Also on December 9th: Community Program “Grizzly Bears, Wolverines, and the Natural Power of Connections” with Doug Chadwick
from 7:00 - 8:30pm at the Winthrop Barn, free and open to everyone
(Note: this is a Monday night, not the first Tuesday!)
Glutton, demon of destruction, symbol of slaughter, mightiest of wilderness villains... Wolverines and grizzlies come marked with a reputation based on myth and fancy. Yet these enigmatic animals are more complex than the legends that surround them. With a shrinking wilderness and global warming, the future of large carnivores is uncertain.
Doug Chadwick will present a slide show to help illustrate fresh ways of looking at, and thinking about, some of the country's wildest wildlife, particularly wolverines and grizzly bears. Recent scientific studies -- including the exciting wolverine work being carried out here in the North Cascades region -- are finally replacing centuries of tall tales with solid information. And as they do, it turns out, that both wolverines and grizzlies have some surprising and very important things to tell us about what conserving nature really means and how best to go about it in the century to come.
Doug Chadwick will reveal the natural history of these species and the forces that threaten its future. Chadwick, who volunteered with the Glacier Wolverine Project, a five-year study in Glacier National Park, uncovered key missing information about the wolverine's habitat, social structure and reproduction habits. Wolverines, according to Chadwick, are the land equivalent of polar bears in regard to the impacts of global warming. This study was the subject of Chadwick's book, The Wolverine Way, and the PBS/Nature documentary "Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom."
Douglas Chadwick (aka Chad) is a wildlife biologist, author, photographer and frequent National Geographic contributor. He is a past officer and member of the board of The Vital Ground Foundation, a nonprofit land trust that has helped safeguard more than 600,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Alaska, Canada, and the western US. Chadwick is also a director of the Gobi Bear Fund, which attempts to restore population of this most endangered of all the yellow bears.
Chadwick's affiliation with National Geographic spans more than thirty-five years and more than fifty articles from the first in 1977 up to assignments in 2013 (his latest NG story, on Cougars, is in the current issue of the magazine, and his next story, scheduled for a spring issue of NG, is about Grizzly Bears in the Gobi Desert). Chadwick's research involves multi-year projects of extended close observation in species habitat, trapping, radio collar tracking, mapping, and studies of community relationships. In this manner, he has studied wolverines in the northwestern U.S. and Canada, mountain goats and grizzlies in the Rockies, and elephants in Africa. On assignments from Siberia to the Congo River's headwaters, he has produced several hundred popular articles and eleven books.
January 12th: Introduction to Winter Wildlife Tracking, 8:30am – 12:30pm, $40. Explore the winter landscape of the Methow Valley with professional wildlife tracker and educator, Dave Moskowitz. Learn how to identify and interpret wildlife tracks and signs so that you can connect with the hidden lives of thecreatures that share this land with us! Registration is necessary and space is limited to13 people. Call or email Mary at 996-2870 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
February 10th: 10th Annual Conservation Course, “Botany – The Basics & Beyond” begins.
It’s hard to believe we’ll be offering the tenth “Conservation Course” in early 2014! This year's educational course will be botany-based, centered on learning the particular characteristics of certain plant families so that you can identify individual native plant and wildflower species with more ease and confidence. The course will start off with information on the structure of flowers, leaf and flower terminology, how and why plants are classified into different groups and other “botany basics.” Then, in each class, different instructors will focus on 2-3 families, teaching you patterns, general leaf and flower shapes and other key characteristics to look for when trying to identify the Methow’s common flowering plants. Flower families will include Fabaceae (Pea family), Lilliaceae (Lily family), Brassicaceae (Mustard family), Scrophulariaceae (Figwort family), Asteraceae (Aster or Daisy family), and many more – and you’ll learn how to say these words! Class study will include the use of plant games, as well as dissecting microscopes and hand-lenses to look at pressed plants and horticulturally grown flowers (because its winter and we can’t use fresh native plants). The course includes two field trips after the end of the evening classes to see flowering native plants in springtime.
The course will again be held on Monday evenings for six weeks, starting on February 10th. Classes are at the Twisp River Pub from 6:00 to 8:30pm. An optional dinner is served from 5:30 – 6:00 for an additional fee, or you may bring your own food. The week of President’s Day (Feb 17) class will meet on Tuesday, not Monday.
Tuition is $165. Need-based scholarships, in the form of a reduced or waived fee, are available to a limited number of people who are able to help with the course.
The Methow Conservation Course was initiated in 2005 to take a Methow-specific look at natural history and translate that knowledge into both local and universal themes and uses. Now in its tenth year, the Methow Conservation Course is designed for both the novice and the experienced naturalist. The course is offered with the goal of inspiring more observation and knowledge of, interest in and connections with the natural world.
Space in the course is limited and registration is open now. More details about the course, including speakers and a class syllabus will be available in the coming months. The conservation course fills every year, so contact Mary at email@example.com or 509-996-2870 if you have questions or would like to register. Click here for the registration form.
Check out the upcoming news & events from other organizations and businesses!
Succession Planning Workshop, Saturday Dec. 7th, 9am – 3:30pm at Whistler’s Restaurant in Tonasket, hosted by WSU Extension. In this facilitated workshop for family forestland owners, farmers, ranchers, and other land-based family businesses, WSU Extension will explore succession planning, focusing on ways to maintain family ties to the land from generation to generation, building awareness of key challenges facing family businesses and motivating families to address those challenges. This workshop is a mix of presentations and practical exercises to help families develop techniques needed to address tough issues. Topics covered will also be relevant to professionals working with landowner families. Each participant will receive a copy of the Ties to the Land workbook which is designed to help families continue to improve and direct their communications at home. Fee, $45, includes refreshments, lunch and one copy of the workbook. For more information, or to register call Andy Perleberg at 509-667-6540 or Curtis Beus at 509-422-7248.
Christmas Bird Counts: The 114th Annual Audubon “Christmas Bird Count” will take place Dec 14, 2013 to January 5, 2014 throughout the world. The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends. The North Central Washington Chapter of the Audubon Society, a four-county region, hosts six separate bird counts in Twisp (12/15), Bridgeport (12/21), Okanogan (1/4), Chelan (12/28), Wenatchee (12/29) and Leavenworth (12/22). Everyone is welcome, beginners and experienced. Get the dates and info on each of them here. For Twisp, meet at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery at 6:30am for pastries, coffee & tea, 7:00am for registration. Bring binoculars, lunch, warm clothes, field guides, and if you’d like snowshoes, skis, and spotting scopes. People will break up into groups for the morning or whole day. Call Juliet Rhodes at 341-4118 or Art Campbell at 996-8168 if you have questions.
Celebrating the Solstice: “Science & Spirit in the Methow” is a winter solstice program, 7-9 PM on December 21st at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center in Twisp. For more information on this program, contact Dana Visalli at 997-9011, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or see the Methow Naturalist website.
“Nature of Winter Snowshoe” Tours: MVSTA hosts family-friendly snowshoe tours every Saturday from December 21 - March 8. Tours begin at 11:00 am and last 90-120 minutes, depending on conditions. Local volunteers lead tours that focus on winter ecology, wildlife and tracks, snow science and more. MVSTA ski trail passes or a MVSTA snowshoe trail pass ($5) are required for each person. Tour size is limited to 10 people. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis, no reservations. See MVSTA’s website or call 509-996-3287 for more information.
Big History in a Little Valley: The History & Mystery of the Rocks, Plants, Animals and People of the Methow, a four-part, in-depth look at the natural history of the Methow, 7-9 PM on Monday evenings in January at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center. Contact Dana Visalli at 997-9011, or email@example.com, or see the Methow Naturalist website.
The Okanogan Highlands Alliance is offering, "Highland Wonders," a series of monthly natural history programs. Check out their full calendar.
*Our Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you cancel or leave a fee-based course for any reason:
Full refunds will be given if the request is received two weeks or more before the day of the program (class, workshop, fieldtrip, etc.). If the cancellation is made less than two weeks before the start of the program, the Methow Conservancy will give a full refund only if we are able to fill your spot. If you cancel 24 hours or less before the start time of the program or after the class has started there will be no refund of the program fee. Although we rarely need to do so, we reserve the right to cancel a program. In this case you will receive a full refund.