CMPS Conference to feature plenary, Ignite and more

Buffalo Pass, near Steamboat Springs, is the location of one of this year's CMPS Annual Conference field trips. ©Scott Ingram

If you’re looking for reasons to attend the Central Mountains & Plains Section’s Annual Conference, look no further. A conservation detection dog workshop, a field trip to Buffalo Pass, and a location that was in the running for Outside Magazine’s Best Towns 2016 Contest are all the reasons you need to attend this summer’s meeting.

Registration is now open for the event, which will take place Aug. 8-11 at the Sheraton Hotel in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. A professional registration includes access to this year’s featured plenary session, “Contemporary Challenges and Conservation of Forests & Wildlife,” three contributed paper sessions, an Ignite session, two evening socials, two lunches and the Wednesday night banquet.

“The preliminary agenda is packed full of exciting ideas,” said Karie Decker, current president of the CMPS. “Of particular interest are the plenaries and planned workshops. Both cover exciting and relevant topics that should be of interest to a broad group of members.”

“Introduction to Conservation Detection Dogs: Techniques, Applications, and Modeling” is one of two workshops to be held at the conference, the other being an introductory R workshop for wildlife biologists. There are also four field trips available — Buffalo Pass: managing forests and recreation, an evening of batting at Rehder Ranch, and two morning bird walks. Workshop and field trip spots are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Mindy Rice of the Colorado Chapter stepped up to chair the conference and has been planning the meeting since last fall. The theme of the meeting — “Seeing the wildlife through the trees: challenges and conservation of forests and wildlife” — comes from the fact that many forest and wildlife issues in Colorado are related, and there are many collaborations which the organizers wanted to highlight for their success, Rice says. One of the events she is most looking forward to is the plenary because of the excellent group of speakers they have lined up.

“We have focused on varying the schedule so that it doesn’t feel like a meeting and we have incorporated the outside as much as possible,” Rice said. “The location of the meeting is really a highlight as we have access to beautiful mountains and forests, a plethora of outdoor recreation, and of course, wildlife right outside the doors of the meeting.”

On the slopes of the Steamboat Ski Resort, anyone who hasn’t been enticed by the outstanding lineup of educational opportunities surely cannot deny the beauty of the location. Based on “great access to trails and public lands, thriving restaurants and neighborhoods, and, of course, a good beer scene,” Steamboat Springs advanced to the Sweet 16 of Outside Magazine’s Best Towns 2016 Contest bracket.

“We wanted to showcase the best of Colorado,” Decker said, “August is a great time to be in Steamboat for all recreational activities including hiking, mountain biking, etc.”

For more information, or to register for the Central Mountains & Plains Section Annual Conference, click here.