Date: 4/14/17 11:36 am From: Duane Nelson <dnelson1...> Subject: [cobirds] Piping Plover closure information
A few Piping Plovers are back at John Martin Reservoir. The first showed up on April 6th (photo attached). This was the earliest arrival date since studies began in 1990. The count is up to 10 statewide as of today. They will be difficult for the public to see without assistance. I will try to accommodate birders, but can't be quite as flexible as in past years. I would appreciate at least one day's notice.
There are currently two closures on the south side of the reservoir, one a traditional closure well marked by signs and flagging. New this year is a locked closure gate preventing close vehicular access.
The second closure is entirely different in nature. We've done a considerable amount of habitat work in a sedimentation basin created by dredging silt from behind the dam, necessary for safe operation of the dam. Birders have recently discovered this site. The last time the reservoir was at this water level, the entire basin (The Pit) was closed as a safety hazard, due to steep banks surrounding the basin, and dangerous silty muck contained within the basin, and that is the official designation for 2017. New signs were posted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife earlier this week. Designation as a Safety Zone makes sense, because there's quite a bit of resentment locally for closures due to Endangered Species, and this area would be closed with or without Plovers. Attached is a picture of the new closure signs, posted at regular intervals around the closure. Please notice the small print. Violations of either closure will result in tickets, something I hope doesn't happen.