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Chipping Sparrow Photo by Jackson Trappett
Adapted from History of the Grand Valley Audubon Society by Helen Traylor and Juanita Moston
The Grand Valley Audubon Society, which was originally known as the Audubon Society of Western Colorado, received its charter from the National Audubon Society in 1972. It was the brainchild of three members of a lady's birding group in Grand Junction: Nyla Kladder, Helen Traylor and Lucy Ferrell Ela.
Charter members included: The first president, Nyla Kladder, Ivan Kladder, Lucy Ela, Helen Allen, Wayne Casto, William Davis, Due Diamont, Jean Gilleue, Edgar Muhr, Wilbur Tinning, Helen Traylor and Robert Young.
The goal of the fledgling organization was to include as many people as possible from all over the west slope; including Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Durango and many who had belonged to National Audubon for years but were now part of the new chapter headquartered in Grand Junction. The Audubon Society of Western Colorado received $5.50 from each of their memberships and with approximately 400 plus members; the Chapter had a sizeable nest egg to begin work with.
This new enthusiastic chapter began holding meetings on the third Monday of the months of September thru May. Various locations were used that first year; Department of Wildlife offices; Public Services meeting room at 7th and Main St.; Mesa Federal Bank; The First Christian Church; Valley Federal Building and Columbine School to mention a few.
That first year saw many field trips that were often overnight camping trips. ... Many trips were quite a distance from Grand Junction. That first year birders were off to Brown’s Park, Bear River National Wildlife Refuge in Utah, Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Mancos Canyon on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation near Cortez, Grouse viewing near Craig, Colorado, Sage Grouse viewing near Crawford as well as numerous day trips to many of the proposed Wilderness Study Areas, including Black Ridge, Demaree Canyon, Little Dominguez, and Sewemup Mesa near Gateway.
One of the early projects was placing Bluebird nest boxes near the Telegraph Trail on the Uncompahgre Plateau and then trips to clean and check on the boxes.
Saturday bird walks were begun in 1976 led by Mary Fischer and Dave Galanat and continued for many years. New birders and non-birders were encouraged to participate.
If you are interested in reading the complete history of the Grand Valley Audubon Society please contact us via email.