Friends of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges


  • 31 Oct 2020 1:14 PM | Anonymous

    After thoughtful consideration, the Monte Vista Crane Festival planning committee has decided to cancel that the 2021 Crane Festival due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

    The Monte Vista Crane Festival is the oldest birding festival in Colorado and one of the oldest in the nation and has occurred every spring since 1983. The festival is planned and coordinated by the Friends of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Monte Vista.  Most of the planning and coordination of this event is done by volunteers and planning efforts span 6 months or more before the March event.  

    Given the uncertainty of COVID-19 and Colorado State regulations on gatherings the planning committee simply cannot invest the money, time, and energy in planning an event that is unlikely to happen. The planning committee does not take this decision lightly as we understand how important this event is to our community and its importance economically to the entire San Luis Valley region.  

    As we think back to the 2020 Crane Festival, for many of us it seems that the festival was the “last normal thing that happened” before the world changed with the COVID-19 shut down in Mid-March. We hope in 2022 it will be safe for large groups to gather again.  We encourage our community and local businesses to brainstorm creative visitor opportunities for the 2022 festival and make it the best festival ever.  We look forward to engaging our community for the 2022 festival with events at the Vali 3 Theater, the brand-new Ski Hi Event and Conference Center, and bus tours to the refuge and other local attractions. The fall migration of the cranes and ducks is happening now.  There are no restrictions on visiting the Monte Vista Refuge at this time, but please practice standard COVID precautions and wear a mask when in public, adhere to 6 feet distancing between people, wash hands frequently, and stay home if you have any symptoms.  Be aware restroom facilities on the refuge may not be open.

    Thank you for your understanding.~Monte Vista Crane Festival Committee

  • 21 Mar 2019 7:32 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Friends,

    Desiree Sorenson-Groves is leaving the Refuge Association, but not the National Wildlife Refuge System. If you haven’t heard she will become the Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign Director in April, leading a coalition of national and Alaskan organizations to permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is fortunate to have her on its side. She is a dynamo that inspires people to care and take action. That’s what she has done for us, the Friends community.

    Let’s show her how much we appreciate her support of Friends and the Refuge System by pulling together messages of appreciate and support along with photos of our refuges and/or Friends organizations. Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates with assistance from the Refuge Association will pull them together and present them to Desiree in April.

    Please email or snail mail your messages and send your digital photos to me by this Wednesday, March 27th.


    Joan Patterson
    Coalition of Refuge Friends and Advocates
    13303 Robling Court
    Manassas, VA 20112

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