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Birds of the Western Slope Aug. 30, 2017

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Photo courtesy K.S. Gopi Sundar Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, George Archibald co-founded the International Crane Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to protecting and preserving the world's 15 species of crane.

So, who is the
keynote speaker?

George Archibald is the keynote speaker of this year's Yampa Valley Crane Festival, of course!

I'm at a loss to begin! I met him at Baraboo, Wis., when Karen and I made that epic trip. Two weeks in the rain might be a more likely-title for the trip. But a "bit" of rain was no problem for us! I remember going underground to the 'Cave of the Mounds' because it was drier than being topside in the rain!

We went to the dinner event and found that parking was nearly impossible. So Karen let me off at the entrance and she hunted and hunted for a place to park the car. I can't recall seeing so many cars parked at once! Of course this was a Native American gambling casino; so many of the cars belonged to non-birders. I don't remember seeing the other people and I guess the dinner was fine (don't remember it at all). Meeting George was the highlight for me.

And when I attended the "protest-meetings" to protect OUR birds from being hunted, I knew that George was there in spirit. Our protests resulted in "no hunting" and in Steamboat's first annual festival (apparently they'd discussed it before and decided to act). The keynote speaker was George Archibald. And I was a presenter as well. What fun that was! And he recognized me as a "grass-roots" person for my work at Hart's Basin.

And then there was Aransas -- two wonderful weeks in Texas -- with the "point" being to attend the Whooping Crane Festival. George was the keynote speaker. He was also leader on the boat trip. The "expert birders" (Evelyn Horn and Karen Derrick) left their binoculars in the car! And George came to my rescue: a pair of binoculars on loan. That was a kindness that I can never forget!

And at the Yampa Valley Crane Festival in Steamboat Springs, Aug. 31 to Sept. 3, the keynote speaker will be George Archibald. And I'll buy his book "My Life With Cranes."

It would be grand to see some of our local "crani-acs" at Steamboat!

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Surface Creek
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Birds of the Western Slope, Evelyn Horn
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