AIS dog

Working Dogs for Conservation will be at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area July 1-13.

Working Dogs for Conservation pioneer ways to use a dog's extraordinary sense of smell to protect wildlife and wild places. Their dogs can detect weeds before they break the surface, animals that live below the ground, and aquatic organisms invisible to the human eye. At Bighorn Canyon, the dogs will be helping to sniff out quagga and zebra mussels.

The dogs — Lily and Tobias — and their handler, Aimee Hurt, will arrive on July 1 in the South District. Throughout the week visitors will see them at the Crooked Creek Contact Station, Horseshoe Bend, and Barry's Landing interacting with boaters and visitors, assisting with boat inspections, and providing outreach and interpretation for the AIS program.

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Hurt will also be giving a presentation at the Lovell Visitor Center on July 3 from 5-6 p.m. about how the dogs do their jobs, what invasives they search out and what other agencies they work with.

On July 8, Hurt will travel to the North District to work with boaters and visitors at the Afterbay Contact Station and Ok-A-Beh Marina. She will present a second program at the Afterbay campground amphitheater on July 11 at 6 p.m. (weather permitting).

In coordination with the visit, Bighorn Canyon has prepared an AIS Jr. Ranger rack card and AIS Dog stickers for kids. The park will kick off ‘Bark Ranger’ month on July 1 and have programs related to dogs in the park for the remainder of the month. 

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