Nov 162003
 
Authors: Brittany Burke

Twelve Fort Collins residents had the opportunity to gain the

skills and knowledge to enable them to view wildlife more

efficiently and responsibly.

“Respect is the ethics of wildlife watching,” said Nicole

Seltsam, an instructor for Wildlife Watch. “Watching wildlife is a

lifelong learning experience.”

The Colorado Division of Wildlife developed Wildlife Watch with

the hopes of teaching their audience the ideas of where, when and

how to enjoy Colorado’s wildlife. During the four-hour program,

participants learn through hands-on activities as well as detailed

overheads and slides.

Seltsam has worked at the Colorado Division of Wildlife for

three years and has volunteered for Wildlife Watch for a year and a

half.

“(The activities) make you more aware to be kind while observing

wildlife,” said Gene Gloeckner, a professor in the school of

education at CSU.

Gloeckner and his family attended the local Wildlife Watch

program at Lory State Park in Fort Collins on Saturday. The

Gloeckner family has used many of the tips given in the workshop

before but they all said they learned things that will enhance

their viewing in the future.

“We learned more tips on how to (observe wildlife) and where to

find them,” said Susan Gloeckner, an administrative assistant at

Corbett Hall.

Hands-on activities included games such as hide and seek. The

program utilizes this game to show the way wildlife feels when a

human is looking for them. It also shows how wearing neutral

colored clothing can enhance your wildlife viewing experience.

Volunteers devote hours to teaching groups the basic

fundamentals of habitats, ecosystems and responsibility when in the

outdoors. This program is available statewide at many state

parks.

Responsibility plays a big part in Wildlife Watch’s lesson

plan.

“As far as the Division of Wildlife is concerned, responsibility

plays a huge role,” said Leslie Larson, a volunteer for Wildlife

Watch. “It’s important to learn not to disturb wildlife or their

habitats.”

According to Larson, the two things that prompted Colorado

Division of Wildlife to offer Wildlife Watch was both the desire to

teach the public about wildlife and stop disrespectful behavior

from occurring.

“A lot of people are interested in the natural environment,”

Larson said.

The group learning at Lory State Park on Saturday ranged from

students and faculty at CSU to those looking to volunteer in the

Division of Wildlife.

Erin Knuuti, a nurse practitioner, enjoyed the workshop and said

she learned a lot.

“I liked learning about the habitat and the ecosystem in

general,” Knuuti said.

Knuuti said she would have liked to learn more about the habitat

part of wildlife. She plans on volunteering for the Division of

Wildlife while her husband works on his doctorate at CSU.

The program wrapped up with a hike in hopes of utilizing their

new skills.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife charges $15 per person or

household to participate in the workshop. This fee includes the

“Colorado Wildlife Viewing Guide” and the workshop participant

manual. The individuals that complete the workshop also receive

“certified wildlife watcher” cards.

Great Outdoors Colorado and the National Fish and Wildlife

Foundation sponsor Wildlife Watch. For more information or to book

reservations visit www.wildlifewatch.net.

 

 

 

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