2012 Crane Festival – Brief Summary
2012 was the inaugural year for the Yampa Valley Crane Festival and what a year it was!
2012 Festival Activities
- Guided sunrise and sunset crane viewing sessions
- Elementary school programs led by Yampatika naturalists
- Programs for seniors in Steamboat Springs and Hayden, CO led by Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition members
- Sandhill Crane art show in Library Hall
- BookTrails led a story writing activity about cranes for the Young Writers Group
- Family activities at The Carpenter Ranch included origami crane making, show and tell crane specimens, learning activities, crane storytelling, crane dancing and a crane calling contest.
- Crane art was on display at galleries throughout Steamboat Springs
- Guided bird walk at The Carpenter Ranch led by the Yampa Valley Birding Club
- Tours of the historic Carpenter Ranch house and exhibits
- Field Workshop: “Wildlife Photography for Beginners” with local wildlife photographer Judy Jones
- Keynote speaker, Dr. George Archibald shared an amazing story about how Greater Sandhill Cranes in the Rocky Mountains of North America, Black-necked Cranes on Asia’s Tibetan Plateau, and Demoiselle Cranes that migrate over the peaks of the Himalayas, survive at high altitudes. He also explained the unique challenges in conserving these remarkable creatures as human populations spread up the slopes and as fragile high-altitude climates change.
Dr. George Archibald co-founded the International Crane Foundation with Ronald Sauey, a colleague from Cornell University, in the spring of 1973. They established it as the world center for the study and preservation of cranes using a creative combination of field research, help to local people living near the cranes, public education, habitat protection, and captive propagation and reintroduction. Today the International Crane Foundation has 50 employees and supports conservation projects in 45 nations.
Dr. Archibald has used the charisma of cranes to help unite people from diverse cultures and countries to work together to preserve habitat necessary for the survival of both cranes and people.
- Naturalist and author Evelyn Horn gave an informative and visually stimulating talk entitled “Cranes of the Rockies, Cranes of the World”. Her presentation included beautiful photos of each of the 15 species of cranes throughout the world.
- Ken Strom, Deputy Director of Audubon Rockies, the National Audubon Society’s regional program for Colorado and Wyoming presented two talks. The first was “The Wonder of Cranes: Ancient History, Family Life and Amazing Migrations” and the second was “Cranes and People – Our Special Bond across Time, Geography and Cultures” in which he gave us an update on conservation efforts on the Platte River in Nebraska and the economic impacts of eco-tourism.
In the 1980s Ken was Manager of Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary for Sandhill Cranes and Whooping Cranes on the Platte River in Nebraska. During the 1990s he coordinated a series of international partnerships in which he advised scientists and policy-makers in Russia and Pakistan on conservation strategies for cranes, rivers, and wetland habitats.
- Rocky Mountain Region Avian Program Coordinator with the U.S. Forest Service, Robert Skorkowsky gave a talk on the status and conservation of the Greater Sandhill Crane in the Yampa Valley.
2012 Festival Films
- There was a pre-festival screening of the International Wildlife Festival award-winning film Born To Fly.
- Raising Kid Colt – A film by Nina Faust from Kachemak Crane Watch in Homer, Alaska about a young Sandhill Crane, following the adventures of the young colt and his parents over two summers.
- A 10-minute DVD ran continuously in Library Hall between speaker sessions, showcasing photographer Darlyne Merkel’s images of cranes coming, going, squabbling and calling.
2012 Festival Sponsors and Partners
American Kestrel Press Press, Audubon Rockies, BookTrails, Bud Werner Memorial Library, Colorado State Council of the Humane Society of the United States, The Nature Conservancy, Klauzer & Tremaine, LLC, Mangelsen Images of Nature, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, U.S. Forest Service, Yampa Valley Birding Club, Yampa Valley Land Trust, Yampatika
The inaugural Yampa Valley Crane Festival was held September 16-19, 2012.