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Check out these Colorado Mats images:

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge’s Amphitheater
Colorado Mats
Image by USFWS Mountain Prairie
Thanks to the work of a Mountain-Prairie Region Refuge Maintenance Action Team (MAT), a new amphitheater was recently erected adjacent to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge’s visitor center in Commerce City, Colo.

The amphitheater is a fully accessible facility with seating for 175 to 200 spectators. It features a stage and fire pit for special programs. The addition of the amphitheater to the visitor center will enhance interpretive program delivery as part of the facility’s regular visitor services and will be used for special events. Commerce City has also expressed an interest in using the amphitheater for programs of its own.

The project was completed under budget and cost nearly half as much as the bids received from private contractors. According to rough estimates, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service saved approximately ,000. The substantial cost savings was realized by employing the MAT, which is comprised of in-house maintenance workers with various skill sets from several stations across the region. Typically, deferred maintenance dollars pay for the project materials, labor, travel, room and board of MAT members. MAT projects usually take between one to five weeks to complete.

Construction began May 7, 2012 and concluded June 13, 2012 with a one-week pause in the middle of the project to allow MAT members a break. In total, the project took 34 12-hour-work days. The MAT worked more than 2,000 man hours on the project with no time lost due to injury or any safety-related issues.

The Refuge MAT consisted of:
• Rich Iwanski – Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Engineering Equipment Operator – Pre-construction organization, MAT team foreman, Equipment Operator and other general work.
• Cameron Fenrich – Mountain-Prairie Regional Office – Civil Engineer – Project Manager, Project Engineer, amphitheater design, on-site inspections, general construction work and overall construction and MAT team organization.
• Steve Raney – Baca National Wildlife Refuge – Maintenance Worker – Equipment Operator and other general work.
• Justin Wanzek – Valley City Wetland Management District – Maintenance Worker- Equipment Operator and other general work.
• Delbert “Skip” Palmer – Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge – Maintenance Worker – Concrete Specialist and other general work.
• Tom Ronning – Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge – Range Conservationist – Truck Driver and other general work.

Photo Credit: USFWS

Colorado Mats
Image by USDAgov
Beaver Skull Fen is on the West Elk Wilderness near Paonia, CO. This fen is described as a moat surrounding a floating mat. U.S. Forest Service photo.

Woody tiquilia
Colorado Mats
Image by Tony Frates
An early season picture of the prostrate Tiquilia latior. Other common names include Matted tiquilia and Matted crinklemat. Note the mostly bristly leaves. It is a member of the Borage family and has light pink flowers.

There are some references to this species as a "Colorado Plateau" endemic or essentially so, but that is really not the case. While southeastern Utah is a principal part of its range, its distribution is much wider than that including, the Great Basin (Utah portion), the Utah Plateaus, northern to northwestern Arizona and southeastern Nevada. It does not appear to occur in Colorado and in fact this location appears to be approaching the known eastern limits of the species.

April 13, 2013, Professor Valley, Grand County, Utah, elev. approx. 4400 ft., on red clay soil