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Agencies look for volunteers to track nests

A golden eagle takes flight from a cliff edge in Nine Mile Canyon last Sunday afternoon. The Bureau of Land Management and the Raptor Inventory Nest Survey are looking for volunteers to help track nest locations for eagles and other birds in the raptor family. Many of these fowl are commonly sighted in the Castle Valley. The agencies require no scientific knowledge by volunteers.

Raptor Inventory Nest Survey (RINS) is offering a fascinating opportunity to learn about birds of prey that inhabit northern and central Utah.

RINS is a nest tracking project that enlists interested volunteers who enjoy traveling to remote or rural areas, walking and sometimes hiking in deserts or higher mountain valleys.

A volunteer training workshop is being offered the next two Saturdays, Feb. 23 and March 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Salt Lake field office of the Bureau of Land Management located at 2370 S. 2300 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84119.

To be a volunteer, no science credentials are needed. Those interested in participating in the project do not need to know how to discover a nest or identify a raptor, complete training is provided. The only qualifications to becoming a volunteer are a pair of binoculars, an email address and the willingness to wear out some shoe leather.

The RINS project was established in 2001 by a volunteer named Dawn Sebesta, who recruited many volunteers to continue monitoring and expanding the BLM nest inventory in the West Desert and Rich County - areas that had not been monitored before.

The nests that belong to the BLM inventory are part of the RINS project and surveyed annually by volunteers. The information RINS volunteers gather serves a vital role in providing pertinent data that would otherwise go unknown to federal, state and local land managers.

For more information regarding the RINS project, visit http://www.rins.org/ or call 801-977-4300.





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