Natural History Events in the Methow Valley

First Tuesday Lectures
Some of our
First Tuesday lectures were recorded to video.
Click here to see.

The Methow Conservancy sponsors a monthly “First Tuesday Lecture Series”. The lectures provide a forum to learn about the Methow Valley’s natural characteristics and natural resource issues. Generally "First Tuesday" Lectures are held on the first Tuesday of the month. The place varies so please check each event for the location. All First Tuesday Lectures are free and open to everyone. For more information contact Mary at 996-2870 or

First Tuesday Lectures Coming Up:
Young rattlesnake in the upper Rendezvous.

May 5th: "Amazing Snakes!"
7:00 – 8:30pm, Twisp River Pub
The Twisp River Pub will open at 6pm for dinner and drinks.

Local biologists, John Rohrer of the Forest Service and Scott Fitkin of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, will bring some of their scaly reptile friends to help us learn about snakes of the Methow.  Learn what types of snakes call the Valley home, where each of them prefer to live, and tons of fascinating facts about these amazing creatures.

The event is free and open to everyone. For more information, contact Mary at 996-2870 or

June 2nd: “LOOK UP! Birds and Other Natural Wonders”
7:00 – 8:30pm, at the Merc Playhouse. Doors open at 6:30.
Naturalist Woody Wheeler is a charismatic birder and educator with a program not to be missed!  His presentation is based on his new book of essays “Look Up! Birds and Other Natural Wonders.”  Woody’s experiences and passion inspire people to go outside, enjoy the wonders of the natural world, and practice local stewardship.  He’ll also share how interacting with nature can help us live happier, more fulfilled and rewarding lives.  Learn more about Woody Wheeler and his new book at

The event is free and open to everyone. For more information, contact Mary at 996-2870 or

Other Methow Conservancy Events

“After-Work” Wildflower Rambles & Early Bird Birding StrollsPhoto by Mary Kiesau.
Join Mary Kiesau, the Methow Conservancy’s Educational Programs Director, on one (or more) casual botany or birding “walk and talks” to see and learn what is happening in the natural world of the Methow. These outings are perfect for people of all ages and levels of knowledge - no experience required! Children ages 8 and up are welcome to attend with an adult chaperon. We’ll go to a different location on each walk, appropriate for the time of the month. No dogs please. These mini-classes are free but space is limited so registration is required. Contact us for more details or to reserve your spot at or 509-996-2870. 

Friday, April 10, 4:00 - 6:00pm, Wildflower Ramble
Thursday, April 16, 4:00 - 6:00pm, Wildflower Ramble
Wednesday, April 22, Earth Day Double Header!
     Birding, 8:00 - 9:30am 
     Flowers, 4:00 - 6:00pm 
Tuesday, April 28, 4:00 - 6:00pm, Native Plant Appreciation Week Wildflower Ramble
Friday, May 8, 8:00 - 9:30am Birding Stroll
Monday, May 11, 4:00 - 6:00pm, Wildflower Ramble
Tuesday, May 19, 8:00 - 9:30am Birding Stroll
Monday, May 25, 4:00 - 6:00pm, Wildflower Ramble
Tuesday, June 9, 8:00 - 9:30am Birding Stroll

April 22nd: Celebrate Earth Day with a meal at the Arrowleaf Bistro in Winthrop! The restaurant is generously donating a portion of their sales that day to the Methow Conservancy.

May 14-17th: Spring Naturalists’ Retreat. Spend three days enjoying the beautiful and wild Methow Valley, and engage in presentations and group dinners in the evenings. Under the friendly and expert tutelage of ornithologist Libby Mills and botanist Dana Visalli, both all around great naturalists to boot, you will be amazed by all that you learn and see in this fantastic nature and educational experience! Participants should be willing and able to take part in the entire retreat including evenings. Participants should be in good physical condition, able to complete moderate hikes and spend 6+ hours in the field. Free tent camping is available at Dana’s property along the Methow River near Twisp, or you can make your own lodging arrangements. The class is limited to 20 people and costs $170*/person, including one dinner. Click here for more details. To register or for more information, contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or

June 6th:  Methow Conservancy special program “It's Complex: The 2014 Methow Fires, Ecological Effects, and Recovery,” 7:30pm at the Mazama Community Club, free.  This presentation is open to the public and is part of a Seattle Mountaineers weekend for National Trails Day.  The Methow Conservancy’s Julie Grialou, a conservation biologist, will cover the 2014 “Carlton Complex” fires, the impact on flora and fauna, short and long-term ecological effects, and how the affected areas are starting to recover ecologically.

June 13th:  Book Reading by Saul Weisberg, “Headwaters: Poems & Field Notes,” 6pm at the Trails End Bookstore, free.  North Cascades Institute Founder and Executive Director Saul Weisberg will read from his new book of poetry, which features more than 100 poems written from a seasoned naturalist’s perspective on wilderness and imagination.  For more information, contact Rose Oliver at

June 13-14th: Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class, $185*. Spend two full days in the field with professional wildlife tracker, naturalist and educator, David Moskowitz. David's approach is highly interactive, with "test" questions starting the moment we meet-up. This style is an excellent way to learn and investigate, with the goal being to attain a professional certificate in wildlife tracking through Cybertracker Conservation. Lots of time for questions and discussion enhance the class. We will strive to expose participants to the widest possible diversity of tracks and signs in the Methow, and the two-day class is entirely field based at various places around the valley. The class is limited to 11 people, and costs $185 per person. Participants may want to study lightly and/or read a tracking guidebook, such as Dave's "Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest." Lodging and food are on you own but we can give you suggestions if need be. This class is full; contact Mary to get on the waiting list at 509-996-2870 or

Other Organizations' Conservation & Ecology Programs
Check out the upcoming news & events from other organizations and businesses!

The University of Washington is hosting a climate change video contest for Washington state high school and undergraduate college students.  They are asking students, “What does climate change mean to you?”  The first place prize is $5K!  Videos must be 3 minutes or less and can take on any format imaginable - claymation, music video, film noir, mystery, ballet, stand-up comedy, rock opera, documentary…whatever you can think of. Submissions are due on April 13, 2015.  See more details here.

Photo by Teri Pieper.Beavers relocated to Methow streams for the 8th year
The Methow Beaver Project has begun its 8th season working in a partnership to restore beavers to places high in the Methow Watershed. The benefits of bringing beaver dams back include storing water to benefit people and fish, more riparian trees and shrubs for songbirds, and re-creating wetland habitat that helps many species from Cascades frogs to moose.

Anyone interested in the project can visit the US Fish and Wildlife Service National Fish Hatchery directly across the river from the Methow Conservancy Office where the project provides halfway housing for beavers on their way to construction projects. National Hatchery staff welcomes visitors every day, all summer. If anyone is interested in volunteering - the project needs some help caring for beavers on the weekends.

Landowners with concerns about beaver problems or people interested in volunteering should call the beaver project coordinator, Kent Woodruff at 509 846-3304.

WDFW Post-Fire Weed Survey in the Methow Wildlife Area: Volunteers are needed to assist with an on-going weed survey on WDFW Methow Wildlife Area in areas that were affected by the Carlton Complex wildfire. Much of the residual vegetation burned in these areas, leaving bare ground open to increasing and new dispersals of weeds. Without thick vegetation cover, however, these weeds are more easily seen and identified.

WDFW will provide a training on weed identification and how to use a GPS unit to collect coordinates of observed weed locations. Volunteers will be given a map of areas to survey for weeds on the Methow Wildlife Area.  This effort will help locate, map and manage weeds on the wildlife area, and monitor sites that are currently not known to have an occurrence of a weed species.
Watch for upcoming times and dates from now through the end of June, 2015. If you have questions or are interested in participating please contact Anna Sample, Assistant Wildlife Area Manager, at (509) 429-2624 or e-mail

The Methow Naturalist is hosting two 5-day “Ecology & Evolution” camping field classes in the Methow this summer.  Dana Visalli will lead these backpacking trips to Copper Glance Lake in August - one for adults (Aug 17-21) and another for teens (Aug 3-7). These backcountry trips will use the natural world to trace the evolutionary story of life on earth, starting with geology and moving through single-celled organisms and macroinvertebrates to the evolution of plants and animals.  A three-mile hike is required to get to Copper Glance Lake.  Contact Dana at or visit the Methow Naturalist webpage for more information,

The Paul G. Ancich Memorial Scholarship, offered through the Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group (RFEG) coalition, is seeking applications from Washington State high school seniors or current college undergraduate students interested in pursuing a course of study in the natural sciences or related field.  Applications are due by June 1st.  One candidate will be awarded a $1400 scholarship toward the college of their choice.  Click here for more details.

*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, field trip, 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.

315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870