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

A Natural History Tour of the North Cascades Highway, Tuesday August 5th.First Tuesday Lectures Coming Up:

August 5th: “A Natural History Tour of the North Cascades Highway,”
7:00 – 8:30pm, Sun Mountain Lodge Pasayten Room. We are all familiar with the sights of the North Cascades Scenic Highway but how well do you know what is beyond the asphalt?  Join science teacher and explorer, Jack McLeod, for a presentation on his new book, “The North Cascades Highway,” an illustrated natural history guide.  Following a series of eye-catching stops along the highway, Jack will reveal geological, cultural and natural history stories to help travelers and readers appreciate the deeper beauty behind the landscape.

Program includes a cash bar. Eat in Sun Mountain’s dining room or bar before or after the event.  Books from Trails End Bookstore will be sold and signed. 

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

September 2nd: “Rare Bird: Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet,”with Maria Mudd Ruth, 7:00 - 8:30pm, location TBA.  Maria will share tales from her book “Rare Bird,” part naturalist detective story, part environmental inquiry celebrating the world of the endangered Pacific Northwest seabird, the marbled murrelet. Maria will highlight the bizarre life history of the marbled murrelet, the 185-year-long search for its elusive nest, and the ramifications of the discovery of that first nest in old-growth Douglas-fir. Though not a bird of the eastern Cascades, the fast-flying murrelet (nicknamed the "buzz bomb") will travel as far as 50 miles inland to find suitable nesting sites. The story of the murrelet and the threats to its survival echo those of the northern spotted owl, lynx, gray wolf, fisher, and other imperiled species in the Methow.  During the five years Maria spent researching and writing Rare Bird, the murrelet lead her to larger and largely unanswerable questions: Why does this bird matter? Do we have a moral obligation to protect this species? Can we save the wild animals we love?  Maria Mudd Ruth has published more than a dozen natural history books for readers young and older. Originally published in 2005, Rare Bird, was reissued in 2013 by Mountaineers Books.

October 7th: “Imaging the Arctic,” with Maria Coryell-Martin, 7:00 - 8:30pm, location TBA

Other Methow Conservancy Events

July 17th:  “Foraging for Weed Cuisine” Class, 6-8pm, $10* The class has been cancelled due to health issues- sorry!
Join “Front Yard Forager” author Melany Vorass-Herrera and learn how to identify and gather some of the most common edible weeds and wild foods available in the Methow. This hands-on workshop includes a walk on Winthrop trails, discussion on gathering ethics, regulations and safety rules, and general information about how to cook with weeds.  Meet at the Methow Conservancy office in downtown Winthrop.  Contact Mary to reserve your spot at 509-996-2870 or

August 1st: Alpine Wildflower Hike, 8:00am – 5:00pm, free
Join Mary Kiesau, plant-lover and the Methow Conservancy’s Educational Programs Director, to view, identify and enjoy alpine wildflowers in their summer splendor on the Maple & Heather Pass Loop Trail.  We’ll carpool from Mazama and drive about 30 minutes to the trailhead. Bring your own lunch and plan to be out most of the day. This event is co-sponsored by the Native Plant Society Okanogan Chapter, and is free and open to the public. Must be able to hike 7 miles total, ascending and descending 2000 feet around the loop hike.  The highest point is 6850 feet.  Space is limited to 12 people. Contact Mary at 996-2870 or to register.

September 27th: Methow Conservancy Cider Squeeze & Social, 2-4pm, free


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

Trout Unlimited’s annual Farm to Table Dinner is August 2 at the Pipestone Canyon Ranch, 7pm.  Catered by Cameron Green, tickets are $60 for one or $110 for two.  To purchase go to: or call 509-881-7690.  All proceeds from this event go to sustaining Trout Unlimited’s Farm to Table Dinner tradition and enhancing their Water Project and Watershed Restoration work in Okanogan County.

Old Time Music Celebration, August 9th various times, presented by Cascadia and the Shafer Museum. The Tall Boys old time music group (banjo, fiddles, guitars) from Seattle will conduct workshops from 10am - 2pm at the Shafer Museum (participate or observe while enjoying the Museum), put on a Concert from 3pm - 4pm at the Shafer Museum, and put on a Square Dance at TwispWorks at 7pm.

North Cascades Basecamp is offering nature-based art camps for children ages 7-12 for three separate weeks in August. See more information about each camp here

The Methow Valley Interpretive Center in Twisp offers a Native Plant Garden, numerous exhibits and monthly programs.  Check out their full calendar.

Pacific Biodiversity Institute, based in the Methow Valley, is involved in a long-term conservation research and education project focused on the wildlands and associated biodiversity of South America.  As part of this project, they offer birding and biodiversity expeditions.  In late 2014, they will take several expeditions to the amazing biodiversity hotspots of northern Argentina. They invite avid birders, conservationists, citizen scientists (or professional scientists) to join them. Plan ahead now for a trip in November or December. To learn more, visit their website  or email them.

The Okanogan Highlands Alliance in Tonasket offers, "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.

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