On the River: Use your Fork | AspenTimes.com

On the River: Use your Fork

The Roaring Fork Conservancy will offer a host of opportunities to take advantage of the Roaring Fork River this summer, starting next week with an evening of watching the birds that nest along its banks.Wildlife biologist Jonathan Lowsky and conservancy staffers will lead the bird-watching expedition near the confluence of Cattle Creek and the Roaring Fork in Garfield County from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 24. The area boasts more than 20 pairs of nesting great blue herons and a pair of bald eagles. Last year, for the first time, a pair of ospreys fledged offspring in this area. The event is free, but registration is required; call 927-1290.On May 25, the Roaring Fork Conservancy and Colorado River Water Conservation District will hold an informational public meeting, State of the Roaring Fork Watershed, for the summer of 2006. Water managers from both east and west of the Continental Divide will answer questions about dam operations, summer flows and water quantity issues. For more information, contact Jim Pokrandt at the river district at 945-8522 or the conservancy at 927-1290.On June 3, the conservancy offers a chance to explore the Roaring Fork with a two-hour float along the lower section of the river. Bring your own boat or jump on one from Blazing Adventures or Rock Gardens Rafting for a day of sightseeing, exploration and a barbecue afterward. Naturalists from around the valley will offer insights during the float. The event is open to anyone 8 and older, but space is limited. Registration is required by May 30. Go to http://www.roaringfork.org for details.It feels like a long way off, but Aug. 5 is the date to mark on the calendar for an exploratory float down the Roaring Fork through the North Star Nature Preserve, east of Aspen. Bring a canoe, kayak, ducky or tube and float through what the conservancy calls some of the most important wetlands in the upper Roaring Fork Valley. Staff from Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and the conservancy will give the history of the preserve, point out wildlife and discuss recent restoration activities along the mild two-hour float. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and reservations are required; call 927-1290.

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