Last class was a bit boring but today's class was certainly more interesting. The first half of class we got a lecture on Wildlife Management and after lunch learned about the diverse and amazing geology of our county! Another intense day of learning!
Mac Kobza started off the class with an in-depth explanation of stream restoration in Boulder County. We learned about different types of scaping from hardscaping to softscaping of the land. They try to use as much softscaping around our creeks because it causes the water to spread into wetlands instead of turning water into high velocity, channelized forces.
They use details such as root wads like these:
This is not a picture of the streams he was showing but you can see how they used root wads along the bank. They help support the banks and protect against erosion while also providing habitat to birds, insects, and fish.
He also used the term heterogeneity, which he explained to be overlapping messy habitat diversity, where things have multiple uses in the environment. The nature of how water flows and it’s sinuosity was another topic. Below you can see what we do to water (channelize it) verses natural sinuosity…
You can see it here too where the river is literally breaking its man-made borders to flow naturally…
Both these pictures are from Google searches not from his lecture.
Oh and I also loved this… they require the machines working on these streams to use biodegradable hydraulic fluid because problems can arise with habitat destruction if they were to leak into the waterways. Too bad they can’t require that of fuels… Maybe one day.
Dave Hoerath took over the second part of the wildlife management lecture and showed us a bunch of slides about the large mammals in the area. He went over our problems with Elk who have stopped migrating out of the county which means that their numbers have skyrocketed and that they are eating local crops. Not a good thing. Last year they opened up Boulder’s open space called Rabbit Mountain where the elk have taken refuge to hunting so that the population will learn that they are not safe in the area and may return to the mountains. Or so they hope.
He also told us about some studies done on Mountain Lions in the area and Bobcats too.
Then we moved onto geology with Barbra Echohawk. She is a geology professor at Metro State University of Denver where I went to school! She’s obviously very passionate about the subject and gave us so much information!
That’s intense right?! If you don’t know Boulder then let me show you one of our most significant geological features…
The Flatirons are pretty amazing to look at! I’ve climbed to the top of them too back when I used to spend most of my spare time rock climbing.
She laid out examples of all the different types of stone in the classroom too.
That’s a diverse timeline of rocks huh?!
Anyways hope you can walk away from this with a tiny bit more knowledge than you came with.
XO –Jay Jay