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:

February 2nd: “Reclaimers,”
Tuesday, February 2nd, 7:00 – 8:30pm at the Twisp River Pub

Join Stehekin author, Ana Maria Spagna, for a reading and discussion of her newest book, Reclaimers
For most of the past century, Humbug Valley, a forest-hemmed meadow sacred to the Mountain Maidu tribe, was in the grip of a utility company. Washington’s White Salmon River was saddled with a fish-obstructing, inefficient dam, and the Timbisha Shoshone Homeland was unacknowledged within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park.  Until people decided to reclaim them. 

In Reclaimers, Ana Maria Spagna drives an aging Buick up and down the long strip of West Coast mountain ranges-the Panamints, the Sierras, the Cascades-and alongside rivers to meet the people, many of them wise women, who persevered for decades with little hope of success to make changes happen. In uncovering their heroic stories, Spagna seeks a way for herself, and for all of us, to take back and to make right in a time of unsettling ecological change.

The event is free and open to everyone. The pub opens at 6pm, and food and drinks will be available for purchase. For more information, contact Mary at 996-2870 or

March 1st: “Mountain Caribou” with David Moskowitz, 7:00-8:30pm, at the Twisp River Pub, free.  Explore the world of an animal whose existence is tied to the survival of the world’s largest inland temperate rainforest, and learn about the complicated web of ecological relationships which humans have altered in ways not easily undone.  The plight of the endangered mountain caribou is a parable for many challenges we as a species will face in the decades to come.

April 12th: “Ecologically Aware Firewise: Backyards and Beyond” with Ken Bevis and Kirsten Cook, 7:00-8:30pm, at the Twisp River Pub, free.

May 3rd: “The Triumph of Seeds” with Thor Hanson, 7:00-8:30pm, at the Twisp River Pub, free.

June 7th: “The Methow’s Native Plants” with Rob Crandall, 7:00-8:30pm, in the Native Plant Demonstration Garden at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center at TwispWorks, free.

Other Methow Conservancy Events

February 19-25th:  Methow Conservancy's "Experience the Methow" online auction.
Whether you find yourself in Winthrop or Wales, Twisp or Tacoma, you can show your love for the Methow Valley by participating in the Methow Conservancy's "Experience the Methow" online auction, which will run from 8am on February 19th through 8pm on Thursday, February 25th. We've asked Methow Conservancy Board Members, Staff, and Members to share some of their favorite things to do (or see) in the Methow Valley (or beyond). This is not your usual auction of "stuff" but rather a chance to celebrate the “special nature” of this Valley.  Items include a historical driving tour with stories (some taller than others) from Carl and Roxie Miller or a lesson in birdphotography with Peter Bauer or maybe even the Methow Conservancy staff offering a weed-a-thon on your land! We’ll send you a special email when our online auction websiteis up, so you’ll have time to preview the items and plan your bidding strategies.  Bids will begin on the 19th and close promptly at 8 pm on the 25th.  Remember, this is an online auction, so winning bids can come from anywhere!

February 24th Methow Conservancy Special Program “King of Fish, Dirt & the Hidden Half -- Salmon, Soil & Microbes” with UW Professor & MacArthur Genius Award Winner David Montgomery, 7-9pm at the downtown REI upstairs meeting room.  Free but registration is requested.  Click here for more details

February 26th - March 6th, The Merc Playhouse and the Methow Conservancy present The Last Salmon, at The Merc Playhouse. Based on the book written by our own Phil Davis, The Last Salmon, “a chamber musical for kids and people who love them,” uses contemporary music styles such as hip-hop and indie-pop to tell a story that begins with the Native American First Salmon ceremony.  Learn about the life cycle of wild salmon by following Buck, Spring, and the rest of their fishy crew from their first explorations of their river home, out into the wide ocean, and home again.  The miracle of their return from the ocean to the river after several years holds both truth and hope for our future as we learn to understand the issues of environmental justice and sustainability from a salmon’s viewpoint.​ Told in a creative and fun-filled manner, this made-in-the-Methow show has been adapted to the musical format and directed by Ki Gottberg with music composed by Casey James.  It is hopping with live music and charming characters played by a local cast of performers. We’ve seen a sneak peak of The Last Salmon and it is a great show for all ages.  It’s a bit like watching a good Disney movie live!  Definitely show your support and join us at The Merc for this salmon run.  We’ll be facilitating post-performance discussions immediately following the shows on February 27th, March 3rd, and March 6th.

March 15th:  Methow Conservancy Special Program “Sage Spirit: The American West at a Crossroads” with photographer David Showalter.  Co-hosted with Audubon Washington, 7:00 – 8:30pm at the Twisp River Pub.  Join Audubon Washington, the North Central WA Audubon chapter, and renowned conservation photographer Dave Showalter for a tour through the heart of the sagebrush sea.  Through his stunning photography, Showalter presents a vision for an American West where people and wildlife thrive side by side, Sage Grouse photo by David Showalterreplete with birdsong and the sweet aroma of sage. His images carry you through the vast terrain that is inhabited by burrowing owls, sage grouse, sandhill cranes and other wildlife. Sage Spirit promotes an inclusive approach to conservation - one that seeks to preserve economic livelihood and treasured lifestyles as well as a priceless ecosystem - and highlights the solutions that Westerners are already advancing, from sustainable ranching to renewable energy development.  Showalter will present photos and stories to inspire conversation about the importance of shrub steppe habitat and public lands in Eastern Washington. The gradual disappearance of sagebrush habitat in the West is having a profound effect on a wide variety of wildlife species such as the Brewer’s Sparrow, Sage Sparrow, Sage Thrasher, pygmy rabbit, and mule deer.  Doors open at 6pm and food and drink will be available for purchase. 

March 19th:  Methow Conservancy and Classroom in Bloom “Dirt Works” class on “selecting, pruning and amending for fruit trees and shrubs,” 9:00 - 10:30am at Classroom in Bloom.  Cost is a sliding scale of $10-30.  Registration is requested, and classes are limited to 20 people. Please contact Kate at Classroom in Bloom at 509-996-2368 or to register. Click here for class series info.

April 2nd - 3rd: Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class, $200*. 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 $200 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. To register or for more information, contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or

May 12-15th: Methow Conservancy 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 $200*/person, including two dinners. To register or for more information, contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or

June 18-19th:  Wildlife Track & Sign “Specialist” Evaluation & Certification, $375*.  Spend two full days in the field with professional wildlife trackers and educators David Moskowitz and Casey McFarland for an advanced certification class.  This high-level evaluation is geared towards people who have already scored high on Cybertracker’s standard certification course, or are already skilled animal trackers.  For more details, contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or

Events from Other Organizations
“Nature of Winter Snowshoe” Tours: Methow Trails (formerly MVSTA) hosts family-friendly snowshoe tours every Saturday from Jan 2 - Feb 20 at both Sun Mountain and the North Cascades Basecamp.  Starting at 11:00 am, local volunteers lead tours that focus on winter ecology, wildlife and tracks, snow science and more.  See more details here.

The Okanogan Conservation District is hosting a Fire Resistant Construction workshop for builders, designers and architects, Tuesday, February 9 at the Methow Valley Community Center Gym in Twisp.  Free pizza is available at 5:30.  Presentation is 6:00-8:00pm. RSVP required. Seating limited to 40.  See above for more details.

The North Cascades Basecamp is hosting weekly winter soup and presentation nights.  Every Thursday through Feb 11, 5:30 homemade soup and bread; 6:00-7:30 presentation in the Classroom.  $7/person.  They are also hosting winter classes for kids on Saturdays!  See the entire schedule here.

Beekeeping Class.  Local beekeeper Susie Kowalczyk is leading a workshop for new and continuing beekeepers at the Education Station on the TwispWorks campus on February 11th from 7-9PM.  Cost is $20.00.  Contact Susie at or 997-4412.  See details here.

Love the Methow! It’s too special to mine! Join local business and community leaders to launch an important new campaign to protect the Valley from large-scale mining. February 14th at the Winthrop Barn. Doors open at 3:30pm. Contact or check out for more info.

Methow Valley Community Center Armchair Traveler series includes a free presentation by our very own Mary Kiesau!  Join her Thursday, Feb 18th at 7pm for “Wild Plants and Wildlife in British Columbia and the Yukon - A Photographic Travelogue.”  Imagine traveling 4,000 miles through the remote and rugged land of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, in just 17 days, stuffed in a rented Suburban with five other people, all their food and gear, and two enormous plant presses.  Yes, plant presses - because the focus of your journey is to see and collect native plants.  Every day.  This is the story of Mary’s wild ride through western Canada, complete with rugged landscapes, majestic wildlife, amazing native plants, and some unusual traveling companions.

Methow Valley Citizens Council presents Jumbo Wild, an environmental ski film, on Feb 23 at 7pm at the Mazama Community Center. Jumbo Wild follows the 24-year battle that pitted backcountry skiers, environmentalists, indigenous groups, and hunters/trappers against international developers who wish to build a large ski resort. Donations suggested.

Okanogan Trails Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation is holding a “Mule Deer Summit,” March 12th, 1pm-6pm at the Elks Lodge in Omak, WA, free.  The event will feature several presentations by WDFW biologists, WSDOT and UW.  For more information, contact Dan McKinley at 509-995-0819 or

Pacific Biodiversity Institute is holding a four-week Conservation Science and Leadership Course, for upper-level undergraduate or recently-graduate students interested in a career in conservation. The course will take place May 23 – June 19, 2016. More information and an application can be found at

*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