Event Category: RenoTahoe
Eagles & Agriculture, the Carson Valley‘s annual gathering of eagles and celebration of agriculture, is now accepting reservations for the 2016 event. The February 18th to 21st event will be the fourteenth year of Eagles & Ag, and is a combined effort of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, UNR Cooperative Extension, The Nature Conservancy, Lahonton Audobon Society and Valley ranchers.The 2016 version adds a few wrinkles. It begins with the repeat of last year’s very well received Welcome Reception & Photography Exhibit on Thursday night, February 18th and this year will be held in the Grandview Room of the new Douglas County Community & Senior Center. The reception features an exhibition of the work of noted local wildlife photographers and a planned visit from several birds of prey. Eagles & Ag organizers, photographers, BS ers and birders are on hand to start the conversation about the weekend events. Light hors d’ouevres are included and a cash bar will be available.On Friday, the tours begin with a trip to the IVGID Wetlands area led by Jim Woods of Birding Under Nevada Skies. A variety of wildlife will be seen on this tour, which does involve a medium hike over level ground. This tour is limited to 20, and participants should bring their scopes, binoculars and cameras. This tour departs at 8AM from the Carson Valley Inn.That afternoon at 1:30PM, the Raptor Highway & Byway Tour, also conducted by Jim Woods, will offer spotting and photography opportunities for those interested in seeing the various species of raptors that come to Carson Valley in the winter season. Again, the tour departs from Carson Valley Inn and is limited to 20 participants and scopes, binoculars and cameras are a must.On Friday evening, the Falconers’ Dinner, which has become a must do event, will take place at the Carson Valley Inn. We are pleased to announce that Jim and Kathleen Tigan of Raptor Adventures have agreed to join us this year. Several years ago, Kathleen showed their Steppe Eagle at our event and the Tigans, who now are doing a great deal of their work in Northern Nevada, will be bringing some of their working raptors and will talk about how they help companies like Hahn Vineyards and the Lodge at Pebble Beach for wildlife control.Other falconers will be on hand along with their birds to talk about the raising and training of raptors. As always, this a rare chance for people to get up close to falcons, hawks, owls and other raptors for viewing and photographing these beautiful birds. The evening includes a four course dinner, and there will be exhibits throughout the Carson Valley Inn from businesses and organizations that support the Eagles & Ag efforts. There is also a raffle drawing that evening for prizes donated by our exhibitors.Saturday morning, our Ranch & Eagle Tour & Luncheon departs the Carson Valley Inn at 8AM. The center of the Eagles & AG experience, this tour takes our guests to four or five area ranches for the rare opportunity to access the ranches, hear from the ranch owners and operators, and provides the best chance for sighting and photographing bald eagles. Each bus has a birder and ‘bs-er’ (a local expert on history) to maximize the knowledge and fun and there is a birder at each of our ranches as well with a spotting scope and (we hope) knowledge of where the eagles may be sighted. Our buses are top of the line motorcoaches and there is room for our guests to bring spotting equipment and cameras. Following the tour, the guests return for the Luncheon portion at CVI. At the luncheon, we compare notes on what has been seen and hold a raffle for prizes donated by our exhibitors.On Saturday afternoon, two tours depart at 1:30PM, times so that our guests can experience the Ranch & Eagle Tour & Luncheon and one of the afternoon tours as well. The first is one of the most popular, the Owl Prowl, which visits historic ranches and barns to seek out opportunities to spot and photograph a variety of owls and also gets to experience a demonstration flight from one of our local falconers.Also departing at 1:30PM, a new offering, the ‘Ins and Outs of Agriculture’ will take place. Eagles & AG guests will visit a Carson Valley ranch for an inside look at the challenges and realities of ranching in the 21st century.Our Photography Workshop begins with the classroom session at 6PM Saturday evening at the Holiday Inn Express. It is taught by Craig Moore, who has been teaching in California and Nevada for many years. Craig will go over basic concepts as well as specific advanced techniques in the 3 hour session.On Sunday morning, the field exercise of the Workshop will depart from the Holiday Inn Express at 7AM. Led by Carson Valley’s prolific wildlife photographer John Humphrey, the field exercise will give participants an opportunity to put their classroom knowledge to use.Having done well in its first year in 2015, our Ranch & Eagle Tour & Luncheon will be repeated on Sunday. Following the same format as Saturday’s tour, participants will depart from the Carson Valley Inn at 8AM to visit a number of area ranches. As on Saturday, each bus will carry an expert birder and BS-er and each ranch will have a birder and scope waiting. At the conclusion of the Tour, the Luncheon will take place at Carson Valley Inn.The final tour of the weekend will be ‘The Ranch Tour-Comstock Seed Co’, and will be held Sunday morning. Comstock Seed has taken a traditional cattle ranch and used creative business thinking to develop a different model for ranch operation-one that produces seed for reforestation, landscaping and large scale restoration work of areas that have experienced fire or other impacts. Owners Ed and Linda Kleiner have made thinking out of the box their regular approach to land use and water conservation and are in many ways, the future of land use in the West.Along with the events and tours, Eagles & AG will again feature a photography contest, seeking the best Carson Valley Eagle image and Wildlife/Agriculture image. Winners receive a $125 prize.For details on all of the events, including pricing, as well as to make reservations for the tours, visit carsonvalleynv.org and click on Eagles & Ag from the home page. As always, the Carson Valley Chamber is available at 775-782-8144 to answer any questions Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM and reservations must be fully prepaid to be confirmed.