September 2013 ENews

September 10th (second Tuesday) "Swan's Journey - Understanding the World's Largest Waterfowl"
7:00 - 8:30pm at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp
Washington’s native Trumpeter and Tundra swans migrate through the Methow annually. Learn about their life history, biology, and habitat needs, such as the farmland, ponds and riparian areas of the Methow. Martha Jordan has studied these beautiful creatures for decades. Martha will share excellent photos and information about how we can help swans in winter. Take home a free Swan Identification Pamphlet too!Come learn about Swans on September 10th.

“…I think that over the years I began to realize that to each and every person a swan is something special…it’s something about their grace and beauty… …it’s something about that they mate for life…it’s something about the grandeur of such a large impressive bird…it’s something about how they move that just simply stirs something in each one of us. They’re extremely mysterious…I call them ‘the knowledge bringers’…You never know what they are going to bring you next.”
                                                                              - Martha Jordan

Trumpeter Swans, the largest waterfowl in the world, have been brought back from the brink of extinction and once again grace our skies and waterways. They continue to call us to action for conservation of farmland and wetlands. Come, share and learn the facts, myths and legends of the swans of Washington’s winter.

Martha Jordan is a wildlife biologist who has studied swans for over 30 years. She helped create the first swan management plan, and contributes information to state and federal agencies on the status of Trumpeter Swans in Washington State. She was a long time Board member of The Trumpeter Swan Society and currently chairs the Washington Swan Stewards, the local TTSS group. She also raises swans to be released in the wild.

The event is free and open to everyone. The Merc will open at 6:30 and drinks will be available for purchase. For more information, contact Mary at 996-2870 or

More Lower Valley Orchard Land Protected with Easement #99
Orchardists Keith & Deb Stennes recently completed their fourth conservation easement with the Methow Conservancy.  Their work to preserve their scenic and productive orchards, shrub-steppe habitat and river frontage has permanently protected over 315 acres in the lower Methow Valley to date.
The newest conservation easement consists of approximately 19 acres, the majority of which are planted in apples, pluots and cherries.  It is located on Highway 153 between the towns of Methow and Pateros, and includes approximately 2063 feet of Methow River frontage.

The Stennes family has been growing fruit in the lower Methow Valley since 1894, when Britanus Stennes, a Norwegian immigrant, first homesteaded in the area.  Keith began managing the family business, Stennes Orchards, in 1968 and his twin sons, Mark and Kevin, are the fourth generation, farming with him today.  In 1998 Keith began converting much the original family homestead to organic production  -- Cascade Crest Organics

Next time you are driving up or down the lower Valley, give a shout of thanks to the Stennes’ for their commitment to conservation and gift of land protection for all of us and many generations to come!

Annual Cider Squeeze & Social
Saturday, September 28th from 2:00 – 4:00pm
The Sabold Residence, 17 Bean Rd (1 mile south of Winthrop on the East County Rd)

Mark your calendars and start cleaning some jugs for our annual Cider Squeeze at Dave and Marilyn Sabold’s house just south of Winthrop. This sweet event is always a special, family-friendly time to celebrate community, conservation and the harvest season! There’s fun for all ages. We hope you’ll join us!

Help us shake apple trees and pick apples for the event!
Volunteer Days are Monday through Thursday, September 23rd - 26th
Contact Sarah at 996-2870 or to help.

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 cider.

Everyone can take a turn working the unique and historic apple press, and take home cider. Bring your own jug or take a plastic jug from us. We usually have enough apples, but if you have some cider apples to share feel free to bring them (there’s no need to purchase apples).

This unique celebration is free and everyone is welcome!
Contact us at 996-2870 or if you have questions or need directions. Here’s a map noting the north and south driveway entrances and the Sabold’s house.

Make Landjager Sausage in our next Methow Essentials Class
Our “skills-building” Methow Essentials class series has been a big hit!  Check out the upcoming classes and contact Mary to register at or 509-996-2870.

“Sausage Making” Class
September 21st, 10am – 1pm
$35 (includes materials), space limited
Learn from homesteader extraordinaire Jim Salter how to make dry cured sausage in a hands-on class.  We'll provide USDA pork from Thompson’s Custom Meats, plus the spices, casings and cure.  Work in a commercial kitchen with stuffers and grinders to make and then TAKE HOME Landjager, a dry cured sausage.  Participants just need to bring a cutting board, a sharp knife and a mixing bowl.

See all our Methow Essentials classes here.

Good News on the Comprehensive Plan
We’re pleased to report some good news following the August 26th Okanogan County Planning Commission meeting!  At that meeting, the Planning Commission recommended that the County Commissioners adopt both of the existing Methow Valley land use plans as addendums to the new County Comprehensive Plan, subject to minor updating by Staff.  We’ll continue to monitor & be active in the planning process, with the goal of seeing over 40 years of good land use planning in the Methow Valley carried forward as a solid foundation for the future.  We expect that the County Commissioners will take action on the new Comprehensive Plan later this fall, and we will continue to keep you updated as the process continues.

Fall Field Classes
There are two more natural history classes this fall.  Join us before the snow flies!  To register or for more information, contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or

Tuesday, September 24th: Raptor ID & Conservation Fieldtrip
10am – 4pm, free but space is limited to 12 people so registration is required.
This trip is full but contact us to get on the waitlist in case a space opens!

Some interesting developments are occurring in raptor migration science, and Chelan Ridge is leading the way. Join us for a small-group trip to the educational and amazing Chelan Ridge hawk migration station near Cooper Mountain at the south end of the valley. 
See more details on our Events Page.

October 19th - 20th: Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class
All day both days, $185*, space limited, REGISTER NOW
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. This style is an excellent way to learn and investigate, with the goal being to attain a professional certificate in wildlife tracking through Cybertracker Conservation.

David and a co-instructor will actively engage participants in the process of identification and interpretation of tracks and signs encountered in the field. An interactive approach with time for questions and discussion will provide opportunities for participants to share their thoughts openly and ask detailed questions of the evaluators. We will strive to expose participants to the widest possible diversity of tracks and signs in the Methow, and the two-day class is entirely field based at various places around the valley.  See photos from our last track and sign certification class.

Cybertracker is an international non-profit conservation organization that provides training and evaluations to help people develop their practical observation skills. Cybertracker’s Wildlife Tracking Certification has become the international standard for professional and amateur certification in the field of wildlife tracking. 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 $185 per person. Participants who are beginners may want to study lightly and/or read a tracking guidebook, such as Dave's "Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest." Lodging and food are on you own but we can give you suggestions if need be. To register or for more information, contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or

Save the Date in Seattle!  Annual Methow Mixer at EVO
Wednesday, October 30th, 7:00 - 9:00pm, free, at evo in Seattle

Westsiders, mark your calendar now for a dose of the Methow in Seattle! Our annual Methow Mixer is going to be Wednesday evening, October 30th at evo in Fremont, and it’s going to be “wild” this year!

As always, the Methow Mixer is a fun time to meet and mingle with others who share your affection for the Methow Valley, and we’ll have sweet treats and drinks. In addition to the socializing, the Mixer will feature a photo and fact-filled program that will give you an even greater appreciation for the Methow Valley and the Great Northwest.

Wolves in the Land of Salmon
Speaker David Moskowitz, a naturalist, educator, wildlife tracker, author and photographer who has worked with the Methow Conservancy many times, will share stunning photography and stories about the life history, ecology, and conservation of the Pacific Northwest's gray wolf, from the Pacific coast to the edge of the Rocky Mountains.  Observing wolves at close range in the stunning wildlands of the Northwest has allowed Dave to explore how they live, hunt and communicate.

David will be selling and signing copies of his new book "Wolves in the Land of Salmon" at the event.  Read more about David's book here.  He is also the author of “Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest.” He has contributed his technical expertise to a wide variety of wildlife studies regionally and in the Canadian and U.S. Rocky mountains, focusing on using tracking and other non-invasive methods to study wildlife ecology and promote conservation. 

evo is at 3500 Stone Way, Seattle, WA 98103 (the corner of 35th & Stone Way N).  The event is free and everyone is welcome, kids too! For more information, contact us at 509-996-2870 or

New Members
We’re grateful that new people join our list of supporters each month. Here is a list of the people and businesses who became new members of the Methow Conservancy between July 30th and Sept. 3rd: Patricia Baron, Dr. Hilary Kemp, Oren Townsend, and Glen Waugh.  Thank you for becoming members and supporting our efforts!

Sept 10th:  Methow Conservancy First Tuesday program, “Swan's Journey - Understanding the World's Largest Waterfowl," with swan expert Martha Jordan, 7pm at the Merc Playhouse.  Free.  See more details above.

Sep 21st:  “Methow Essentials” Sausage Making Class, 10am – 1pm, $35.  Learn from homesteader extraordinaire Jim Salter how to make dry cured sausage in a hands-on class.  Take home your works of sausage art!  More details here.

Sept 28th: Methow Conservancy Annual Cider Squeeze & Social, 2pm - 4pm at Dave and Marilyn Sabold’s house, free.  Everyone is welcome to this fun event that celebrates community, conservation and the harvest season. Take a turn on the historic apple press and take home fresh apple cider.

Oct 1st: Methow Conservancy First Tuesday program, “Frank Matsura in Context: His Eye and His Contemporaries,” with renowned photography historian Rod Slemmons, 7pm at the Winthrop Barn.  Free.  Co-sponsored by the Okanogan Historical Society.  Rod Slemmons will place Frank Matsura's work in the context of his fellow photographers in the Northwest and beyond at the beginning of the 20th Century. He will also discuss the photographic technology of the time and the various cameras Matsura used.  Attendees can also look at many of Matsura‘s original glass plates, and a selection of his framed prints.  See our Events page for more details

Oct 19-20th:  Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class, $185*.  Spend two full days in the field with professional wildlife tracker, naturalist and educator, David Moskowitz. David's approach is highly interactive, and is an excellent way to learn and investigate, with the goal being to attain a certificate in wildlife sign and tracking.  More details here.

Oct 30th: Methow Mixer and “Wolves in the Land of Salmon” at evo in Seattle, 7-9pm, free.  See more details above.

Nov 5th:  Methow Conservancy First Tuesday program, “Storytelling for Change,” with local filmmakers Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele, 7pm at the Twisp River Pub, free.  Benj and Sara have been telling stories about people, nature and climate change for over a decade. They will share some of their projects, including a series of short films on climate change in the Pacific Northwest.  See our Events page for more details

News from Other Organizations
Check out the upcoming news & events from other organizations and businesses!

Sept 8th: Classroom in Bloom Garden Party, 4pm, free. Celebrate the thriving schoolyard garden and let Classroom in Bloom thank you with a beautiful evening among flowers, vegetables, birdsong and the community. There will be refreshments, delicious garden pizza, a garden hat contest, kickball for kids and music.

Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration FestivalSept 14th - 15th: Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival This fun and informative event combines family activities in Pateros with free shuttle trips to Chelan Ridge to learn about and celebrate raptors as they journey to their winter territories. Sponsored by Methow Valley Ranger District, North Central Washington Audubon Society, and HawkWatch International.  Sign up for the shuttle to Chelan Ridge here.

Sept 29th: Community Harvest Potluck, 4pm at TwispWorks.  Join TwispWorks, the Methow Valley Interpretive Center and your neighbors in celebration of the harvest, changing seasons and our hard working local farmers and food producers.  Celebrate the season, picnic style, with friends and live music! Bring a potluck side dish, dessert or beverage to share. Let TwispWorks know if you are coming and what you’re bringing by RSVP’ing here, or call 509-997-3300 for more information.

Oct 6th: The 4th Annual Washington Young Farmer’s Mixer, Oct 6, 5pm, at Filaree Farm in Okanogan, free.  Young and new farmers can connect with seasoned, experienced farmers over a spit roast, potluck, conversation and more.  Camping is available.  Email Al Roberts for details and directions.

Nov 2nd: Recycle Your Tires: Okanogan County Public Health is hosting a county-wide one time, free tire recycling and disposal event.  Various sites throughout the county will have one-day events, including Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Twisp Transfer Station.  Click here for the various locations, dates and times, plus the Tire Disposal Request form.

The Okanogan Highlands Alliance is offering, "Highland Wonders," a series of monthly natural history programs. Check out their full calendar.

* 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, fieldtrip, 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.

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Contact us at 509-996-2870 or
315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870