Brown Bag Lecture spotlights scenic byways, birds, invasive species

ST. GEORGE – Each Friday, the Bureau of Land Management hosts the popular Brown Bag Lecture series, which provides unique opportunities for the public to learn more about the benefits of the area’s natural resources and public lands.

Speakers include geologists, range specialists, biologists, archaeologists, rangers and other specialists who will delve more deeply into subjects tied to the Arizona Strip and surrounding public lands. For those who want to learn more before venturing out or are otherwise unable to access some of these remote and rugged landscapes, the lectures are an excellent way to bring the resources and related issues to the community’s doorstep.

The lectures are hosted at the Interagency Information Center, located at 345 East Riverside Drive in St. George. Programs run from noon to 1 p.m. Admission is free, but space is limited for this popular lecture series. Please obtain tickets in advance from the Interagency Information Center to reserve a seat.

There will be fewer lectures in the 2013-2014 Brown Bag Lecture series than in previous years but they will continue on a monthly basis. 

  • Dec. 6 – “Holiday Music & Cheer with Musician Keith Behunin”

Join in as Keith plays all your favorite holiday melodies on old time instruments including washboards, band saws, and spoons. If you enjoy banjo music and are ready to be filled with the holiday spirit, this event’s for you.

  • Jan. 3 – “Armchair Tour with Ken”

As a member of the Scenic Byway 12 committee, Dixie/Arizona Strip Interpretive Association’s Executive Director Ken Sizemore’s adoration is great for the scenery and discoveries along the route with its quaint, rustic towns that dot the meandering highway east of Bryce Canyon National Park. Come take an “armchair tour” with Ken of this gorgeous route, voted by Forbes Magazine as one of “America’s Best Snowy Drives” in the Jan. 2009 edition.

  • Jan 10 – “Winter Bird Festival”

Join birding enthusiast Marshall Topham to gear up for the 11th annual Audubon Society “Winter Bird Festival” which runs Jan. 23-25, 2014. Come learn all the interesting factors which make this area a unique, biologically diverse, landscape to study our feathered friends.  Topham, a Southern Utah native, majored in zoology with minors in botany and chemistry at Southern Utah University and was later recruited by the University of Hawaii to study entomology in Honolulu. Known to many in Washington County as a positive force for and representative of education through his lengthy career from high school and college teacher to 19 years of administration service for the Washington County School District, Topham’s enthusiasm for education and birding is unsurpassed.

  • Feb 7 – “Arundo Donax”

Join American Conservation Experience volunteer Nolan Hahn to learn more about the invasive plant “Arundo Donax”. This large reed which grows along riparian zones is similar to tamarisk in its’ voluminous consumption of water. The plant also creates fire hazards. Find out why Hahn’s sole job is to eradicate this reed and get ahead of this invasive species before it gets out of hand. But that battle’s too big for a one man job. Come see what you can do to give Hahn a hand. To learn more go to: mojavedata.gov/vrade. Special guest Jason Metzger will also share more information about the organization Hahn works for, the American Conservation Experience.

The lecture series is sponsored by the Dixie/Arizona Strip Interpretive Association, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service.  For more information about upcoming lectures, call the Interagency Visitor Center at 435-688-3200.

Submitted by: The Bureau of Land Management.

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