1st Tuesday Program (on the Second Tuesday!): Afghanistan: Wildlife, Wildlands and Conservation
The Twisp River Pub will open at 6pm and dinner and drinks will be available for purchase. The event is free and open to everyone. For more information, contact us at 996-2870 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
41 Acres on the Chewuch River Protected
The Parrington conservation easement, about 4.5 miles up the West Chewuch, is a unique mixture of Methow Valley land types. Here, on 41 acres, intact agricultural land with good soil blends with high-quality shrub-steppe and lush riparian habitat along the Chewuch River. It’s a special piece of the Chewuch, visible from the road and the river that packs a conservation punch!
The Methow River basin, and thus the Chewuch River basin, is the upper limit of wild, naturally-produced spring Chinook salmon and summer steelhead in the mid-Columbia River since the creation of Grand Coulee Dam in 1939. The numerous side channels and pools, and the intact nature of the Chewuch River watershed combine to create a productive drainage that has made the Chewuch River a conservation priority for several endangered fish species (spring chinook salmon, steelhead trout, and bull trout).
Protection of the riparian area, wetlands, beaver ponds, cottonwood forests and 1150 feet of river front on the Parrington conservation easement will support fish by providing critical elements like large woody debris, shade for cooler water temperatures, and groundwater recharge. Additionally, gravel bars, river ripples, and backwater pools of the meandering Chewuch River provide important habitat for spawning and rearing juvenile salmonids.
Thank you to Sarah Parrington for her conservation vision, and to all of you for helping making land protection in the Methow Valley a reality!
Susie Stephens Memorial Bike Ride Rescheduled
Susie was the Development Director at the Conservancy from 2000 - 2002. On March 21, 2002 she was tragically hit and killed by a bus in St. Louis. Susie was an avid cyclist, and a passionate advocate of bicycles for transportation, travel and recreation, as well as for bicycle and pedestrian safety. We honor her and her work every year with this ride and invite others to join us.
Please join us for Susie’s fun and informal annual memorial on April 25th! Bring your own bike and helmet and a sack lunch. RSVPs are not necessary but feel free to call us at 996-2870 if you’d like.
Kudos to Board Members, New and Retiring
Craig Boesel: Craig’s Dad’s side of the family homesteaded in the Methow Valley in the late 1880’s at the north end of what is now WDFW’s “Big Valley” along Highway 20 north of Winthrop. Soon after that his Grandfather (Boesel) homesteaded at the mouth of Falls Creek up the Chewuch River where the open field is now a WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife camping area. His great grandfather on his mother’s side of the family, the Andersons, had a place in Lower Bear Creek in the early 1900’s that was used as a WSU research center. This is where it was discovered that iodine was needed to supplement animal’s diets in this area of Washington (shortage of iodine was shown to cause certain anomalies in baby pigs etc.) Many different legs of his family tree homesteaded in different areas of the valley. One of those was his great great Grandmother who arrived in 1891, Martha Ann Bacus Filer, a widow with three children who homesteaded on the Bear Creek land that is part of Craig’s place today.
In Craig’s youth, that part of the home place in Bear Creek was all apple orchards. Craig attended the old brick Winthrop (Pirates) High School and graduated in Education and Physical Therapy from Washington State University. He financed his college education by working for the United States Forest Service, and continued working for them, mostly as a smokejumper, for most of 16 years while putting a cattle ranch together. In 1980, Craig became a full-time cattle rancher running cattle primarily on public lands in the mountains of the upper Beaver Creek area in the summers. Craig feels fortunate that he was given the opportunity to raise four sons on a cattle ranch in the Methow. Part of Craig’s ranch was the first conservation easement for the newly incorporated Methow Conservancy in 1998. This same piece of land was the second place in eastern Washington that had sold their development rights by using an IAC Riparian Habitat Grant. He placed a second conservation easement on more of the ranch in 2008. Craig has served as a director on several boards in the valley, including the MV School Board, Okanogan County Electric Coop, Okanogan Conservation District, Fulton Ditch Company, Barkley Irrigation Company, Chewuch Canal Company, and the Methow Valley Education Foundation.
Richard Hart: Richard Hart is a historian who provides expert testimony in cases involving Native American tribes and environmental issues. He has testified on numerous occasions before the United States Claims Court, federal district courts, state courts, and United States congressional committees in both the House and Senate. He was Executive Director of the Institute of the North American West and its predecessor, the Institute of the American West, from 1977 to 1996, and currently heads HWA, a private historical research company. He is the author or editor of six books, has published more than fifty articles and essays, and has presented more than fifty professional papers. He and his wife, composer Lynette Westendorf, first came to the valley in 1989 and moved here permanently in 2000.
Steve Dixon and Vicky Welch, both long-term Methow Valley community members, just finished six years of Methow Conservancy Board service. Our By-Laws limit board members to two three-year terms and then they must take at least a one year break. This six-year term was Vicky’s second in our 15 year history. Now that’s commitment! Our existing Board wrote Haiku poems for Steve and Vicky’s “retirement.” Here are a few we thought you’d like:
Happy New Fiscal Year!
Partnering for Open Space
We will periodically feature business members in E-News via a short Q & A. This month, we are featuring Morning Glory Balloon Tours.
Who are you, what do you do, how long have you been around?
How did Morning Glory Balloon Tours come to be?
Morning Glory Balloon Tours has been a "business member" for many years. Why do you give?
What is your business philosophy?
Complete the phrase that follows with your wish for the Methow Valley: I imagine a Methow Valley where…
What's one of the craziest things that has happened during one of your rides?
In Memory of Conservator, Beverly McCall
My Day at the Science Fair
News from other organizations
Friday night, local botanist Dana Visalli presents "A Botanical Introduction to the Methow Valley". Saturday night, butterfly authority and accomplished photographer David Nunnallee presents "Native Butterflies and Native Plants - An Inseparable Combination". These lectures will be held at “The Barn” in Winthrop.
A total of 28 different field trips on Saturday and Sunday will explore favorite familiar haunts as well as far-flung locations with interesting flora. Registration has been open for some time, so some field trips may be filling up, but many excellent trips remain open. For instance, acclaimed photographer Mark Turner, co-author of the popular Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, teaches a class on smart ways to use your pocket digital camera. Longtime plant enthusiast and teacher George Thornton leads a trip in the sagebrush hills near Omak. And Don Knoke, a master of plant study for over 50 years, leads a trip to Lookout Mt.
Book fans will enjoy browsing through hard-to-find special editions and out-of-print nature books, brought to The Barn by David Hutchinson of Flora and Fauna Books; David will happily bring along any books specifically requested in advance. Richard Tinsley of the Central Puget Sound Chapter of WNPS will be on hand, selling all of the latest field guides and nature books.
You must be a member of WNPS to participate, but you can become a member for a very reasonable fee when you register for the Methow Valley Study Weekend. Excellent meal packages are also available. Visit the WNPS website to learn more. http://www.wnps.org/index.html
April 12th: “1st Tuesday” program - Afghanistan: Wildlife, Wildlands and Conservation, 7:00 – 8:30pm at the Twisp River Pub.
April 25th: 9th Annual Susie Stephens Memorial Bike Ride (re-scheduled from the March date). See above for details.
April 24th - 27th: David Douglas History Field-Trip with Jack Nisbet and Bill Hottell. Spend 4 days exploring the Walla Walla region, including Wallula Gap, Hanford Reach and Palouse Falls, via bus. Stay at the the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel for 3 nights. Trips is limited to 29 people and has just a few spots left. Contact Bill Hottell at 997-6655 or email@example.com for details and registration.
April 25th: Public School Funding Alliance Trivia Night Competition - Four of us from the Conservancy are going to be on a team for the 3rd Annual Public School Fundraising Event held this year at the Twisp River Pub. We've done it each year and it's lots of fun (humbling, but fun). Organize your team of four and give us some competition! Go to PSFA's website for more information and to register.
May 3rd: “1st Tuesday” program - Native Plant Pollinators of North Central Washington, 7:00 – 8:30pm, location to be announced. Bob Gillespie will showcase the diversity of pollinators of selected native plants in our region. For example, while conducting a pollinator study for the Bureau of Land Management, 83 species of bees were identified pollinating 25 native shrub-steppe plants!
May 19th - 22nd: Spring Naturalists’ Retreat with Instructors Libby Mills & Dana Visalli. The Naturalists’ Retreat is an annual celebration of the Methow Valley in springtime! See above for details. The retreat is currently full, but we are still taking names on the wait list.
May 21st: Methow Conservancy Weed and Native Plant Education Table, 9am – Noon, at the Farmer’s Market in Twisp. We’ll take your questions and share what advice we can. We’ll also have both our Good Neighbor and Restoring Shrub-Steppe Handbooks freely available, so come by! We’ll also be there on Saturday’s May 28th, June 4th and June 11th.
June 7th: “1st Tuesday” program – Bird Feathers, 7:00 – 8:30pm, location to be announced. Explore the mysteries of bird feather identification with naturalist and environmental educator Dave Scott, co-author of the newly released field guide Bird Feathers: A Guide to North American Species.
June 10-12th: Washington Native Plant Society Study Weekend. See above for details.
June 11th: Winthrop's Passport to Fishing (aka Kids’ Fishing Day), 10am – 2pm. Hey kids, when you arrive, you will get a fishing day passport! You choose the locations you want to visit (including the Methow Beaver Project area!), get your passport stamped, then prepare for some great fishing. Fishing related activities and education are half the fun; the other half is the chance to catch one rainbow trout. Bring your own fishing pole or borrow one there. Even the bait is supplied. This is a fun day you and your family won’t want to miss! The Methow Conservancy is just one of many partners that make this fun, family-friendly event happen.
June 26th - 29th: David Douglas History Field-Trip with Jack Nisbet and Bill Hottell. Spend 4 days exploring eastern Washington from Twisp to Kettle Falls to Spokane. Explore ancient tribal routes and salmon fishing areas; hike on the Kettle Crest Trail; visit St. Paul’s Mission and Spokane House (where David Douglas stayed with Jaco Finley’s family, met the family of Ilum-Spokanee, and made several key plant, tree, bird and mammal collections); Fort Spokane and Devil’s Gap; Grand Coulee and much more. Contact Bill Hottell at 997-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details and registration.
* Our Cancellation and Refund Policy