The Methow Conservancy, in Washington State's Methow Valley
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October 2008 ENews

Monthly Program:  Wild Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest
Monday, October 13th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Twisp River PubMushroom, photo by Mary Kiesau
We are finally back at the Twisp River Pub for our monthly programs, but not quite back to the “1st Tuesday” schedule.  Please join us this month on the second Monday for a great mushroom presentation by Mick Mueller.  Mick, an ecologist with a mycology background (mushroom expert) from the US Forest Service (Okanogan-Wenatchee NF, Wenatchee River Ranger District), will give a presentation on the huge variety of mushrooms (and other fungi) that live under our feet and play an important role in forest ecology.  Mick is highly regarded in the mushroom world and gives a great presentation – don’t miss this one!

The pub will open at 6:00 p.m. for attendees who would like to purchase drinks or something from the light menu.  The event is free and open to everyone.  Questions?  Contact Mary at 996-2870 or

Western WA Members:  Don’t Miss the Methow Mixer in Seattle
Monday, October 6th from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Flagship REI store in downtown Seattle
Join us at this unique event where we bring the MethowPast Methow Mixer, photo by Mary Kiesau to Seattle for an evening of food, fun and prizes.  If you live on the Westside of the mountains, but have a special place in your heart for the Methow, you'll have a great time at this unique event.  Enjoy an evening of community and conservation with interesting booths, news from our Executive Director, free raffle prizes, membership gifts, and the Great Methow Treasure Hunt!  Plus, we’ll debut a short film by Terry Hunt about farmland in the Valley and what the Methow Conservancy is doing to protect it.  Free desserts from the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery, and great organic coffee from the Methow’s Backcountry Coffee Roasters await you!  RSVPs (by 10/3) are appreciated but not required.  To RSVP or for more information call 996-2870 or email

Here's a sneak peak at some of the items you could win at the Methow Mixer:

  • REI Quarter Dome T3 Tent
  • REI Ridgeline Pack
  • MVSTA two 3-day trail passes
  • REI Shuksan jacket with eVent fabric
  • Burnt Finger BBQ two $25 gift Certificates
  • REI Kulshan pant with eVent fabric
  • One year subscription to the Methow Valley News or lunch with the publisher at the Twisp Pub

AND, if you complete the Great Methow Treasure Hunt trivia card, you will be eligible to win a 2-Night Stay at Sun Mountain Lodge or a Heli-Ski Tour with North Cascade Heli-Skiing!

Join us in Seattle for this evening of friendship and conservation as we bring the Methow to you!  The event is open to everyone – bring a friend! 

NEW DATE:  Saturday, October 4th
Exotic Terranes, Floods, Faults, and Hoodoos:  The Story Behind the Pipestone Formation – A Free Methow Conservancy Fieldtrip, Oct 4th Pipestone Canyon, photo by Mary Kiesau
Have you ever wondered how Pipestone Canyon formed?  Do you know how this canyon ties into the larger events that shaped the Methow Valley?  Join us October 4th from 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for this free geology fieldtrip and find out! (We realized that valley-floor hunting season starts on Oct 11th and thought it was best to move this field-trip up!)

Our Pipestone rock formations tell a unique story of eroding mountain ranges, glacial flooding, Dawn redwood trees, igneous intrusions and geologic terrane bounding faults.  Bring your hiking boots and your lunch for a hike with Methow Conservancy Stewardship Associate (and geology enthusiast) Eric Bard.  We will travel down canyon and down section (younger to older) in search of hoodoos, conglomerates, fossils, clastic dikes, and granitic rock as we learn how the Pipestone ties into local geologic history.

Meet at the Winthrop MVSTA trailhead (next to Winthrop Fitness and PT) at 9:30 a.m. sharp on Oct 4th.  Please come prepared for all weather, and bring food and water.  No geology knowledge needed!

The field-trip is open to everyone and no registration is needed.  For more information contact Eric or Mary at 996-2870 or

Leaving a Legacy of Farmland
Our latest conservation easement is a uniquely special one – it’s an addition to our first agricultural easement. Boesel Easement, photo by Steve Bondi Back in 1999, when we were just getting started, Craig Boesel, a rancher on the East County Rd, took a leap of faith and protected a 63-acre parcel with us.  Last month, Craig renewed his commitment to leaving a legacy for the Methow Valley by working with us to protect an additional 37 contiguous acres, creating a 100-acre area of permanently protected, irrigated farmland.
Craig’s easement land is in a corridor of local conservation priority because of its uninterrupted habitats and abundant open space, established farming infrastructure, and productive soils.  Because of landowners like Craig, within three river miles of this property there are five conservation easement properties protecting farmland and riparian habitat on 250+ acres and approximately 15,000 feet (3 miles) of both banks of the Methow River.

Along the Methow River on the Boesel easement property, mixed conifer and deciduous vegetation provides riparian and in-stream habitat for fish species such asBoesel Easement, photo by Dawn Woodruff federally endangered Chinook salmon and steelhead and federally threatened bull trout.  Most of the property is pasture land and upland vegetation types that provide important forage, security cover, and movement corridors for a wide variety of wildlife, including mule deer, amphibians, waterfowl, migratory songbirds, and raptors including State candidate golden eagles.

For Craig Boesel, protecting his land is not only about ecological conservation, but also about preserving agricultural values and enabling future generations to experience the connection to land he has had his whole life.  As Craig poetically shared with us, “It’s not just fields of dirt and rock I see; when I look, it’s memories that have come to be.”

We thank Craig for his courage and commitment to protecting his family land and our valley’s farming heritage (and future!).

Hearth, Health and Home: A Halloween FUNraiser!
Friday, October 31st from 7:00 to midnight at the Grange Hall in Twisp
With fall arriving, Halloween is surprisingly not too far away.  Join fellow community supporters for a Halloween Costume Ball and Community FUNraiser to benefit The Cove (Hearth), Aero Methow (Health) and the Methow Conservancy (Home).  Dance the night away to Terry Hunt's Rock Band, eat sweets and treats by Chef Todd Brown and enjoy a no-host bar.  Costumes highly encouraged as there will be a prize for the best costume!

A ticket is needed to attend and all proceeds will benefit the three organizations.  The $30 entry ticket includes one drink ticket and sweets and treats.  Tickets are available through The Cove, Aero Methow, and the Methow Conservancy.  Pick the organization you wish to support, purchase your tickets through them, and they'll get 100% of the proceeds.  If you'd like to support the Methow Conservancy with your ticket purchase, call or email Emily today (996-2870) to reserve your ticket.  There are a limited number of tickets so get them quickly!  Ask Emily about volunteering if you are interested.

Dave Sabold wins the Ken White Award, photo by Mary KiesauAnnual Conservation Award Winners
The Methow Conservancy is constantly humbled and inspired by the dedication and talents of volunteers.  Each year, we recognize two volunteers for their outstanding work on behalf of conservation in the Methow Valley with our Ken White and Susie Stephens Conservation Volunteer Awards.  At our Cider Squeeze event on September 28th, we presented Dave Sabold with the Ken White Award and Laurelle Walsh with Susie Stephens Award.

Known by many as the Methow’s naturalist, Ken White was a self-taught conservationist who shared his deep passion for this beautiful valley with everyone he met.  The Ken White award is given to those who carry on Ken’s love for the Methow Valley with a deep commitment to conservation.  This year’s award was given to Dave Sabold for his decades of humbly building connections between Laurelle Walsh receives the Susie Stephens Award, photo by Mary Kiesaupeople and the land of the Methow Valley, his quiet yet strong leadership of the Methow Conservancy, and his special ability to make everyone feel welcome in the natural world. 

Susie Stephens was a friendly, active and positive force at the Methow Conservancy until a tragic accident took her life in 2002.  The Susie Stephens award is given to someone who carries on Susie’s endless energy for helping others and her strong belief that education about conservation can make a difference.  This year’s award was presented to Education Committee member Laurelle Walsh for her tireless volunteer work spearheading new projects, organizing inspiring educational events for kids, and always providing energy and passion for conservation.

Thank you and congratulations to both Dave and Laurelle!

Cage-A-Tree, Save a Riparian Area
Stewardship Volunteers Needed October 16th and 23rd!

Our “Cage-A-Tree” project to restore shoreline forest habitats has been a big hit this summer.  At just three properties, we’ve caged over 300 young trees to protect them from deer browsing.  We have two more work-parties scheduled and would love some extra hands.  Volunteers will work with our Stewardship Associate, Eric Bard, and get an inside look at why some of our shoreline habitats are in danger and what we are doing to help. 

The work-parties are from 9:00 am until Noon, and lunch is provided.  We promise it will be a rewarding experience!  Contact us at 996-2870 or email if you can help.

Find the Methow Conservancy on Facebook
Are you on Facebook?  So is the Methow Conservancy!  While we can’t claim to be totally hip to all the modern technology out there, you can now find us on Facebook.  We are still developing our page, but you’ll find the latest information about all our upcoming events, detailed information about what we do, and maybe even friends of yours!  We welcome suggestions and ideas for our page. In the meantime, we hope you'll become a "fan," and check back often for new events, photos and more!  Check us out!

Giving Back
October marks the beginning of our annual membership drive.  If you are a member, keep your eyes out for your renewal packet in the mail in the next few weeks.  If you are on our mailing list but not yet a member, you should receive a new member invitation. Otherwise, feel free to contact us or click here if you’d like to join our efforts!

Membership support is vital to our conservation efforts.  Over 50% of our operating income comes from direct public support - that means from people like you.  Read more about us and what we do here. If you'd like to review our 2007-2008 Annual Report, click here.Our office is located at 315 Riverside Ave in Winthrop. Come see us!

This is the one time of year we specifically ask you to join or renew. Though many of you give during other times of the year, and are welcome to do so, we do not track or send renewals on a monthly basis or send appeals throughout the year.

Also, just a quick reminder that we mailed our annual Business Membership requests in September.  A business membership is another great way to support our work.  Visit our business membership webpage and call Emily at 996-2870 for more information.

Thank you very much for your support!  We could not protect the Methow Valley that we all know and love without your help.  We welcome your thoughts and questions anytime.  Reach us at 996-2870 or

The Solace of Open Spaces is our Bookclub selection for OctoberNatural History Book Club
If you are following along, we hope you enjoyed our September book, The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner.  October’s book is The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich.  Our Natural History Book Club is no longer meeting monthly but we hope to continue providing you with great natural history books.  Stay tuned to E-News for each month’s book, and let us know what you think about a book or if you have a book to suggest.  See the previous books we’ve read at our Book Club page.

Below, you'll find announcements about events or publications (ours and those of other organizations) that we think you might find interesting.

  • October 4th:  Geology Fieldtrip “Exotic Terranes, Floods, Faults, and Hoodoos:  The Story Behind the Pipestone Formation,”9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  The field-trip is free and open to everyone.  No registration is needed.  See above for more details.  (This fieldtrip was originally scheduled for Oct 11th, please note the new date!)

  • October 6th:  5th Annual Methow Mixer, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Flagship REI store in downtown Seattle. Join us at this unique event where we bring the Methow to the Westside for an evening of food, fun and prizes.  RSVPs appreciated but not required.  See above for more details or contact us at or 996-2870 for more information.

    Mushroom, photo by Mary Kiesau

  • October 13th:  Methow Conservancy monthly program – Wild Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Twisp River Pub.  Mick Mueller will give a presentation on the huge variety of mushrooms that live under our feet and come out for daylight in the fall.  The event is free and open to everyone. 

  • October 16th:  Cage-A-Tree Riparian Restoration Volunteer Project, 9:00 a.m. – Noon.  Contact Eric at 996-2870 or if you are interested.  See above for more details.

  • October 23rd:  Cage-A-Tree Riparian Restoration Volunteer Project, 9:00 a.m. – Noon.  Contact Eric at 996-2870 or if you are interested. 

  • October 31st:  Hearth, Health and Home: A Halloween FUNraiser!  Join fellow community supporters for a Halloween Costume Ball and Community FUNraiser to benefit The Cove (Hearth), Aero Methow (Health) and the Methow Conservancy (Home).  From 7:00 to midnight at the Grange Hall in Twisp.  Tickets required.  See above for more details.

  • November 11th:  Methow Conservancy monthly program (on the 2nd Tuesday due to Election Day) – Edible, Medicinal, and Poisonous Plants of the Methow Valley, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Twisp River Pub.  Rosalee de la Foret will help us explore everything from beloved natives to disastrous weeds and look at how they have been used in the past as well as today for the health and well-being of humankind. We’ll also look to the villains of the valley to learn what poisonous plants have to teach us. This informative evening will be full of pictures and tasty recipes right from your back yard.

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    315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71    Winthrop, WA 98862     509.996.2870