The purpose of Eagles and Agriculture is to illustrate the importance of protecting wildlife in Carson Valley, said Dan Kaffer, Western Nevada Resource Conservation and Development Coordinator.
"Eagles and Ag lets people know where to go to support agriculture - to help preserve Carson Valley ranches," said Kaffer. "The event shows the importance of protecting our land and improving air quality.
"Right now, people see an average of a dozen eagles a day throughout the Valley. The eagles have landed."
The annual event focuses on viewing eagles and other wildlife attracted to the rich food source of afterbirth during the winter calving season. Tours are set up at area ranches so photographers and nature lovers may better view eagles, falcons, owls and coyotes.
Eagles and Ag begins with ranch tours Feb. 20 and continues with wildlife lectures, a Carson River raft trip and a photography workshop on Feb. 22-24.
A photo workshop offered by wildlife photographer Steve Noble is 3-6 p.m. Saturday, 7-10 a.m. and Sunday, Feb. 23-24.
"Steve will take three hours teaching people Saturday at the Carson Valley Inn what's really important to do in wildlife photography - how to use digital cameras to photograph landscapes, birds, flowers. You get to see Steve's photos in a slide show," said Kaffer.
The Eagles and Ag wildlife photo contest is sponsored by Terra Firma. Prizes will be awarded to the best wildlife and birding photos.
"Photos don't just have to be of eagles," said Kaffer. "It could be birds at bird feeders in your front yard or the hawks that attack the birds. And going by what was happening this year, it could be a photo of the bear that was in your yard."
A raft tour of the Carson River guided by Great Basin Sports owner Pat Fried is Feb. 24.
"They start at Genoa and go past a rookery of black crowned herons, ducks and geese," he said. "You'll go by Mallard Bend and see the 11Ú2 mile river restoration project the Washoe tribe is working on."
Kaffer said he and Full Circle Compost owner Craig Witt and Jim Woods of the Lahontan Audubon Society and Great Basin Bird Observatory will present the owl prowl tour on the Forks Ranch. Area falconers Lew Souder and Mark Moglich will do falcon demonstrations. The owl prowl and field touring events are Feb. 23.
The birds of prey reception is Feb. 22 with wildlife biologist Gary Herron who will bring live birds for the lecture. Falconers Souder and Moglich will bring a North American goshawk and an ornate hawk eagle for demonstrations.
Kaffer said the event is dedicated to Carson Valley conservationist, agriculturist and community leader Arnold Settelmeyer.
The birds of prey reception is for anyone interested in finding out about birding, fishing, farming and agricultural organizations. There are about $2,000 in donated prizes to be raffled.
"This reception is for families and bring your cameras," Kaffer said.
"Usually by now, the owls already have babies and you can see them when they walk out onto the branches. People need to sign up for Eagles and Ag to see the exciting wildlife out there."
For information about Eagles and Agriculture events, contact Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Authority at VisitCarsonValley.org or call (866) 530-3551.