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October 2018 ENews

Welcome to E-News - A monthly brief to inspire us all to care for the land of the Methow Valley.


Our Theme This Month: Gather
This month’s enews is full of ways to gather – to assemble with others, to unite around a common cause, or to join together.

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An Abundant Harvest of Fall Events
The next few days are full of great fall events!  We hope you’ll join us!

CiderCider Squeeze!
Sunday, September 30th from 2:00 – 4:00pm
The Sabold Residence, 17 Bean Rd (1 mile south of Winthrop on the East County Rd)


This sweet event is always a laid-back, family-friendly time to celebrate community, conservation and the harvest season! Meet new and old friends plus Methow Conservancy staff and board members. Enjoy great music from the Rivertown Ramblers, tasty treats, and fresh pressed apple juice. Everyone can take a turn working the unique and historic apple press, and take home some tasty juice. Bring your own jug or take a plastic jug from us. Thanks to conservation easement owner Art Zink and Booth Canyon Orchard for providing apples for the Squeeze this year and to Double Tree Farm for providing the jugs. This unique celebration is free and everyone is welcome! We’ll host it rain or shine! Contact us at 996-2870 or email us  if you have questions or need directions. 

Tom GreyFirst Tuesday Program:  “Migratory Birds in the Pacific Flyway: The Marvels and Perils” 
Tuesday, October 2nd @ 7pm (doors will open at 6:30pm)
The Winthrop Barn


You won’t want to miss this extra-special presentation by Stan Senner, the Vice President of Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society.  The birds of the Pacific Flyway depend on a diverse chain of habitats, from Arctic tundra and northwestern rainforest to tropical beaches and mangroves. Each year at least a billion birds migrate along the Pacific Flyway, with each individual facing a host of threats along the way. Stan brings his knowledge from a 40-year career as a bird conservationist and his experience as a coordinator for science and restoration programs after the Exxon Valdez oil spill and tracker of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  Come early to view the entries from the North Central Washington Audubon chapter bird photography competition! Photo at right by Tom Grey.

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Quick Shout Outs:
methow headwatersThanks to Senators Cantwell and Murray and Representative Newhouse for their bi-partisan support and leadership in helping the Methow Headwaters mineral withdrawal effort move closer to success.  In late September, the US Forest Service released its environmental assessment along with a recommendation in support of the Methow Headwaters mineral withdrawal.  This marks an important milestone – and one we are celebrating as members of the Methow Headwaters campaign.  But there are still more steps ahead to reach the December 29th deadline for a final decision on a 20 year withdrawal that will protect 340,000 acres of Methow Headwaters lands on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest from large-scale mining.  To stay up to date, follow the Methow Headwaters campaign.

salmonThanks to Kristin Kirkby, Fisheries Biologist for the Cascades Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, for leading our Welcome Back Salmon walk. Kristin is full of fish knowledge and though our timing was a little off for seeing peak spawning, we appreciate her enthusiasm and sense of wonder about the incredible journey Methow salmon make to and from our waters.  Kristin shared this cool PDF brochure about where to see salmon from Leavenworth to Oroville. As Summer Chinook are finding their way up the Methow River, now is a good time to get out and cheer them on! They’ve had an incredible journey traveling over 800 miles and up 9 hydro-electric dams just to get here.

Mary KiesauBig gratitude to Nate Bacon, local wildlife tracking naturalist, for leading our six-month Wildlife Tracking Intensive Series.  Nate received rave reviews from class participants like this one:  “He's a fabulous teacher. One of his many skills is imitating the gaits of different animals.  Very hard to do four-legged gaits with only two legs, but Nate is a champ.” Once a month, students joined Nate to search for tracks, scat, and wildlife signs.  They saw evidence of bears, mink, weasels, cougar, squirrel, tons of birds and deer, and even elk.  We’re talking with Nate about future courses and we also continue to offer Dave Moscowitz’s popular weekend courses, so if tracking is on your bucket list, stay tuned!

We’d like to acknowledge students from the Bush School for really “rocking” it this month in their volunteer service to the MethowMaggie Coon Valley.  Middle and high school students were in the Valley at the Bush School’s new Methow Campus (the conservation easement property formerly known as North Cascades Basecamp) and they spent hours working on clearing our agricultural field at the Mazama Corner of rocks.  It’s hard work, but they were “digging” it!

Congrats to Maggie Coon – conservation easement owner up the Twisp River – for recently being named this year’s recipient of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition’s (WWRC) Joan Thomas Award, which recognizes significant, long-term contributions to conservation and preservation in the state.  WWRC describes her as “one of the foremost advocates for preservation of the Methow Valley.” We agree!  To read more about this important honor and Maggie’s lifelong efforts, check out this recent Methow Valley News article

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Volunteers are Amazing!
In the last few weeks, volunteers have picked hundreds of apples, stuffed more than 1000 envelopes, gathered many meters of barbed wire, and restored miles of trail.  Before the weather turns cold and wet, we hope to offer a few more volunteer opportunities!  You can always check out all of our offerings at Volunteer Methow – we’ll keep it updated throughout the month.

Laurelle WalshHere are two opportunities coming right up:

  • Monday, October 1st:  Adopt-A-Highway Clean Up -  Methow Conservancy volunteers and staff are the official highway cleaners for a stretch of Hwy 20 between Winthrop and Twisp.  There’s a lot of trash out there now and we’ll be out keeping the Valley beautiful on Monday, October 1st from 1 to 3:30pm.  Sign up here

  • Tuesday, October 2nd:  First Tuesday Set Up – We are expecting a big crowd for our Pacific Flyway First Tuesday with Stan Senner of the National Audubon Society.  We’re looking for a few volunteers to help us set up the Winthrop Barn for the event.  Sign up here
     
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Upcoming Educational Events
We’re squeezing in a few more field-based educational opportunities before fall turns to winter!  Come learn with us!

fire recoveryWildfire Forest Recovery Walk
Tuesday, October 16th  @ 10am – 12pm , Free.
Join Methow Conservancy Staff Conservation Biologist Julie Grialou on a walk to explore the layered process of forest recovery after wildfire. This walk is free, but we do ask you to register so we can anticipate the group size.  To sign up email us or call 996-2870.  Location information will be shared after your register.

 

cougar tracks  jpWolf Cougar Interactions:  What We Know
Friday, October 26th @ 7pm at Twispworks “Your Space” (aka the Education Station), Free.
Lauren Satterfield will share her PhD research studying wolf-cougar interactions in Washington State. Her project is investigating how a growing wolf population affects the behavior, diet, and survival of cougars as they adapt to the presence of another top predator across a landscape that is also used by people. No registration required.

Wolf Cougar Interactions:  A Field Trip
Saturday, October 27th @ 8am to 12 noon. 
Ph.D. student Lauren Satterfield will also give a field course discussing how GPS collar data is used to identify where a predator might have killed a deer, and how scientists use these sites to study deer heath and risk of predation. $10. To register email us or call 996-2870.  Limit 12 participants.

Lauren DannerMethow Mixer in Seattle
Tuesday, November 13th, 6:30pm @ Seattle REI. Free.
Lauren Danner will present “Crown Jewel:  Creating North Cascades National Park."  North Cascades National Park is remote, rugged, spectacularly majestic, and 50 years old this year.  Writer and historian, Lauren Danner, chronicles how politics and the wilderness movement of the 1950s and 1960s resulted in the park's 1968 creation.  The story is a window into the modern environmental movement in the Pacific Northwest and a reminder that national parks are not only wild landscapes of national significance, but the result of political negotiation and compromise. Join us for this insightful look into our backyard and mix and mingle with others who love the Methow Valley! Photo at left by Lauren Danner.

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apples by JPDid You Know?  -- What an Apple Maggot Quarantine Means
Orchardists of the Methow Valley have a brand new pest to combat -- as if the age-old struggle to protect fruit from the pervasive codling moth wasn't enough!  

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) recently discovered reproducing populations of apple maggot in locations in the upper Methow Valley, and is poised to implement a quarantine extending north of Gold Creek -- in order to prevent the spread of the pest to the many commercial orchards in the lower valley.  

Apple maggot is similar in appearance to a house fly, with the exception of characteristic, black wing stripes.  Female flies become active in July, and can lay between 300-500 eggs in a season.  Eggs mature into 1/4-inch larvae within 3-7 days, tunneling into the fruit and causing fruit to appear dimpled or rotten.  Unfortunately, because the apple maggot is hosted not only by un-managed apples, but also by native hawthorn, once it is established there is really no way to eradicate the pest.  We can only hope that it doesn't spread to the lower valley.  

What, exactly, is an apple maggot quarantine -- besides a mouthful?  Here's what you should know, as a resident or a frequenter of the upper Methow Valley, as the quarantine goes into effect later this fall:

  • Don't move backyard fruit outside the quarantine.  This includes apples, but also pears, plums, apricots, and cherries which have been identified as alternate hosts in some regions, especially on the east coast.  (Ideally, don't move backyard fruit into the quarantine.  The reason we have apple maggot in the Methow is because infected fruit was transported here from the west side, which already has the apple maggot.)  It's still okay to move commercial fruit -- because commercial orchards in quarantined areas are inspected by the WSDA for apple maggot. 

  • Don't put backyard fruit waste in the trash.  Household waste from the Methow Valley is transferred to the Okanogan Land Fill, which is located outside of the quarantine, and is surrounded by commercial orchards on the other side of Loup Loup.  Instead, compost it.  Or, if you actually think your fruit might be infected with apple maggot (trust us, you'd know) place it in a tightly-sealed, black plastic bag and let it cook in the hot sun (or freeze) for several weeks -- and then compost it.

  • Don't move soil or woody debris outside the quarantine.  At different life stages, the apple maggot can be found in the soil or even in the bark of fruit wood.  So don't move soil or firewood outside of the quarantine.  We are still working on understanding the full implications of the quarantine, but it is possible that once the quarantine officially goes into effect, the Twisp Transfer Station won't be able to accept green waste. 

  • If you think you might have apple maggot in your backyard trees -- contact Okanogan County Pest Control agent, Dan McCarthy, immediately at 509-322-1286.  Here's what infected fruit looks like.  Be aware that most backyard apple trees are usually infected by codling moth, not apple maggot.  With codling moth, you will notice just one or two big worm holes in your fruit, and you will find just one or two larvae when you cut open the apple.  If you do indeed have apple maggot, your fruit will be entirely rotten on the inside and full of small larvae.  

Still have questions?  Watch this 10-minute video, with highlights from our September First Tuesday presentation on the apple maggot quarantine. Here's a great article from WSU about the apple maggot. And of course, you should always feel free to reach out to our Ag Coordinator, Alyssa Jumars.  

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JohnnieBack to School
Methow Conservancy staff members Sarah Brooks and Johnnie Duguay joined the back to school movement in September as they returned to Mr. Haley’s and Mrs. Surface’s 4th grade classrooms for another year of School Yard Science. The eager students impressed us this year with drawings of their School Yard Science animal (Sarah is Sloth and Johnnie is Jellyfish) on nametags.  From Yellow Baboon to Quokka, the students are definitely creative!

Their school year starts with the International Baccalaureate theme of "Who am I?"  We decided to be birds and answered the question what make a bird a bird.  We dressed Johnnie Jellyfish as a bird – isn’t she cute!—recognizing features like hollow bones, feathers, beaks, etc. 

We next explored different adaptations birds have and conducted some experimental inquiries into how different beak types might lend themselves to finding food in different habitats.  We made a hypothesis and tested it outside in the school yard, using different beaks (tools like tongs and tweezers) to try to eat in different habitats (like deep pots of water or shallow pans).  Sometimes we were right in our hypotheses and sometimes we were wrong – and we learned that sometimes you learn more from the times your hypothesis was wrong! 

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Season of Giving:
It’s that time of the year when we ask for your financial support.  If it has been about a year since your last donation, then you will soon receive our annual appeal mailing. We sure hope you’ll renew your support this year (or support us for the first time!), since gifts from people like you make up more than 70% of our Annual Operating Fund. 

Give MethowThis year, we’re offering three different ways to renew your support or to give for the first time:

  • If you received a letter in the mail, you can return the reply card and your donation in the envelope we mailed you.
  • You can always go to our secure website and click on the “Donate Now” button, especially if you only get emails from us and no “snail mail.”
  • During the month of October, you can participate in the “Give Methow” Campaign sponsored by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington on our page of www.givemethow.org. They’ll cover the credit card fees and offer a “stretch” to each donation made.

If you have already given this year – thank you!  And, if you’re wondering how we put your support to work on the ground in the Methow Valley, just ask.  We’d love to have a conversation.  You can call Sarah at 509-996-2870 or email Sarah.   We hope you find pride not only in the impact you make on the ground, but also that you find joy in sharing your love for this Valley with others.  We sure appreciate you!

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Our October Reading List:
Our email inboxes here at the Methow Conservancy are often full of articles we share with each other to help inform our work or inspire discussion.  We thought you might be interested in seeing what we’ve been reading. 

Editor’s note: These articles do not represent the beliefs or opinions of the Methow Conservancy or its staff. We offer them purely as a means of sparking discussion.

Jason PaperWall Street Journal:  A Modern Second-Home Retreat for Seattle’s Tech Elite 
Snapshot: Flashback to 2005, when similar articles in national media signaled a new interest in the real estate market in the Methow Valley. 

Seattle Times: Mountain Goat Relocation Begins in Olympic National Park
Snapshot: Mountain goats were introduced to the Olympic Mountains from British Columbia in the 1920’s by hunters. Since then their population has grown to be roughly 700 goats. Interestingly, Olympic National Park doesn’t have any naturally occurring salt licks, so goats were relying on humans for their salt source. This made the goats aggressive toward people, and was the turning point for the Park Service to initiate a program this summer for their relocation to the North Cascades. 

New York Times: Can Dirt Save the Earth
Snapshot
: As many Methow landowners know, restoring native shrub-steppe or grassland on your property is a difficult, expensive, and time consuming process. A couple in Marin County California experiencing these difficulties decided to consult a PhD rangeland ecologist. What the rangeland doctor prescribed doesn’t follow conventional conservation wisdom and lead to their entry into the world of carbon farming.

High Country News: Time is Running Out (Again) for Conservation’s Bank Account
Snapshot: The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established in 1964 with bipartisan consensus. The LWCF uses royalties from offshore oil and gas leases to pay for public land purchases and private land conservation. This important fund is set to expire September 30th, unless a bill is able to pass through congress.

If you’ve got a good article to share with us, send it to us

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Methow Conservancy Events
September 30:  Annual Cider Squeeze,  2pm - 4pm.  It’s a sweet celebration of conservation.  Tom GreyWe’ll use an historic press to make fresh apple cider juice and enjoy a classic Methow fall afternoon at the Sabold’s house in Winthrop. Free.

October 2:  First Tuesday Program - “Migratory Birds in the Pacific Flyway: The Marvels and Perils”
7pm at the Winthrop Barn. The birds of the Pacific Flyway depend on a diverse chain of habitats, from Arctic tundra and northwestern rainforest to tropical beaches and mangroves. Each year at least a billion birds migrate along the Pacific Flyway, with each individual facing a host of threats along the way. Learn the astonishing facts of these wondrous and perilous journeys with Stan Senner, Vice President of Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society. Stan brings his knowledge from a 40-year career as a bird conservationist and his experience as a coordinator for science and restoration programs after the Exxon Valdez oil spill and tracker of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The event is free and open to everyone.  For more information, contact 996-2870 or email us. Photo at right by Tom Grey.

Oct 6-7: 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, and you might even achieve 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. There is currently a waitlist for this class.   

October 16:  Wildfire Forest Recovery Walk with our Conservation Biologist Julie Grialou.  10am – 12noon.  Free. This walk is free, but we do ask you to register so we can anticipate the group size.  To sign-up email us or call 996-2870.  Location information will be shared after your register.

October 26:  Wolf Cougar Interactions:  What We Know, 7pm at Twispworks Your Space.  Lauren Satterfield shares her PhD research studying wolf-cougar interactions in Washington State. Free.

October 27:  Wolf Cougar Interactions:  A Field Trip, 8am to 12noon.  Lauren Satterfield offers a field course discussing how GPS collar data is used to identify where a predator might have killed a deer, and how scientists use these sites to study deer heath and risk of predation. $10, registration required.  To register email us or call 996-2870.  Limit 12 participants.

Dave Moskowitz WolverineNovember 6:  First Tuesday Program - “Wolverines of the North Cascades” 7pm at the Winthrop Barn. Come listen and learn about the efforts of this homegrown blend of mountaineers, photographers, and wildlife biologists to understand the ecology, life history, and distribution of the North Cascade’s most elusive alpine carnivore. The event is free and open to everyone.  For more information, contact 996-2870 or email us.
Photo at left by Dave Moskowitz.

Nov 11: The Wide World of Animal Skulls & Bones, indoor class with Marcus Reynerson, 9:00am-4:30pm, $65*, limited to 20 people.  All animals engage with the world through their sensory perception via the skull. Through studying the evolutionary history that is evident in the structures of skulls, we can get a rich glimpse into the lives of animals. What are its dominant senses? What is its primary diet? How is this animal adapted to live in particular environments? How do you identify an animal based on its skull? These are some of the questions we will work through with wildlife and skull expert Marcus Reynerson of the Wilderness Awareness School during this in-depth daylong workshop exploring the fascinating world of the skulls and bones of some of our local species.  The class is $65.  Space is limited and registration is required. Contact us at 996-2870 or email us to reserve your spot. 

Nov 13:  Methow Mixer in Seattle, with Lauren Danner presenting “Crown Jewel:  Creating North Cascades National Park”.  6:30pm, Seattle REI upstairs meeting room.   North Cascades National Park is remote, rugged, spectacularly majestic, and 50 years old this year.  Writer and historian, Lauren Danner, chronicles how politics and the wilderness movement of the 1950s and 1960s resulted in the park's 1968 creation.  The story is a window into the modern environmental movement in the Pacific Northwest and a reminder that national parks are not only wild landscapes of national significance, but the result of political negotiation and compromise. Join us for this insightful look into our backyard and mix and mingle with others who love the Methow Valley!

December 4:  Our Annual Holiday Social and December First Tuesday with Julianne Ubigau of the Conservation Canines Program 6pm  @ The Winthrop Barn.  More details coming soon! 

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News from Other Organizations
Check out a full calendar of Methow Valley community events here.

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 us.

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

*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