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Exploring Ash Meadows After Dark

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Join up for this rare chance to see what happens in the dark at Ash Meadows. A great place to visit during the day, this night time activity will provide you with an opportunity to see the noctural wildlife that call this beautiful place home.

“Let’s Explore After Dark!” is from 7:30 PM to 10 PM on Saturday June 9, 2012. The US Fish and Wildlife Service describes that the, "participants can watch a beautiful Ash Meadows sunset, as they set off on a nighttime adventure that promises to be fun and exciting. This educational program includes a search for wild scorpions, catching insects, and capturing bats using mist nets. Games, prizes, and other activities add up to plenty of fun for adults and children alike. The event is free of charge, but space is limited. Those wishing to take part are asked to register for the event by calling (702) 515-5496, or by sending an email to alyson_mack@fws.gov."

If you have never been to Ash Meadows at night this is a once in a "blue moon" opportunity. If a day time adventure is more your taste, be sure to visit the habitat between sun up and sun down, normal opperating times.

Ash Meadows is a micro habitat of lush wetland plants and desert springs about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas in Amargosa Valley. Ash Meadows is a desert wetland landscape with walking trails and boardwalks that meander amongst Nevada's most interesting terrain. It is a biologists Mecca for those who like their habitats wetter that what the Mojave desert usually offers. Many local marine biologists, limnologists and scientists in many fields get their feet wet here, and there is enough wonderment to keep them occupied with a life time of research on the desert pools, pupfish, native species of plants and the amazing watershed that supplies the area. Approximately 50 springs seep into the area from ancient water that is left over from our most recent ice age, taking thousands of years to resurface.

Over 25 plants and animal species are endemic to the area (found no where else on Earth). Ash Meadows has the greatest concentration of endemic life in the United States, and has 14 threatened and endangered species, making this habitat truly unique internationally.

The restoration of the habitat is a long process managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In some areas restoration work has gone on for over a decade and thanks to hundreds of volunteers the habitat is on its way to being restored to as it was prior to human disturbances. The habitat is being restored by the removal of invasive plants and animals, and planting native flora. Restoration work is a very important part of the management of the refuge. The habitat has been recognized as an important internationally significant habitat by the Ramsar Convention, a consortium of over 150 countries on wetlands. For more information visit http://www.Ramsar.org.

Many mammals reside in Ash Meadows and you may get lucky enough to see bighorn sheep, the cactus mouse, or a kangaroo rat. Less likely you will see the species of squirrel, rare to Ash Meadows, that was only recently rediscovered in a live trap, a species not collected here since 1891.

Be sure to use the strictest of eco friendly habits here, the sensitive habitat is worth preserving and respecting. Take only photos, and don't leave any footprints on the anything but designated paths and trails. This experience is best in the spring and fall so get out there and enjoy the scenery.

The nearest camping ground is in Death Valley a few miles away. This is a great day trip from Las Vegas so if you would prefer to opt out of camping - it can be easily accomplished, or combine the experience with an overnight stay in Death Valley and get the most out of your fossil fuels.

For more information about Ash Meadows visit www.fws.gov/desertcomplex/ashmeadows or the refuge’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ AshmeadowsNWR.

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