First Tuesday Program - “Can You Eat That?”
Tuesday, April 11th (on the 2nd Tuesday!), 7:00-8:30pm at the Methow Valley Community Center, Twisp.

From deliciously edible to potently poisonous, join local herbalist and author, Rosalee de la Forêt, on a photo tour of the Methow and discover the edible, medicinal and poisonous plants of this beautiful valley. She’ll be covering many plants found in her brand new book, Alchemy of Herbs: Transforming Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies that Heal, which will be available at the program from the Trails End bookstore.  Get ready for the spring and summer native plant season with this talk!

The program is free and open to everyone.  The doors open at 6:30pm.  For more information, contact 996-2870 or

Volunteering for the Methow
Community Engagement FairThe recent “Community Engagement Fair” we hosted with an energetic GenNxt crew of volunteers was an inspiring reminder of why the Methow Valley is not just a beautiful place but also a motivated and caring community of organizations and volunteers working on issues, opportunities, and services we all care about.  Fifty organizations were represented under one roof, and the volunteer opportunities were endless! 

We’ve listed all those organizations (and more), with their mission and primary volunteer needs on this website

We here at the Methow Conservancy were inspired to update our own Volunteering Webpage and kick-start an expanded list of opportunities for you to get involved with field work (want to get rid of all that down barbed wire?!), assist with educational activities, help local farmers and much more.  See all the upcoming volunteer activities here, and join others in some community-driven work that makes the Methow so special!

Plus, stay tuned for a wonderful new Methow Valley-wide volunteering website from local GenNxter and software developer Neil Rotstan!  At the Community Engagement Fair, Neil debuted a prototype of the website which allows organizations to create profiles and post volunteer activities, and for individuals to browse by issue, organization, date, and skill-set.  In April, we’ll work with Neil to train local organizations to use the website.  We plan to launch a pilot version of the website in May!

Earth Week 2017 - Join Us and Others on Volunteer Crews!
Help us clean the highway!It’s been a long winter but spring is finally creeping into the Valley.  It’s time to clean things up and in the Methow EarthDay is all about “Clean-Up!”  Here’s a list of everything we know that’s happening, both via the Methow Conservancy and other great Valley groups.  If you can help out, please do!

The Methow Conservancy’s first post-snow “Adopt-a-Highway” clean-up is on Sunday, April 16th from 3:00pm – 5:00pm.  We need eight able-bodied volunteers to pick up trash and recycling on a short section of Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop.  Contact Mary for more details at or 996-2870.  Thank you!

During “Earth Week” (and beyond), there are many other clean-up crews working on County roads, Highway 20 or maybe even your favorite valley trail.  If you want to get involved but need help finding a crew, contact Methow Recycles at 997-0520 or to let them know where you will be tidying or ask about crews that need help.  Methow Recycles and WasteWise Methow are making it easy with free blue bags for separating recyclables from trash.

Saturday, April 22nd, the Town of Twisp volunteer Parks & Recreation Department is hosting an Earth Day town clean-up.  Gather from 10 am - 12 pm at Twisp Commons for dividing groups into the neighborhood and spreading out to downtown areas including Twisp Commons, Twisp Park, airport sports fields and track. Bring gloves, rakes, and a trash bag for rubbish. Blue bags for recyclables will be provided.   

Pearrygin LakeSunday, April 23rd, from 8:30am-Noon, the Methow Conservancy is teaming up with Pearrygin Lake State Park for a big Earth Day Spring clean-up!  Dozens of volunteers are needed to clean-up an old homestead/ranch area.  The valuable and historical materials have already been removed, now it’s time to get all the junk.  We’ll work to pile tires, metal, trash, burned debris, wood and a rock foundation, all to be removed later.  Wear your work clothes and bring some good clean-up gear like metals rakes and shovels.  Park admission for the whole day is free to volunteers.  Join others for a BBQ afterwards and a talk by Ranger Rick Lewis on the history of the park, then take a flower walk with Mary Kiesau or simply enjoy the park for free!  We need lots of help – please RSVP to Mary at or 509-996-2870.

We’ll be in the school for Earth Week as well!  On Friday, April 21st our monthly “School Yard Science” program with the 4th grade classes will focus on a series of hands-on projects on the schoolyard.  This month, we’ll be joined by Classroom in Bloom, Methow Recycles, and Methow Trails for an extra-special Earth Day extravaganza!

March Matchness Match Made!
You did it!  You helped us meet our “March Matchness” goal and close out our fiscal year with another victory for conservation!  Thank you (and thanks to our challenge donors, too).  It was fast-paced fun right to the end. More than 100 donors participated in the match and we met (and exceeded!) our $25,000 goal for the month. Incredible!  We’re grateful for all of you who supported our work this March and this past year financially or with your volunteer efforts! Go Team Methow Conservancy! 

Arbor Day “Free Trees” Give-Away
From Earth Day to Arbor Day, sprucing up for spring continues!  For the 3rd year in a row, the Arbor Day Foundation, along with the Okanogan Conservation District, the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Methow Conservancy, are distributing free tree and native shrub saplings!

The Methow Valley event is Saturday April 29th from 9am – Noon at TwispWorks at 502 S. Glover Street.  Early distribution for wildlife survivors of 2014 or 2015 is from 9:30-10:30am.  Open distribution to anyone starts at 10:30am and ends when the trees are gone or by Noon, whichever is sooner. The trees go fast!  The small native trees include Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, and Chokecherry.  There will be printed material and experts available to provide information on planting and caring for these young trees. 

Volunteers are needed Friday April 28th from 10am-2pm, and Saturday from 9am to Noon.  The work is a bit sloppy and dirty, but it’s not difficult or strenuous.  You can take your trees early if you help! 

For more information about the event or to volunteer, contact Heide with at 996-2870 or

The Arbor Day 2017 Community Tree Recovery Distributions are also taking place in Pateros on April 28th, in Tonasket on April 29th, and in Okanogan on April 8th.  See all the details here.

Spring into Field Classes!
Soon the snow and mud will be gone, and the Valley will be bright with colors and birdsong!  We are ready!  Check out the upcoming weekend workshops and free walks.  We’d love to have you join us! 

Naturalist "Walk & Talk"

Ruby crowned kinglet photo by Mary KiesauJoin Mary Kiesau, the Methow Conservancy’s Educational Programs Director, on a casual natural history “walk and talk” to see and learn what is happening in the natural world of the Methow.  We’ll look for and discuss birds and plants on all the walks but generally the morning walks focus on birds and the afternoon walks focus on flowers.  These outings are perfect for people of all ages and levels of knowledge - no experience required!  Children who are able to walk on uneven ground for two+ hours are welcome to attend with a chaperone. We’ll go to a different location on each walk, and the days and times change to attempt to accommodate a variety of schedules.  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 21, 9:00-11:00am
Wednesday April 26, 4:00-6:00pm (Native Plant Appreciation Week!)
Monday May 1, 4:00-6:00pm
Saturday May 6, 8:30 - 10:30am
Thursday May 11, 4:00-6:00pm
Wednesday May 17, 8:00-10:00am
Friday May 26, 3:00-6:00pm
Monday May 29, 7:00-9:00am


Wildlife Tracking Intensive Monthly Series (one spot left!)

Join local wildlife tracker and educator Nate Bacon for a six-month wildlife tracking series to explore the lives, behavior, and ecology of local wildlife through the art of track and sign identification and interpretation. The course will meet all day on April 15, May 13, June 10, July 8, August 19, and September 9.  Tuition is $450*.  Space in the course is limited to 12 people and there is just one spot left!


Spring NaturalistsRetreat

Our annual Naturalists’ Retreat is from June 1st at 5pm to June 4th at 1pm. With guidance from naturalist instructors Libby Mills, Dana Visalli and Mary Kiesau, spend a long weekend learning and exploring Methow birds, flowers and plants, and whatever else we find (butterflies and other insects, geology, frogs, lizards and snakes, scat and tracks and much more!) With glorious days in the field and engaging presentations and group dinners on two evenings you will be amazed by all that you learn and soak up in this fantastic nature and educational experience!  The class is limited to 20 people and costs $200*/person, including one catered dinner. Click here for more information

Learn more about each of these at our Events Page, and or simply contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or to register or get more information.

Ag Update from Alyssa
Our new Agricultural Coordinator, Alyssa Jumars, has continued to meet with agriculturists of all stripes up and down the Valley, listening to their needs and working with them to begin to address some of those needs.  She provided this update from a recent educational program, “On March 23rd, nearly 30 Methow farmers and ranchers gathered at the Twisp Grange to enjoy a hearty meal, good company, and an informative presentation by the Okanogan Conservation District and our local National Resource Conservation Service.  Attendees learned about the diverse opportunities and resources available for on-farm conservation practices, including improving irrigation efficiencies, establishing pollinator plantings, and installing high-tunnels.” 


The Life & Times of Methow Mammals
Our annual six-week “conservation course” finished in mid-March.  This year’s course focused on the mammals of the Methow, and 50 “students” took part in the information-packed classes.  You can still take-part in the class “virtually” by accessing class materials, reviewing post-class notes and watching video recordings of each class.  See the syllabus, class documents and videos here, and read summary notes from each class on our blog here.

Welcome Peggy Porter & Thank You Richard Hart!
This spring we welcomed Peggy Porter to our volunteer Board of Directors.  In her own words, Peggy offers this bio: 

I’ve been fortunate to work first at UW and now for 25 years at the Fred Hutch. I lead the Breast Cancer Research Program and have had the opportunity to do breast cancer studies in China, Russia and Latin America. Just this June, (my husband) Rolf and I sold our house in Seattle and moved our entire operation over to Lower Bear Creek. I’m still working in Seattle 3-4 days a week so have had the good fortune to drive into the Methow each week from the north or the south and be amazed anew at the beauty of this exquisite valley.  We continue to ski, bike, run and hike and become part of a community of activated types who inspire people to care for and protect this valley. We are all in!

And, thank you Richard Hart!
It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the end of Richard Hart’s term (6 years!) on the Methow Conservancy Board. Richard brought patience and a steady hand to his board service, always taking the perspective of what’s right in the long run. We will miss his wisdom, his diplomacy, and his impeccable meeting management skills, but we hope that he and his wife Lynette Westendorff can now enjoy a few free Thursday evenings!  Thank you Richard!

Public Notice: Comment on our Compliance with National Land Trust Standards
The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Methow Conservnacy is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open.

Bear Creek area farmsThe Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs. Accreditation affirms that we are meeting standards for sound finances, strong transactions, excellent land and conservation easement stewardship, and effective governance.

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how the Methow Conservancy complies with national quality standards. See the full list of standards.  To submit a comment, visit, or email your comment to Comments may also be mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.  Comments on our application will be most useful by June 4th.

New Members  - Thank You!
Our new members in March were:  Percy Abrams, Booth Canyon Orchard, Kathy Merwin & Steve Burtchaell, Kasey Langley & Nathan Grothe, Pine Forest Homeowners Association, Karen Marcotte Solimano & James Solimano, Jacquelyn Wallace, Whitman College Semester in the West, and Wild Plum Farm, LLC.

Thank you for inspiring people to care for the land of the Methow Valley!

Methow Conservancy Events

April 11th (note: 2nd Tuesday!): “Can You Eat That?" with local herbalist and author, Rosalee de la Forêt, 7:00-8:30pm, free, at the Methow Valley Community Center, Twisp. See above for more details.

April 15th: Wildlife Tracking Intensive, first of six sessions with instructor Nate Bacon.   Click here for more information.

April 16th:  Earth Day “Adopt-a-Highway” Clean-Up, 3:00 - 5:00pm. Eight volunteers are needed to help us clean-up a short section of Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop. Contact Mary for more details at or 509-996-2870.

April 21st: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 9:00 - 11:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

April 23rd: Earthday Spring Clean-up for Pearrygin Lake State Park, 8:30am-Noon.  Dozens of volunteers are needed to clean-up an old homestead area.  See above for more details.  Free.
April 26th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 4:00 - 6:00pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

April 29th: The Arbor Day 2017 Community Tree Recovery Methow Valley Distribution event is 9am – Noon at TwispWorks at 502 S. Glover Street.  Early distribution for wildlife survivors of 2014 or 2015 is from 9:30-10:30am.  Open distribution, to anyone starts at 10:30am.  Volunteers needed Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th!  See above for more details

May 1st: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 4:00 - 6:00pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

May 2nd: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” Program, “Tides: The Science & Spirit of the Oceans” with Jonathan White, 7:00-8:30pm, free, at the Winthrop Barn.  After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner in a large Alaskan tide, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White vowed to understand the tide.  Ten years later, he had read three hundred books and criss-crossed the seven seas to see the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world.  With photographs, stories, and short readings, Jonathan takes his audiences on an enthralling journey into the surprising and poetic workings of the tide.

May 6th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 8:30 - 10:30am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

May 11th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 4:00 - 6:00pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details. Free.

May 17th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 8:00 - 10:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details. Free.

May 26th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 3:00 - 6:00pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

May 29th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 7:00 - 9:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details. Free.

May 30th (note - this serves as the June "First Tuesday" program): “River Restoration:  Comparing the Elwha and Methow Rivers” with award-winning engineer Jennifer Bountry, 7:00-8:30pm, free, at the Merc Playhouse.  Join Bureau of Reclamation engineer Jennifer Bountry, the 2017 “Federal Engineer of the Year,” for an in-depth look at the natural and engineered work of river restorations, both in the Methow and on the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula where Bountry served as a lead scientist. 

June 1st – 4th: Methow Conservancy Spring NaturalistsRetreat.   The Naturalists’ Retreat is an annual celebration of the Methow Valley in springtime! The class is limited to 20 people and costs $200*/person, including one catered dinner. To register or for more information, contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.orgClick here for more information

October 7-8th:  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. David actively engages participants in identification and interpretation of tracks and signs, and builds in lots of time for questions and discussion too.  This style is an excellent way to learn and investigate, with the goal being to attain a wildlife tracking certificate through Cybertracker Conservation.  Certificates are awarded on three levels. The whole experience is a lot of fun to boot!  The class is limited to 11 people, and costs $200* per person. Lodging and food are on you own. Contact Mary to register at 509-996-2870 or

News from Other Organizations

The Methow Headwaters Campaign will host a happy hour/campaign night at the Seattle REI on April 14th starting 5:30PM-7:30PM. They will show the short film, have drinks/food, and have several ways folks can get involved. RSVP and get more information here.

Metal Drive April 29th & 30thMetal Drive! Methow Recycles’ annual two-day metal clean-up event is Saturday & Sunday, April 29th and 30th, 9am - 3pm at Cascade Concrete on Horizon Flats Road in Winthrop.  It’s a great way to wrap up everyone’s Earth Week and spring cleaning activities!  Click here for all the information.

The Grizzly Bear Restoration in the North Cascades Ecosystem draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the National Park Service and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is available for public review and comment at this website through April 28th.

Peoples Climate March Saturday, April 29th from 3:30 pm til 5:30 pm. March in solidarity to celebrate and honor Clean Air, Clean Water and Public Lands as vital components of healthy communities throughout North Central Washington. March route to be determined and will end at Twisp Park.

The Methow Valley Interpretive Center is open for the season!  See all their “Last Sunday” presentations, upcoming exhibits, workshops and other news here.

Okanogan Land Trust (OLT) is hiring a Conservation Associate to participate in all aspects of OLT’s land protection and stewardship efforts, including project development, communication, and outreach to landowners and partners.  The position is open until filled, with first review of applications on April 24, 2017.  For a complete job description, application instructions, and more information about Okanogan Land Trust, please visit

Get on the ENews mailing list
If you got to this Newsletter through our website, but would like to get the link monthly in an email, let us know by emailing Mary.

Republishing of any part of Methow Conservancy E-News is by permission only. 
Contact us at 509-996-2870 or

*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