are subject to conflict with vehicles. In the first four years, monitoring research has documented over 83,000 mule deer success movements as well as use of the seven crossing structures by sixteen other species including elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, moose, black bear, and mountain lion. In addition, the mitigation project has resulted in 90% decrease in wildlife-vehicle collisions. On this trip, participants will have the opportunity to view the mitigation features first hand and to ask questions of the researchers leading the monitoring study.

Along the drive, participants will also learn about other wildlife-highway mitigation projects on Interstate 70 and will stop in Silverthorne to hear a U.S. Forest Service representative discuss a partnership to create safe passages for wildlife in Summit County involving local governments, industry, and citizens groups. With funding from ski resorts and NGO partners, current efforts are focused on designing wildlife crossings mitigation on Interstate 70 where it ascends Vail Pass to 10,666’ through the heart of the White River National Forest.

$50 per person (transport)

Minimum number of participants:  20

Maximum number of participants:  30

Bring: A bag lunch, water, appropriate outdoor clothing, and binoculars, if desired.


Species and Ecosystems between Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)

Friday, July 31, 8:15am meet in Sheraton South Convention Lobby, return to Sheraton by 5:00pm

This trip will explore how species composition changes along elevation gradients as we travel small mountain roads from Denver to RMNP.  The Park is spectacularly beautiful with meadows, forests, and alpine tundra, and supports a wide variety of species. It spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains.

Participants will learn about research and management activities that help conserve species and ecosystems. We will make several stops within different climatic regions to experience different species and ecosystems.   In the afternoon we will meet with RMNP representatives about conservation related work in the Park.

$60 per person (transport + admission)

Minimum number of participants:  10

Maximum number of participants:  30

Bring: A bag lunch, appropriate outdoor clothing, hat, sunscreen, water


Forest Management, Water & Climate

Friday, July 31, 8:15am meet in Sheraton South Convention Lobby, return to Sheraton by 5:30pm

In the summer of 2012, the High Park and Hewlett Gulch wildfires burned 90,000 acres of the Cache la Poudre River watershed west of Fort Collins, Colorado. These fires burned homes, dumped sediment into streams, shut off water supplies, and left thousands of acres of dead trees and exposed slopes. These fires also brought together water utilities, natural resource agencies, local non-profits, and businesses into a collaboration that is stabilizing slopes and planting trees, conducting prescribed fires, and creating new funding sources for forest management. During this full-day tour we will see the extent and impact of the 2012 fires, visit on-going forest restoration work, describe Western forest and fire ecology, and discuss forest changes that our changing climate may bring. Partners include The Nature Conservancy, Peaks to People Water Fund, Coalition for Poudre River Watershed, US Forest Service, Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, and the Center for Collaborative Conservation.

$60 per person (transport)

Minimum number of participants:  25

Maximum number of participants:  50

Bring: A bag lunch, appropriate outdoor clothing, hat, sunscreen, water, and comfortable walking shoes



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