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Cooperative Extension’s “Nevada Naturalist” hosts inaugural statewide conference: Celebrates Nevada’s 150 years of cultural and environmental history

By Miriam Hodgman

60198_152735398090891_7213246_nThe University of Nevada Cooperative Extension invites residents to attend the first-ever Nevada Naturalist Statewide Conference, September 18 through September 20 at the Clark County Wetlands Park Nature Center in Las Vegas. Breakout sessions and workshops will highlight Nevada’s 150 years of cultural and environmental history.

Guest speaker Scott Abella, director and ecologist of the Natural Resources Conservation LLC, will present a 30-year assessment of climate change and vegetation shifts in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and changes to vegetation and soil associated with continued recession of Lake Mead.

Also speaking is Mark Hall-Patton, museums administrator for Clark County Museum System and a frequent antique authenticity consultant for the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars.” He will present “Nevada’s Sesquicentennial: But Not Ours!”

Breakout sessions will be presented by notable historians and speakers from around the state. Topics include: “Mustangs: symbol of the Wild West,” key conservation successes and projects of the Nature Conservancy in Nevada, hiking with your ears, tackling tough issues through a facilitated dialogue, best practices for environmental education: cultural resources in Nevada, and “Nevada tribes: native plant uses in basketry.”

Other conference activities include morning yoga, a silent auction, a night hike and a chance to talk with volunteer coordinators from various local agencies.

Conference registration is $150. In addition, on September 20, the conference will offer an optional “Private Charter” Black Canyon river raft trip down the Colorado River via a motor-assisted inflatable raft.

The trip is not included in the conference cost, but conference registration is required for eligibility.

For those who register before August 31, the combined cost for the conference and raft tour is $199. For those registering September 1 through September 12, the combined cost is $225.

For registration and hotel details and discounts, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nevada-naturalist-state-conference-tickets-12416493065. For more information about the conference, contact Denise Parsons at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 702-948-5906 or [email protected]

The Nevada Naturalist Program was begun in 2008 by Cooperative Extension Horticulture Specialist M.L. Robinson to create a corps of volunteers educated in natural resources and environmental issues affecting southern Nevada. Since the program’s inception, Nevada Naturalists have volunteered over 4,000 hours at community events and have developed 23 new programs. Over 135 participants have graduated from the program. For more information on the program, see http://www.unce.unr.edu/programs/sites/nevadanaturalist/.

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