Approximately 80 people assembled in person and by Zoom May 6 for Ecologistics’ bi-annual Carrizo Colloquium. There was great joy in being together in person again and conversations in the room were nearly nonstop during breaks. Encouraging and not so encouraging reports were provided by the biologists overseeing the endangered species out on the Carrizo Plain. Giant kangaroo rats, San Joaquin kit fox and San Joaquin antelope squirrel seem to be thriving amongst the solar panels doing their job of generating carbon free energy.
The one discouraging report was on the decline of pronghorn herds on the Carrizo. Habitat loss and the drought are having a devastating effect on the population. Brandon Swanson and Dave Hacker of the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife educated us on the management strategies the agency is attempting to put into place to protect the existing animals and turn around the losses.
Freelance writer and photographer Chuck Graham ended the program with an incredible slideshow of photographs from his book Carrizo Plain: Where the Mountains Meet the Grasslands. Chuck was full of great stories of the endurance it took to capture some of the images.
A popular addition to the program was the first Carrizo Plain Photography Contest. Over 50 entries were received from amateur and professional photographers in three categories – flora, fauna and open. Most of the winners were there to accept their prize money and the prize-winning photos were on display. If you would like to see the winning photos, please visit our web site and click on the button “photo contest winners.” You will be truly amazed. Many thanks to our judges, Brittany App, Michael Costa and Don Quintana.
See you in 2024!