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Bioblitz Coming to Chadron State Park

CHADRON — The public is invited to join Chadron State Park’s first Bioblitz, a 24-hour program Friday and Saturday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The park’s group event facility will serve as headquarters for the more than dozen surveys and activities, which are scheduled to take place at locations throughout the park.

The free event will allow participants both young and old to discover and celebrate western Nebraska wildlife. A bioblitz is an event where members of the public become “citizen scientists” and work with biologists to survey a particular area, recording all plants and animals they can find. By running programs for a continuous 24-hour period, bioblitz participants hope to get an accurate snapshot of the wildlife present in the area at that time of year.

The Bioblitz will run from 1 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday, with the second day’s activities beginning at 7 a.m. In addition to the many plant and animal surveys, there will be information sessions about bighorn sheep, cougars, range sampling techniques, geology and astronomy.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to participate in as little or as much of the event as they like. Visitors seeking information will find a map of activities and an updated tally of species at the group event facility. Vehicles are required to have a Nebraska Park Entry Permit, but the event is otherwise open to the public free of charge. Participants are encouraged to bring a dish for the potluck dinner at 6 p.m. Friday.

The Bioblitz is being hosted by the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and the Chadron State College wildlife management program, with funding provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

For a session schedule, to receive additional information or any questions, contact Amber Schiltz, Nebraska education coordinator for the Conservancy, at amber.schiltz@birdconservancy.org or 402-310-6137.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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