Sportsmen Expo in Denver Jan. 24-27

DENVER The International Sports-men Exposition is from Jan. 24-27 in Denver.

The annual event showcases the latest outdoor sporting gear, outfitters and recreational opportunities in the Rocky Mountain region. Each year, the Division of Wildlife is on hand to highlight the best hunting, fishing and wildlife-related activities in the state.

This year, the Colorado Division of Wildlife will demonstrate how to prepare game meat and fillet fish. It will also set up two 180-gallon cold- and warm-water pools filled with live fish and recreate a rainbow trout-spawning station.

The exposition will be held at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St.

Admission is $9 for adults and free for children under 12 years old. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at Gart Sports stores.

Protecting the prairie dog habitat

DENVER The Colorado Division of Wildlife will soon be introducing the pilot Shortgrass/Black-tailed Prairie Dog Habitat Incentive Program to financially assist landowners in four soil conservation districts in eastern Colorado. The landowners protect black-tailed prairie dogs, their habitat and associated shortgrass prairie.

The black-tailed prairie dog is considered a vital part of shortgrass prairie ecosystems in the West.

In the program, landowners in the Baca, West Greeley, South Pueblo and Turkey Creek soil conservation districts will be allowed to offer a per-acre bid for the amount of compensation they think is reasonable for protecting prairie dogs, which have been considered for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The DOW and the soil conservation districts will then evaluate potential parcels based on quality of habitat, size of prairie dog colonies, acres of shortgrass, proximity to protected habitat and distance from adjacent landowners. Lands that provide the best benefit at the least cost will be accepted into the program.

Landowners have the option of a 5- or 10-year agreement. The smallest acceptable acreage for enrollment is 160 acres. Prairie dogs must occupy a minimum of 25 percent of the land.

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