Viewing & Identifying Animals
 Viewing & Identifying Plants


Viewing & Identifying Animals

1. Inform your guide immediately of any sighting.

2. Be cautious and courteous: approach areas of known or suspected large mammal activity with extreme caution, especially during breeding times. Look in all directions before planning your approach or departure, and talk, not yell, as yelling could be interpreted as threatening, or misinterpreted as other animal calls.

3. Maintain your distance: at least 200-300 meters distance from any large mammal, such as bears, moose, bighorn sheep, cougars, or wolves; and at least 50-100 meters distance from smaller animals and birds.

4. Be aware of your surroundings: always approach and depart from animals from the side, not from the front or behind.

5. Never position yourself in between animals, especially a mother and her baby.

6. Slow down: better chances to view wildlife occur when moving slower, and fast motions could be construed as threatening. If you accidentally come within 100 meters of larger mammals, stop immediately and back away slowly, or allow animal to pass.

7. Pay attention and back away respectfully at first sign of agitation.

8. Never move quickly around larger mammals or engage in threatening activity.

9. Never feed any wildlife.

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Viewing & Identifying Plants & Wildflowers

1. Be cautious and courteous: approach areas off trail with care and respect. Many plants and wildflowers take years to regenerate, and are very fragile.

2. Slow down: When moving at too fast a pace, not only are we needlessly expending valuable energy, but we risk passing by a beautiful gift from the forest.

3. Never pick, uproot, or cut a plant or flower unless necessary.

4. Establish type of plant: tree, shrub, wildflower, horsetail, grass, moss, lichen, or mushroom

5. Establish location: above or below treeline, bog, shaded forest, dry or open meadow, near a river, or near ground disturbances, such as a roadside or clearcut

6. Establish color of the bloom: white, green or greenish, yellow or orange, red or pink, blue or purple, brown, reddish brown, or otherwise drab

7. Establish plant characteristics: stem size; leaf arrangement, size, and shape; and numbers and arrangements of sepals, petals, and other flower parts

8. Establish part of flowering season: month, beginning or end of life cycle

9. Double-Check: Cross-reference information with write-ups in well-known, creditable, guidebooks

Note: These are just general guidelines. There are many dangerous and poisonous plants in the Rockies and there is no substitute for a knowledgeable guide or expert with you when attempting to identify plants, especially for edible or medicinal purposes.

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