Holiday Social & December “First Tuesday” Program
Tuesday, December 5th at the Winthrop Barn
Mark your calendar for our annual holiday social and December program!  We will be at the Winthrop Barn again with plenty of room for everyone.  See below for more details and contact us at 996-2870 or

Holiday Social & Annual Conservation Awards Ceremony
December 5th from 6:00 - 7:00pm at the Winthrop Barn 

Everyone is invited to join the Methow Conservancy in celebrating community, conservation and our mutual love of the Methow Valley with the Conservancy's annual year-end holiday social from 6:00-7:00pm. There will be free appetizers and holiday punch.  Before the 1st Tuesday program, we’ll honor community members with our annual conservation awards. It’s our time to thank you for all that you help us do – please join us!

Community Program “Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest” with David Moskowitz 
December 5th from 7:00 - 8:30pm at the Winthrop Barn, free and open to everyone

The Methow Conservancy’s annual year-end community program and social on Tuesday, December 6th at the Winthrop Barn will feature local biologist, photographer and author David Moskowitz and his latest project on the mountain caribou. 

Hidden in the interior of the Pacific Northwest is the largest remaining inland temperate rainforest on earth. This magnificent landscape is home to numerous First Nations communities, thousand year old trees and critical habitat for endangered species like mountain caribou.  Less than 15 caribou remain in the herd that crosses back and forth between the United States and Canada in the Pacific Northwest, and herds across the southern range of this unique eco-type of caribou are disappearing quickly. The population is estimated at less than 1500 across all of British Columbia.  Industrial development has pushed this ecosystem to the tipping point.

“Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest” is a 35-minute cinematic journey of the tragically threatened world of endangered mountain caribou, their home in the world's largest remaining inland temperate rainforest, and the critical human choices that will ultimately decide the fate of this stunning ecosystem.   

David Moskowitz works as a biologist, photographer and outdoor educator.  In the summer of 2015 he launched a photography and conservation project to discover what was happening to mountain caribou.  What he discovered was a compelling and complicated story that defies easy answers, and illuminates the complicated web of ecological relationships which humans have altered in ways not easily undone.

Join us for a beautiful and thoughtful journey into the imperiled world of an endangered species.  Read more here.

Methow Gifts for the Holidays or Anytime!
Buying local is always important, but it’s especially fun during the holidays when there are so many unique, hand-made and Methow-specific gifts to be had, from food to clothes to art and more.  Join others in committing to Buy Methow so that your dollars stay in the community you love!  Below, we made a quick list to help you do just that.

Here at the Methow Conservancy, not only do gift memberships (donations made in someone’s honor) make great gifts, but we have some great items as well.

Wear your Methow Conservancy support with our brand new hats and wonderfully descriptive t-shirts.  Check out all the colors, plus see our super handy Methow Valley Pocket Field Guide and our Young Naturalist Activity Booklet at the link.
We are honored to have many local and regional businesses as members who support our efforts to protect open space, wildlife habitat, farm and ranchland, and scenic areas. Please consider shopping with these business partners and thanking them for making a generous commitment to our efforts.  Plus check out all the “Methow Made” producers for more ideas. 

Most of all, have a wonderful solstice and holiday season wherever you may be and enjoy the gifts of nature!

Rally for the Valley – You Did it!
Woohoo!! You did it! At the beginning of October, we asked the community to “Rally for the Valley” and log 1000 hours of volunteer service on the Volunteer Methow website for Methow Valley organizations between Oct 1 and Dec 31.  Methow people are always up for a challenge, so not only was the 1000 hour goal reached, it was reached in just 2 months!   

Now that Volunteer Methow is fully off the ground and going strong with 40 organizations and counting, we know those volunteers hours will keep growing, helping make Methow organizations and the community as a whole . 

Don’t believe us?  Look at these testimonials!
Volunteer Char Alkire: "The website works like butter.  It’s very smooth!  This is a wonderful way to volunteer given my variable schedule. Thank you!

Betsy Cushman, Executive Director of Methow Recycles: Volunteer Methow is the best thing I’ve found for showing opportunities to become involved with our mission. It’s user-friendly and incredibly easy to use.

Missi Smith, Executive Director of The Merc Playhouse : Not only does Volunteer Methow help us streamline our volunteer scheduling process, it has helped us bring in new volunteers who are learning about what we do at The Merc, and they are coming back to help out again!

Many thanks to Neil & Kelli Rotstan for making this idea a reality - and to all the Methow organizations who have gotten involved and of course to all of you out there giving a little bit of your precious time to our community. Thank you!

Winter Wildlife & Nature Classes
Join us this winter for some great classes, both indoors and out.D.G. MacKean;

Bringing the Outside In
Kick off the New Year with a natural history & nature drawing class series with instructors Perri Howard & Mary Kiesau.  Each class will start outdoors for the first hour then move to Perri’s indoor studio at TwispWorks for about three hours.  The outdoor hour will be a natural history lesson lead by Mary on the class topic (winter bird or animal tracks for instance).  We’ll pick locations close to Twisp that are easy to access and may or may not need snowshoes. The indoor session, led by Perri, will focus on drawing lessons and practice.  All materials, including pens, pencils, paper, and photos and drawings from which you may work, will be included, but feel free to bring your own materials if you’d like.  Attend individual classes or the 4-class series. Themed classes will be every other Friday, 12:30pm-5:00pm, on the following dates:
Jan 5: winter birds
Jan 19: animal tracks
Feb 2: winter plants
Feb 16: mammals
Classes are $65 each or $240 for the 4-class series.  Space is limited  to 8 people per class, and registration is required. Contact us at 996-2870 or to reserve your spot or for more information. Photo by Mary Kiesau.

The Wide World of Skulls & Bones
Saturday, January 13th, 9:00am-4:00pm at the TwispWorks Education Station. $65
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? These are all questions we will work through with skull expert Marcus Reynerson of the Wilderness Awareness School during this 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 to reserve your spot.

Winter Wildlife Tracking 
Explore the winter landscape of the Methow Valley with professional wildlife trackers and educators.  Learn how to identify and interpret wildlife tracks and signs so that you can connect with the hidden lives of the creatures that share this land with us!  We are offering two separate half-day field-classes with extremely knowledgeable wildlife track and sign teachers.  Snowshoes and good fitness are necessary. 

January 14th, 8:30am-12:30pm with Marcus Reynerson (class is full but a waitlist is available)
February 3rd, 8:30am-12:30pm with David Moskowitz (class is full but a waitlist is available)
February 4th, 8:30am-12:30pm with David Moskowitz

Each class is $45/person.  Registration is necessary and space is limited.  Contact us at 996-2870 or to reserve your spot.


Schoolyard Science
We managed to hit the one sunny, warm day in November for School Yard Science--which was great, because it made the “Great Migration Obstacle Course” that much more fun.  Our energetic 4th graders turned into birds and slalomed through city skyscrapers, flew nimbly finding refuge in small pockets of natural habitat, realized that a mall had been built in their favorite resting place so they circled in hula hoops for a while, flew under powerlines and soared over polluted lakes, and even survived windstorms.  We agreed that migrating offers an awesome payoff – all you can eat in the tropics!—but it sure takes a lot of energy.  We also explored other ways our Methow School Yard animals might choose to manage winter saving enough energy to make it to spring.  We tried hibernating and torpor, but realized we just couldn’t get our heart rates low enough.  We also played a game or two about how animals might adapt to stick it out in winter.  All in all, we agreed that human adaptations like warm coats and hot chocolate were pretty good ways to deal with the coming cold.  In January, we’ll test our adaptability as we spend time outside!

Doubletree FarmSave the Date! Film Festival & Silent Auction
Sunday, February 18th, 7:00-9:00pm at the Winthrop Barn

You’ll want to be in the Winthrop Barn on the Sunday of President’s Weekend, because we’re throwing a great party!  Join us for a Methow Grown film festival plus a lively and entertaining silent auction.  Enjoy "virtual farm tours,” in the middle of winter with our inspiring short film series showcasing local Methow agriculturalists.  Their creativity, resilience, sense of humor, and dedication to raising wholesome food and stewarding the land will amaze you.  The evening will culminate with a silent auction that will be anything but silent.  We’ll keep you entertained and excited with our unique auction that features the special talents and interests of our Methow Conservancy Board and Staff.  It’s always a hoot with some amazing items to boot!  Don’t miss your chance to share what we love about this Valley.  Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details!

Spadefoot toad photo by Jennifer ZajacStudying Herps
We mean herpetology of course – the focus of our next annual “conservation course!” 

We’ve begun planning and will share more news with you next month about this six-week course on salamanders, snakes, turtles, frogs and lizards.  It will be on Mondays from February 12th to March 19th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Winthrop Barn. Tuition is $170.  Need-based scholarships, in the form of a reduced or waived fee, are available to a limited number of people who are able to help with the course.  Space in the course is limited and registration is open now.  Contact Mary at  or 509-996-2870 for questions about the course or to register.


New Members  - Thank You!
We’re pleased to welcome the following new supporters of the Methow Conservancy:
Patrick Spencer, Anna Sherwood & Zachary Stednick, Kay & Mark Taylor, and Marchell & Steve Tomschin.  Thank you!

Methow Conservancy Events

December 5th:Photo by David Moskowitz. Holiday Social & “First Tuesday” program "Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest " with author and photographer David Moskowitz, 6:00-8:30pm at the Winthrop Barn, FREE. The holiday party starts at 6pm with drinks, appetizers and awards. The program runs from 7pm–8:30pm.  Click here for more details.  

January 5th: “Bringing the Outside In” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on winter birds with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (1/5; 1/19; 2/2; 2/16).  Space limited, registration required.  See above for more details.   

January 9th: “First Tuesday” Program, "WA Trust Water Rights” with the Methow Watershed Council. 7:00pm at the Methow Valley Community Center, free.  Washington Water Trust will shed light on one of the best kept secrets for water right holders: Washington’s Trust Water Rights Program. 

January 13th: Wildlife skull identification class with instructor Marcus Reynerson, 9:00am-4:00pm at the TwispWorks Education Station. $65, space limited, registration required.  See above for more details.   

January 14th: Snowshoe Wildlife Tracking Class with instructor Marcus Reynerson, 8:30am-12:30pm, $45, space limited, registration required. See above for more details.    (class is full but a waitlist is available)

January 19th: “Bringing the Outside In” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on animal tracks with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (1/5; 1/19; 2/2; 2/16).  Space limited, registration required. See above for more details.    

February 2nd: “Bringing the Outside In” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on winter plants with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (1/5; 1/19; 2/2; 2/16).  Space limited, registration required. See above for more details.    Photo by Jason Paulsen.

February 3rd: Snowshoe Wildlife Tracking Class with instructor David Moskowitz, 8:30am-12:30pm, $45, space limited, registration required. See above for more details.    (class is full but a waitlist is available)

February 4th: Snowshoe Wildlife Tracking Class with instructor David Moskowitz, 8:30am-12:30pm, $45, space limited, registration required. See above for more details.       

February 6th: “First Tuesday” Program, “River of Hope: The Columbia River, from Source to Sea” with speaker Peter Marbach, 7:00pm. Location TBA.

February 16th: “Bringing the Outside In” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on mammals with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (1/5; 1/19; 2/2; 2/16).  Space limited, registration required. See above for more details.   

February 18th:  Film Festival & Silent Auction, 7:00-9:00pm at the Winthrop Barn.  Join us for a Methow Grown film festival plus a lively and entertaining silent auction!  See above for more details.

March 6th: “First Tuesday” Program, “Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth?” with speaker David George Gordon, 7:00pm. Location TBA

April 3rd: “First Tuesday” Program, “Native Bees” with speaker Don Rolfs, 7:00pm. Location TBA

News from Other Organizations

Christmas Bird Count: The North Central Washington Chapter of the Audubon Society, a four-county region, hosts six separate bird counts: Bridgeport (12/15), Leavenworth (12/16), Chelan (12/29), Okanogan/Omak (12/30), Twisp/Winthrop (12/31), and Wenatchee (12/31).  Everyone is welcome, beginners and experienced.  Get the info on each of them here.

The Twisp Christmas Bird Count on December 31st will begin at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery at 6:30am. Bring binoculars, warm clothes, a lunch, and field guides. Optionally, bring snowshoes, skis, and spotting scopes. For more information, contact Dave Rudholm at 509-429-1105 or

Methow Trails hosts “Nature of Winter Snowshoe” Tours every Saturday from Jan 6 - Feb 24 at both Sun Mountain and Jacks Hut at the Freestone Inn.  These family-friendly snowshoe tours start at 11:00am and are led by local volunteers who focus on winter ecology, wildlife and tracks, snow science and more.  See more details here.

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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