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San Juan Mosaic: mixed conifer forest walk

Join forester Steve Hartvigsen, ecologist Sara Brinton, and volunteer interpretive guide Susan Halabrin as they lead a walk through a mixed conifer ecosystem — the “San Juan Mosaic” — along Jackson Mountain Road within the San Juan National Forest.

In April, Hartvigsen, Brinton and Beth Jones provided an introduction to the mixed conifer ecosystem via a slide presentation at the Ross Aragon Community Center.

This walk provides an opportunity to explore and learn about how this specialized ecosystem creates a unique mosaic of diversity in the forest. Defined as the band of tree species that lies above our ponderosa pine forests and below the subalpine spruce-fir forests, mixed conifer contains the greatest diversity of tree species, across highly variable terrain. Hence, of forest types within the San Juan National Forest, the mixed conifer is the most complex.

The walk will be on Thursday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Although geared for an adult audience, people of all ages are welcome to attend. The walk will mostly occur off trail through the forest. Wear walking shoes or boots, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring drinking water and a lunch. Please leave your four-legged friends at home.

There is not a limit to the number of attendees, but for information about the location and to help ensure there are a sufficient number of handouts for attendees, please contact the Forest Service Office at 264-2268 to R.S.V.P. To carpool, meet at the district office at 180 Pagosa St. (Smokey Bear is out front) at 9 a.m.

For more information, contact Pagosa Ranger District at 264-2268 or 180 Pagosa St.