Jr. Ranger Scavenger Hunt secrets wildlife icons to educate children

Cameron Rognan, Biologist for Red Cliffs Desert Reserve teaches about native wildlife with Hercules, the gila monster, and Tank, the desert Tortoise at the 2010 Fall Jr. Ranger Program | Photo courtesy of BLM

ST. GEORGE – On Friday, September 23, 2011, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about recreational opportunities on public lands at the Jr. Ranger Scavenger Hunt.

The “scavengers” will hunt for wildlife icons; Smokey Bear, Seymour Antelope, Hercules Gila Monster, Tank Tortoise, and Virgin River Fish will be the celebrity guests.

The free educational family event will be hosted at the Tonaquint Park at 1851 South Dixie Drive from 5 to 7 p.m.

Geared to families and youth, ages 5-18, the event will help families gain a greater appreciation for public lands resources and provide opportunities through fun and educational activities. Each public lands agency will host a station and provide engaging, age-appropriate games, activities, educational materials, and thematic public lands give-a-ways.

Numerous agencies work together to provide the public with this free activity. Hot dogs and drinks will be provided for all participants who register early, compliments of the Dixie Arizona Strip Interpretive Association. Event sponsors include: The Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip District Office, the City of St. George, D/ASIA, Dixie National Forest, National Park Service, Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, Washington County’s Water Conservancy District, Washington County’s Solid Waste District, and the Southern Utah Chapter of the Girls Scouts of America.

The 2011 Jr. Ranger event features the BLM Arizona Strip District’s “Jr. Fire Fighter Training Course.” The obstacle course will provide children with an opportunity to meet regional wildland fire fighters, BLM’s mascot Seymour Antelope and Smokey Bear, and to complete the rigors of a wildland fire fighter’s training.

For the specialists who present from the host of agencies, these events provide a forum for fostering positive relationships among community members and natural resource agencies. “It’s an excellent opportunity for us to be able to give back to our community,” said wildland firefighter Jamie Rogers, who will conduct the Jr. Wildland Fire Fighter Training Course.

In addition to myriad fun educational games, children will have the chance to view fascinating native desert wildlife at the event, including live native fish like Virgin River chub, spinedace and woundfin, as well as the 25-year-old Red Cliff Desert Reserve’s resident Gila monster “Hercules.” For children, viewing “Herc,” up close is thrilling as few people ever see a Gila monster out in the wild in their natural habitat.

In order to enjoy the free food and activities, pre-register at the City of St. George’s recreational website or D/ASIA’s website. Or, call any of the following telephone numbers: 435-688-3200, 435-688-3273 and 435-688-3275.

The BLM manages more land, 245 million acres, than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

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1 Comment

  • Mike September 16, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I’m sure I’m a little slow, but could that headline be any more difficult to understand? Man, I had to read the whole story before I had any idea what the headline was trying to say.

    I’m not saying it needs to be corrected, especially since it’s just a Press Release… I’m just sayin’. You know? Anybody have some Advil?

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