Elwa River, Humes Ranch. Photo by Jeff TaylorMonthly Program - “River Restoration: A Look at the Elwha Project & Happenings in the Methow”
Tuesday, May 30, 7:00-8:30pm at the Merc Playhouse

Award-winning Bureau of Reclamation engineer Jennifer Bountry, the 2017 “Federal Engineer of the Year,” will share an in-depth look at the natural and engineered work of river restorations, specifically on the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula where Bountry served as a lead scientist.  She will also compare and contrast that work to some of the river restoration happening in the Methow.

This program serves as our June First Tuesday!  The program is free and open to everyone.  The doors open at 6:30pm with light refreshments available for purchase.  For more information, contact 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org.

Photo by Jeff Taylor

Volunteer with the Methow Conservancy!
There are numerous opportunities to volunteer in the month of June, including several outdoor field projects!  Our projects are updated regularly on our page on Volunteer Methow, which is also where you’d sign up for specific tasks.  If you haven’t checked out the new Volunteer Methow website yet, we highly encourage you to browse around for a few minutes.  There are dozens of tasks listed by over two dozen Methow organizations (and growing weekly)!  Our own volunteering webpage lists all of our upcoming volunteer needs too.

The Featured Activity this month is:
A River Restoration Planting Project on June 3rd. 

Come take part in a community restoration day at the WDFW floodplain site on the Old Twisp Hwy between Winthrop and Twisp. Several dozen volunteers are needed! Drop in anytime between 10am and 2pm.  Many hands will make quick work of planting and caging native trees and shrubs to help restore this old side-channel and floodplain. While you'll there, you can also wander the new public trail system and learn about the habitat restoration work from Rob Crandall. There will also be opportunities to practice fly casting techniques with local experts from the North Cascades Fly Fishers Club, and to study aquatic insects and learn the art of fly tying from instructor Leaf Seaburg. This is an all-ages event. Many able-bodied adults are needed to help plant and cage trees.

Kids 10 and up are welcome. If kids want to take part in the "Methow Skills" Fly-Casting and Fly-Tying lessons, they should also contact TwispWorks and get on the free sign-up sheet. Click here for this kids' piece of the event.

Sponsored by the Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife, TwispWorks, the Methow Conservancy, Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, North Cascades Fly Fishers, and Methow Fly Fishing Adventures


Update from the “Ag” Desk
In May, our Agricultural Coordinator Alyssa Jumars hosted a “Farm to Chef & Shelf” event for local producers and local buyers, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The afternoon included farm tours to Willowbrook Farm and Booth Canyon Orchard, and a working session at the Twisp Grange to discuss the components of successful farmer-buyer relationships. With insight from the 30 attending local farmers and buyers, the session generated constructive ideas for how to make sourcing and navigating local products easier for buyers, and how to make working with small and dispersed Methow buyers more efficient for local producers. One key take-away is that consumers drive the need for more access to local food - when you shop and eat out, asking for what’s local will help ensure that store and restaurant owners know how important local food is to you!

Alyssa also hosted a soils workshop in May, bringing WSU soil scientist Doug Booth Canyon Orchard TourCollins and Conservation District soil scientist Leslie Michel to present to a group of Methow farmers. Leslie presented her research on cover cropping, and Doug gave us a two-hour refresher on soil chemistry and fertility.  Doug also demonstrated a brand-new, proxy test for nitrate-availabilty that growers can easily replicate at home.  This new test provides growers an inexpensive, easy, and instant way to test the availability of nitrogen to plants at any given time during the growing season -- providing valuable information about how and when to apply composts and soil amendments.

Now and through the summer, we are working with a handful of producers to create an ongoing series of "virtual" farm tours, exploring some of the finer points of growing great food and stewarding the land in the Methow Valley.  Stay tuned -- and don't forget to visit our new Methow farm directory - www.methowgrown.org - as you seek locally-grown goodies this summer!    (Photo by Rachelle Weymueller)

Making Money & Making a Living in the Methow: A Methow GenNxt Event
Wednesday, May 24 at 6:30pm at the old “Motion” Federated Auto Parts store on Glover Street

Are you a young adult (early 20s to 40s) who cares about the future of the Methow Valley?  Please come to a free social and discussion with your peers about local economic issues and what’s needed to create a healthy economy Valley-wide with sustainable opportunities for making money and making a living.

Ever wonder about the numbers behind the Methow Valley’s economy? How exactly do people make a living here? Or do they make a living at all? Have you seen economic opportunities and wondered why they’re not being explored? Have you noticed vulnerabilities in the community that make you worry?

Hannah McIntosh of TwispWorks will share some recent research on the Methow’s job market and help guide a lively discussion on sustainable economic vitality based on the experiences of local young adults.

We’ll have food and drinks of course, and the topic-based discussion will be lively and focused. We'll also do a quick promo of the Volunteer Methow website!  All are welcome, regardless of whether you've been able to come to any of the previous events.

The old Federated auto parts store is the pink building on the corner of Glover and 2nd (and the newest empty store front on Glover, which is why we choose it!).  RSVP are greatly appreciated but they are not required so please come if you can. Questions? Contact Mary at the Methow Conservancy at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org

“Methow GenNxt” is the Methow Conservancy’s effort to engage, learn from and support the “next generation” of conservation-minded young adults (early 20s to early 40s) who love the Methow Valley, whether they grew up here, live here now or just visit.


Got Weeds?
Along with the spring wildflowers, unfortunately, comes many noxious, invasive weeds.  Now and through the coming weeks is a great time to look around your property, especially if it burned in previous summers, for non-native plants and get an early start on controlling weeds.

Our "Invasive Weed Guide" can help you identify local weeds and learn what to do about them. Click on a weed "card" to get details, photos and videos. We are working on adding more cards right now!

You can also talk to us in person at our annual Weed & Native Plant Education Booth at the Methow Valley Farmers Market in Twisp.  Our knowledgeable volunteers will be there four Saturdays: May 27, June 3, June 10 and June 17.  We showcase live common weeds as well as many good native plants; share what advice we can; and give away take-home resources like our Restoring Shrub-Steppe in the Methow Valley handbook (which we are also happy to mail to you).

Another way to learn which weeds are which and what to do about them is to join us on a free Weed Education Walk! We have walks scheduled on June 5 and 17. See below for the list of all of our walks, and how to sign up.  And, you can also email, call or stop by our office with weed questions anytime!

Education Outdoors
Our spring walk series is going great and there are a few more to come if you keep meaning to sign up for one.  We also have some splendid upcoming weekend workshops.  We’d love to have you join us!

Naturalist "Walk & Talk"

Photo by Mary KiesauOur free weekly nature walks with Mary Kiesau, the Methow Conservancy’s Educational ProgramsDirector, focused mostly on flowers in April & May and now we are turning our attention to the singing birds (plus two walks on noxious weeds).  These outings are perfect for people of all ages and levels of knowledge - no experience is required and we even have binoculars you can borrow.  Children who are able to walk for two hours are welcome to attend with a chaperone. We’ll go to a different location on each walk.  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 mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870.

Monday May 29, 7:00-9:00am bird walk in Winthrop
Monday, June 5th, 5:00-6:30pm invasive weed walk in Winthrop
Monday, June 12th, 7:00-9:00am bird walk in Twisp
Friday, June 16th, 7:00-9:00am bird walk, location TBA

Photo by Mary Kiesau.Spring Naturalists’ Retreat
June 1st at 5pm through June 4th at 1pm, $200*  (3 spots left!)

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.  There are just 3 spots left!  Click here for more information.

Salamander Night Crawl
June 8th, 8:30pm-11pm, $10*

Come out for a night-time adventure of searching for young (larval) salamanders!  Salamanders in the Methow can be difficult to find.  One of the easiest ways to find them, and to learn where they are breeding, is to go to breeding ponds at night, when the animals are active.  This unique field trip will start with a short indoor session where we’ll learn a bit more about these animals, as well as frogs, and then we’ll head on out to the field.  Bring waders if you have them.  If not, bring rubber boots or sandals and shorts.  Do be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp, and be prepared to wade into some mucky water.  Lead by the Methow Conservancy’s very own amphibian expert Julie Grialou!  Space is limited to 10 people and registration is required.  Contact us for more details or to reserve your spot at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870.

Discover Passes Help 4th Graders Keep Exploring
On Friday, May 26th we’ll host our last School Yard Science session of the 2016-17 school year.  As part of the student’s International Baccalaureate unit on “where we are in place and time,” we’ll be doing an in-depth study of maps. From aerial mapping to topographical maps, we’ll wonder why we use different maps at different times and we’ll explore our ability to follow maps to treasure in the school yard.

“We end this second year of School Yard Science feeling more excited than ever,” notes Associate Director Sarah Brooks who works with 4th grade teachers Mr. Haley and Ms. Surface to coordinate the program. “We’re really hitting our stride with integrating the school yard time with what the students are doing in the classroom and that makes it so much more fun and meaningful for the students.”

As a year-end thank you, we will be sending home our Methow Valley Field Guide and a free Discover Pass to each of the 4th grade families. 

“We realized that these students have become great observers and inquirers about nature and the outdoors and we want to encourage them to continue their adventuring after School Yard Science ends,” says Sarah.  “We’re really excited to inspire these school yard scientists to keep exploring on our public lands.  There are so many great places to wonder about the natural world here in the Methow and we hope that the Discover Passes will help all of the 4th grade families spend some time outside this summer.  It’s a small way for us to say thank you for spending the school year with us.”

We will look forward to hearing about some of their adventures this summer and are already planning for the kick-off of School Yard Science in September!

Big Thanks! 
Thanks to all of you who participated in the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBig 2017 day on May 10th. So many of you chose to support the organizations you love on this big day of giving. We greatly appreciate the 74 donors who contributed more than $12K for conservation in the Methow Valley!  And, all told, the Seattle Foundation reports that the Northwest raised more than $18 million for causes throughout the state. So cool! Thank you!

High School Student Summer Internship
Liberty Bell High School Students: we’d love to have you intern with us!  We’ve hosted Liberty Bell high school volunteer interns for many summers and are looking for one or two eager and motivated students to join us this summer.  A minimum of 20 hours is requested (think community service hours or senior project!).

Download the application form here and submit it by June 16.  Questions?  Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 509-996-2870.

New Members  - Thank You!
Our new members in May were:  Simone Alin & Gordon Holtgrieve; Heidi, Leslie & Finn Durham; Louise Goldman; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Greeley; Peter Hill; Heather Lisagor; and Russell Post.  Thank you for inspiring people to care for the land of the Methow Valley!

Public Notice: Comment on our Compliance with National Land Trust Standards
The National Land Trust Accreditation Commission recognizes land conservationorganizations that meet quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Methow Conservancy is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of accreditation. A public comment period is now open.  Learn more here!

Methow Conservancy Events

May 24th: Making Money & Making a Living in the Methow: A Methow GenNxt Event, 6:30-8:00pm, free, at the vacant “Motion” Auto Parts store on Glover St.  Are you a young adult who cares about the future of the Methow Valley?  Please come to a free social and discussion with your peers about local economic issues and what’s needed to create a healthy economy Valley-wide with sustainable opportunities for making money and making a living.  Drinks and snacks provided.  The event is free.  Contact Mary at the Methow Conservancy at 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org if you have questions.  Click here for more details.

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

May 30th: Methow Conservancy Monthly Program “River Restoration: Comparing the Elwha and Methow Rivers” with award-winning engineer Jennifer Bountry, 7:00-8:30pm, free, at the Merc Playhouse. (This serves as our June “First Tuesday.”) See above for more details.

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.org. There are just 3 spots left! Click here for more information

June 5th: Methow Conservancy Invasive Weed Walk & Talk, 5:00 - 6:30pm with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

June 8th: Salamander Night Crawl, 8:30-11:00pm, $10*.  Come out for a night-time adventure of searching for young (larval) salamanders!  See above for more details.

June 12th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 7:00 - 9:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

June 16th: Methow Conservancy Naturalist Walk & Talk, 7:00 - 9:00am with Mary Kiesau. See above for more details.  Free.

June 24th: Firewise Walk & Talk, 9:00-11:00am, free, in the Edelweiss community near Mazama. Kirsten Cook from the Okanogan Conservation District will share what factors make a home more or less likely to ignite in a wildfire, and what you can do to reduce your risk on your property and in your neighborhood.  We’ll meet at the Edelweiss Pool for about 30 minutes of talking, then we’ll walk within Edelweiss and go to an individual home to look at and discuss Firewise elements on the ground and at the house.  RSVPs are appreciated but not required.  Please contact Mary at the Methow Conservancy at 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org.  The event is free and all are welcome.

August 1st: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” Program, “An Eclipse to Remember: Where Will You Be on August 21, 2017?” with David Ingram of the International Dark Sky Association, 7:00-8:30pm, in the Sun Mountain Lodge Pasayten Room, free. Come early to enjoy dinner in the bar or restaurant!

September 5th: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” Program, “The Bluebird Man,” film followed by a talk with Ken Bevis, 7:00-8:30pm, free, location TBA.
October 7-8th:  Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class, $200*.  This class is full with a wait list. 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 register at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org

News from Other Organizations

The Society for Range Management and the Society for Ecological Restoration are teaming up to host a Restorative Grasslands Conference, June 6-8th. The conference will feature unique tours of restorative native grasslands in the Columbia Basin, as well as a variety of engaging workshops about native plants, pollinators, and birds.  Click for details and registration, or contact Catherine.Cannon@wa.usda.gov.

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

The Okanogan Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society offers flower and other naturalist hikes through the spring and summer. See their offerings here.

Looking for a job with a Washington Land Trust? There are several great job postings from organizations in WA (and OR too) at the Washington Association of Land Trusts jobs page.

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 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