Near North Park, the heart of the state’s first moose relocations in 1978, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will continue to celebrate Shiras moose – the largest species in the deer family and what many consider to be the state’s most charismatic species. To learn more about the majestic beasts, the public is invited to the Third Annual State Forest Moose Festival at State Forest State Park, Highway 14, east of Walden. Arrive at the at the park’s Visitor Center, Aug. 12, 10 a.m – 4 p.m. for day of fun, learning and a possible glimpse of a moose.
Along with the festival at State Forest State Park, CPW recently hosted 8th Annual Grand Mesa Moose Day near Grand Junction, giving the public ample opportunity to gain appreciation for moose while having fun outdoors.
With moose populations growing steadily across the state – estimated at approximately 3,000 – and sightings and interactions increasing each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages the public to appreciate them and learn more about the species, including how to watch them safely and avoid a conflicts.
“State Forest State Park and the North Park area have a reputation as one of the likeliest places to see moose in Colorado,” said Park Manager Joe Brand. “Every day, we get people that come up here just for the opportunity to see one of these magnificent animals. It’s quite a thrill for them when they do. This festival will be another great opportunity to maybe see a moose, but also to learn more about them in a fun, festive atmosphere.”
Brand says there will be a variety of activities for people of all ages, including a scavenger hunt, backyard bass, crafts & games, moose biology presentations and a food vendor, all at one of the most scenic and largest of Colorado’s state parks.
Partnering with CPW to make the event possible include Yampatika, Colorado State Forest Service, Colorado State Land Board, the North Park Conservation District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and North Park Specialty Meats.
Although moose may appear docile, CPW reminds the public the large, powerful animals can be extremely dangerous, especially if a dog approaches them.
“Moose do not attack, instead they defend themselves and their young very aggressively, especially if they feel threatened by a dog, regarding them the same as a wolf, one of their primary predators,” said Brand. “We encourage people to watch moose, safely and from a distance and preferably without dogs. There are some important tips you need to know and we’ll cover those at our festival.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds visitors to keep dogs on a leash and under control at all times in moose country.
With moose populations growing at a healthy pace, Colorado Parks and Wildlife regards their reintroduction here as one of the agency’s greatest management achievements, funded entirely with sportsmen’s dollars.
Who: Colorado Parks and Wildlife and partners
What: Third Annual State Forest Moose Festival
When: Saturday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Where : State Forest State Park Visitor Center – 56750 Highway 14, approximately 22 miles east of Walden
For more information, call the State Forest Moose Visitor Center at 970-723-8366.