Earth briefs

Mountain lion exhibit opens at heritage center

The Anasazi Heritage Center, 27501 Colorado Highway 184, is featuring a new exhibit called Mountain Lion!

Mountain Lion! was produced by the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College with help from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Southern Ute Tribe. The exhibit is open through October 2014 and features a variety of perspectives on the West's most elusive predator.

For more information, visit or call 882-5600.

Aztec Ruins receives grant

Aztec Ruins National Monument has received a Connecting Trails to Parks grant for 2014.

The park will receive $95,314 to study and develop a part of the historic Old Spanish Trail as part of the North Main Trail Project planned in partnership with the city of Aztec. The funding also will help tell the story of the Old Spanish Trail in images, waysides, and other media. Connecting Trails to Parks funding is set aside by the National Park Service to link National Historic Trails to National Park units. The city of Aztec, the National Park Service, and other partners have planned a pedestrian and bike trail that leads from Aztec's downtown national historic district, across the Animas River, and into the national monument. The Spanish used the trail between 1829 and 1848 to trade woolen goods from New Mexico for mules and horses from California. The national historic trail development project is expected to be completed during the summer of 2014.

Plant sale planned at San Juan College

A winter plant sale will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13 at the San Juan College Greenhouse, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington.

The sale will feature tropical foliage, house plants, ornamental plants and varieties of New Mexico chiles. Proceeds will support San Juan College Horticulture Club activities.

For more information, call (505) 566-3174.

Agency discourages exotic pets as gifts

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials urge residents not to give illegal exotic pets as presents.

Exotic pets include animals such as snakes, frogs, non-native mammals, fish, reptiles and birds. Some of these animals are difficult to keep, can be dangerous to human health and pose threats to Colorado's native wildlife and habitats. Specific regulations in Colorado govern the types of animals the public can own.

For a list of rules and regulations, visit

Botanical society to host orientation

The Durango Botanical Society will host its annual Docent Orientation from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave.

This presentation will provide an overview of docents and their work. Applications are being accepted for the 2014 class. Docents lead tours of Durango Public Library's Demonstration Garden. They also assist with botanical society workshops, programs and events.

People with an interest or experience in gardening are encouraged to apply. Training and materials are free. Class dates will be Feb. 24 and 25 and March 15.

For more information or to receive an application, call Melanie Palmer at 769-3091, visit and click on "volunteer" or email

Staff reports