First Tuesday Program - “Native Bees of Washington”
Tuesday, April 3rd, 7:00-8:30pm at the Merc Playhouse, free

“If we care about flowers and food, we should care about native bees,” says Dr. Don Rolfs, a passionate naturalist and pioneer in native bee biology.  More than 600 species of native bees (not honeybees) exist in WA.  None live in hives, and most of them go unnoticed by us.  Learn about these fascinating, beautiful insects and their vital role in pollination through an information and photography-rich “edutainment” presentation.

The doors open at 6:30pm with light refreshments available for purchase.  The event is free and open to everyone.  For more information, contact 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org.

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10 Days of Service
National Volunteer Week is coming up and we’re excited to team up with Volunteer Methow for the Methow Valley’s first-ever “10 Days of Service."  Volunteers assist the Valley’s numerous nonprofits year-round, but for 10 days from April 14-24, organizations hope to see an overwhelming show of support for mission-driven projects large and small.  There will be lots to choose from and this is a great chance to try something new, get to know an organization you’ve been curious about, and meet new folks, all while doing some good for the community.  We're excited to see what we can all accomplish together in April!

Our Featured Activity this month is:
Earth Day Work Party at Lewis Butte
Saturday, April 21st, 8:30 – Noon

TroyerWe’re looking for volunteers to help with a special work party at Lewis Butte on Saturday, April 21st.  We’ll be restoring a particularly steep and eroded section of an old road on Lewis Butte.  Approximately 15 volunteers will be needed to work with trail tools to redirect water and fill in deep eroded ruts.  Anyone interested in volunteering should come prepared to do rigorous physical labor (and have a good time!).

This work-party is part of the 2nd annual “Save-A-Trail” project spearheaded by the Methow Valley Trails Collaborative (MVTC), of which the Methow Conservancy is a member.  The MVTC is comprised of many local organizations and agencies, and their mission is to support and enhance sustainable trail experiences in the Methow Valley.  The 2018 MVTC Save-A-Trail project focuses on the very popular Riser Lake and Lewis Butte trail system just outside of Winthrop. 

Our effort on April 21st is a precursor to a large volunteer work-party planned for this area on May 19th and 20th.  Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details about this!



We also need help on April 28th!
The snow is melting and it's time for our first Adopt-a-Hwy clean-up of the year!  Volunteers are needed on Saturday, April 28th from 9:00pm – 11:30pm to pick up trash and recycling on a short section of Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop.  Click here to register on Volunteer Methow, or contact Mary for more details at mary@methowconservancy.org or 996-2870. 

Plus, see below for our citizen science Amphibian Survey!

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Amphibian Survey
Our annual “Methow Conservation Course” on “Herpetology” (reptiles and amphibians) is over but you can still read notes and see videos of each class on our blog here

Kiesau_AmphibWe are continuing our amphibian studies this spring with a valley-wide amphibian survey!  We conducted these surveys way back in 2006 and 2007, and we want to see what’s the same and what has changed. 

If you like to hike in the hills and don’t mind getting your feet wet, you might enjoy learning how to do basic survey work, looking for amphibian adults, egg masses and juveniles in Methow ponds and wetlands this spring.  We are hosting a training on Sunday, April 8th from 9am to mid-afternoon. Then, your actual surveys will be done on your own time. You can survey one or more areas, totally up to you, and you'll need to visit them at least twice: once looking for egg masses in April and once for juveniles in early to mid-May. We have a long list of optional ponds and wetlands from which you can pick. We are also open to having you survey a place on or near your property if you'd like.  Ideally, you'll do this with one or two people, so grab your partner or a friend and sign up! 

The April 8th training is required for taking part in the volunteer survey. The training costs $20 just to help cover some costs including materials we'll give you. Participation in the survey is as a volunteer.  The training will include some indoor presentation time and some outdoor survey time so that you learn the ropes, including how to look for egg masses.

See more and sign up on Volunteer Methow here, or contact Mary at the Methow Conservancy at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org with questions. 

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Stew TechWe're Hiring
We are currently accepting applications for a 32 hour per week seasonal field position (approximately April through November).  The Stewardship Technician will monitor our conservation easement properties and assist with general field work.  For more info & instructions see http://www.methowconservancy.org/stewardship_technician_job.html.  

Applications due by April 6th, the position will be open until filled. 

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Spring & Summer Field Classes
Spring is here and we’ve packed the upcoming months with numerous ways to learn about and explore the natural world of the Methow!  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 for questions or to register for any of the following activities.  Space is limited and registration is required, even for the free events. Field_Kiesau

Free Naturalist “Walk & Talks”
Our free, casual naturalist “walk and talks” with Mary Kiesau are a great way to see and learn what is happening in the natural world of the Methow, and get a little exercise too!  There’s usually one every week, at a different location, and each are about two hours.  All ages are welcome.  In April, the walks are on the 11th, 19th and 26th, each at different times.  Read more and see all the upcoming dates here.


Journaling_LeighNature Journaling “Near & Far”
Enjoy the wonders of spring with a Friday afternoon natural history and nature drawing class with drawing instructor Perri Howard and naturalist/educator Mary Kiesau.  Together, they will help you become a more observant and engaged naturalist while growing creatively and with confidence through drawing exercises and field-sketching. The spring series is titled “Nature Drawing Near and Far,” and each class will combine both close-up and distance drawing.  We’ll start each class with about an hour walking in and exploring the outdoors followed by drawing practice either outside (if the weather is nice) or in Perri’s studio in Twisp.  All materials are provided and no experience is necessary. 

Themed classes will be Friday afternoons, 12:30pm-5:00pm, on the following dates:
April 6: Mountains, Clouds & Rivers
April 20: Leaves & Trees
May 4: Spring Flowers
May 25: Songbirds
Classes are $65* each or $240* for the whole series.  Space is limited to 10 people per class.  Read more details here.  


Wildlife Tracking Intensive SeriesMoose_Kiesau
April 7, May 5, June 9, July 7, August 4 and September 8 from 8:30am to 4pm

One Saturday per month April through Sept: dive deep into local wildlife tracking, including who lives here and what are they doing; different ways they move (gaits and locomotion), aging of tracks, foot morphology and more. The series starts in one week - sign up today!

Back by popular demand after last year’s excellent series, local wildlife tracker and educator Nate Bacon will teach a once-a-month, six-month long wildlife tracking series to explore the lives, behavior, and ecology of local wildlife through track and sign identification and interpretation.  Participants will be asked to be actively engaged throughout the course, sharing their questions and knowledge, teaching others, reflecting on their observations, and practicing with different study techniques, including one afternoon session with drawing instructor Perri Howard learning basic track drawing techniques.  The course will meet outside at various field locations throughout the Methow, and it’s okay to miss classes, but registration is for the whole series.  Tuition is $460*.  Space is limited to 12 people.  Read more details here.   


Spring Naturalists’ Retreat 
Birders_KiesauOur annual Naturalists’ Retreat begins the evening of Thursday, May 31 and goes through 1pm on Sunday June 3.  Lead by renowned naturalist instructors Libby Mills and Dana Visalli, spend a long weekend learning and exploring Methow birds, flowers and plants, and whatever else we find (butterflies and other insects, geology, reptiles, scat and tracks and much more!).  With glorious days in the field and engaging presentations and group dinners on two evenings (one catered, one potluck) 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*, including one catered dinner. Read more details here.


Butterflies and Moths of the Methow Valley and beyond
June 15, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, Indoor Presentation, $5Bfly_Kiesau
June 16, 9:00am – 4pm, Field Class, $25

Get ready for the butterflies of summer with an evening lecture and full-day field class learning about the world of the Lepidoptera – butterflies and moths!  With instructor and passionate “Lep” expert David Dropper, learn about the butterflies that you often see during your outdoor adventures, including how to tell different families of “flutterbys” apart.  Over both sessions, we’ll cover butterfly biology, anatomy, ecology, phenology, and species identification.  We’ll also spend some time getting acquainted with some of our local moths that fly under the cover of darkness. 

The Friday evening lecture is open to about two dozen people and costs just $5.  The Saturday field-class will have some additional volunteers assistants and can accommodate about 20 people and costs $25*.  Take one or both!  We highly recommend that Saturday participants come to the Friday evening session, but it is not required.  Read more details here

Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870 for questions or to register for any of the above activities.  Space is limited and registration is required, even for the free events. 

See the full Calendar of Events below for more field-classes coming up this summer!

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Weymuller_Wild PlumMethow Grown Film Festival Coming to Seattle
Tuesday, May 22nd, 7pm, free at the Bush School

The world-premiere of the Methow Grown Film Festival was such a big hit at the Winthrop Barn in February that we’ve decided to bring this free, fun, and super-inspiring event to the Seattle area.  Mark your calendars for Tuesday evening, May 22nd.  We’ll share nine short films, each focusing on a Methow Valley agriculturalist and their innovative, can-do approach to farming in the Methow Valley.  The films, created by our Agricultural Director Alyssa Jumars, are insightful, entertaining, and the kind of thing that will make you love this Valley even more.  Special thanks to The Bush School in Seattle for hosting the event.  If you live in the Seattle area, check your mailboxes for an official invitation set to arrive in mid April! 

Photo by Rachelle Weymuller.

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Agricultural Grant Secured!Methow Grown
We’re excited to announce that we recently received a grant from the Methow Valley Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington to support continued outreach for our agricultural program. Specifically, we have received funding to develop a printed "pocket guide" to Methow Valley farms and ranches. We'd like it to be more than a simple directory -- and to include farmer stories, stunning photographs, and recipes. We want to endear and connect our community to our local farmers and ranchers, who work so hard to raise wholesome food for us and to steward our valley's farmland. The pocket guide will build on the stories gathered for our Methow Grown website directory. We hope it will inspire residents and visitors to get to know the Valley’s farms and farmers and we’ll look forward to sharing it with you in the next year! Thank you Methow Valley Fund and the Community Foundation of North Central Washington!

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School Yard Science – A Balancing Act
Methow Valley Elementary 4th graders are about to begin their International Baccalaureate (IB) unit of inquiry on “sharing the planet” – just in time to prepare for Earth Day in April. To kick of the unit, we had some rather deep discussions about some of the complex tensions that go into sharing the planet. We started with an interactive reading of The Lorax – and had hearty conversation around what it means to both need a “thnead” and care for the Truffalo trees. Fourth graders actually understand nuance and balance way more than you might think!

We then took a try at managing a deer herd – and we did some dice rolling and math calculations along the way. We learned just how hard it is to account for increasing or decreasing deer populations when you consider things out of human control, like weather, disease, and predators, let alone the complexities of adding in human interventions like habitat restoration or destruction.

Finally, we went outside and played a few wild rounds of Oh Deer! – an old favorite – which helps kids think about “carrying capacity” while having a lot of fun to boot. Next month we’ll celebrate Earth Day by doing a volunteer project on the campus – if you are inspired by these young thinkers, email Sarah at sarah@methowconservancy.org and come join us on Friday, April 20th!

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ThanksMarch Matchness Match Made!
You did it!  You helped us meet our “March Matchness” goal and close out our 2017-18 fiscal year with another victory for conservation!  Thank you (and big thanks to our challenge donors, too).  More than 100 donors participated in the match and we met our goal for the month. Incredible!  We’re so grateful for all of your financial and volunteer efforts!

And, if you missed the chance to renew your membership support over the last 12 months, you can start off fiscal year 2018-19 on the right foot and donate any time!  Just visit our secure website or mark your calendar now for GIVE BIG on May 9th – The Seattle Foundation’s big day of giving, where you can join many others to give online!

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Get Your Methow Conservancy eqpd “last bag”
About a year ago, we had 11 Methow Conservancy eqpd “last bags” custom-made for our staff. We LOVE them!  We received so many compliments and inquiries that we are excited to announce that another small run has been produced – and you can purchase one if you would like!  eqpd (pronounced "equipped") is a small (but growing) business in Twisp designing and manufacturing reusable bags and totes.  Thanks to the generosity of a Methow Conservancy donor who underwrote the production, the entire $50 purchase price goes to support our conservation efforts.  Hurry….a very small, limited number of bags are left!  To order, call us at 509-996-2870 or email info@methowconservancy.org

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Thank You Senator Cantwell!
A big thank you goes out to Senator Maria Cantwell for her leadership in securing bi-partisan support in the recently signed Omnibus Spending Bill to invest in the health of our federal forest lands here in the Methow and beyond!

The “wildfire and forestry package” will end the US Forest Service practice of “fire-borrowing” by establishing a contingency account for use in bad fire years.  It will free up over $100 million for fire prevention projects and recreation programs, and stop the practice of using non-fire program funds to pay for the rising costs of firefighting.  It also enables utilities to partner with the Forest Service to better prevent trees from touching powerlines and starting wildfires, and expands the ability for States to partner with the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to accomplish fuels reduction and restoration projects. To learn more, read this Seattle Times article.

You can share your thanks with Senator Cantwell at 509-353-2507 or 202-224-3441 or by e-mailing her office at https://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/email/form.    

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Logo AccredWe Passed!
Last month we were excited to be notified that our accreditation status with the National Land Trust Accreditation Commission has been renewed.  The accreditation seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.  It is awarded to land trusts meeting the highest national standards for excellence and conservation permanence. 

Each accredited land trust completes a rigorous review process and joins a network of organizations united by strong ethical practices in fiscal accountability, organizational leadership, sound transactions, and lasting stewardship of the lands they conserve. For more information please visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

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New Members  - Thank You!
In March, we welcomed new members: Jane Hill, Virginia O'Kelly, Chad Farrell, and Michelle Hickner. Thank you for inspiring people to care for the land of the Methow Valley!

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Methow Conservancy Events
Rolfs_sampleApril 3: “First Tuesday” Program, “Native Bees” with speaker Don Rolfs, 7:00pm, at the Merc Playhouse, free. See above for more details.

April 6: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Mountains, Clouds & Rivers” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/25).  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details.  
April 7: Wildlife Tracking Intensive, first of six sessions, once a month from April to September, with instructor Nate Bacon, $460 for 6-month series.  Click here for more details.

April 8: Amphibian Survey Training.  Get trained to survey a local pond or wetland this spring, searching for frog and salamander egg masses and larvae.  After the training, surveys will occur on your own schedule from mid-April to late-May.  See above for more details.

April 11: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk, 4:30-6:30pm with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

westernkingbird_kiesauApril 19: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk, 8:30-10:30am with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

April 20: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Leaves & Trees” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/25).  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details 

April 21: Earth Day Volunteer Work Party at Lewis Butte, 8:30 – Noon.  Help us restore a particularly steep and eroded section of trail on Lewis Butte.  See above for more details.

April 26: Methow Conservancy Flower Walk, 5:00-7:00pm with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

April 28: “Adopt-a-Highway” Clean-Up, 9:00 - 11:30am. Eight volunteers are needed to help us clean-up a short section of Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop. See more details here

May 1: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk, 8:00-10:00am with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free. purple martins

May 1:
 “First Tuesday” Program, “Purple Martins” with speaker Julie Hovis, 7:00pm, location TBD, free.

May 4: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Spring Flowers” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/25).  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details.  

May 9: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk, 8:00-10:00am with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 14: Methow Conservancy Flower Walk, 5:00-7:00pm with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 19-20: Methow Valley Trails Collaborative “Save-A-Trail” project on Lewis Butte & Riser Lake. 
May 24: Methow Conservancy Flower Walk, 5:00-7:00pm with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 25: “Nature Drawing Near & Far” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on “Songbirds” with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/25).  Space limited, registration required.  Click here for more details.  

May 29: Methow Conservancy Bird Walk, 7:00-9:00am with Mary Kiesau.  See more details here.  Free.

May 31– June 3: Methow Conservancy Spring Naturalists’ Retreat.  Lead by renowned naturalist instructors Libby Mills and Dana Visalli, spend a long weekend learning about and exploring the natural world of the Methow.  The class is limited to 20 people and costs $200*/person, including one catered dinner.  Click here for more details.

June 5: “First Tuesday” Program, “Crown Jewel: Creating North Cascades National Park” with speaker Lauren Danner, 7:00pm, at the Winthrop Barn, free.

LittleBlue_kiesauJune 15:  “Butterflies and Moths of the Methow Valley and beyond” indoor presentation, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, $5.  Click here for more details.

June 16:  “Butterflies and Moths of the Methow Valley and beyond” field class, 9:00am – 4pm, $25.  Click here for more details.

July 14-15:  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. Contact Mary to for more details or to register at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.orgThis class is also being offered October 6-7th and registration is open for that as well.

August 7:  “First Tuesday” Program, “Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Pacific Coast” with speaker Jim Walker 7:00pm, location TBA, free.

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News from Other Organizations

The Methow Naturalist is offering a Geology of the Methow class on two Friday evenings with two Saturday field-trips, April 20-21 and April 27-28. Taught by Dana Visalli, the evening programs are free and open to all, and the field trips are $30 each. Contact Dana to sign up at 509-997-9011, dana@methownet.com.   

Methow Recycles’ annual two-day Metal Drive is Saturday & Sunday, April 28th and 39th, 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.

Washington Butterfly Association offers three “Idie Ulsh Young Naturalist” scholarships to their annual Weekend with Butterflies. Each scholarship covers registration, lodging for two nights, three meals, and round-trip mileage from home to the venue for a 10- to 17-year-old nature enthusiast and an accompanying parent or guardian. Applications must be received by May 4.  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 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