First Tuesday Program - “Smoke in the Air: A community conversation about air quality and health”
Tuesday, October 3, 7:00-8:30pm at the Methow Valley Community Center

Photo by Jason Paulsen.Breathing air – it should be easy right?  This summer we learned it’s a lot more complicated.  AQI, WAQA, PM2.5….  yellow, orange, red…  there’s a lot to understand, and there are things we can do, especially in the winter, to improve our local air quality.  Did you know that we are exposed off and on year-round to unhealthy air?  Dr. Raleigh Bowden and Elizabeth Gribble Walker, PhD with the Methow Valley Clean Air Project will clear the air about our local air pollution, its impact on your health, controllable vs. uncontrollable sources, how to find and interpret real-time air quality information, how to protect your health in hazardous air pollution episodes, and how we can protect vulnerable populations and keep our Methow air clean. A presentation will be followed by an audience-driven panel discussion and Q&A with several experts in various air-quality and health fields.  Please join us for this important community conversation!  
The program is free and open to everyone. The doors open at 6:30pm.  For more information, contact Mary at 996-2870 or

Cider Squeeze Fun
Here are a few photos from the Cider Squeeze on October 1st. Thank you Sabold family for hosting! A good time was had by all.

Back to School!
Yes, this is Sarah.September marks the beginning of another school year, and once again the Methow Conservancy has been invited to the 4th grade.  Methow Valley Elementary 4th grade teachers Don Haley and Tiffany Surface (and student teacher Ray Sanders) have mapped out the whole year of School Yard Science with us.  This will be our third year of exploring scientific principles and ideas outside in the school yard once a month with the 4th grade. 

We kicked off the year with their International Baccalaureate unit on “Who am I” by thinking about what makes a bird a bird.  We talked about adaptations and characteristics that help birds survive and thrive.  As part of the session, we dressed Sarah up as a bird (species unknown!).  We then went outside and split into teams each armed with different “beaks” (aka tools like tweezers or pliers, etc.).  We tried “eating” different items from different habitats to realize that the way our beak moves and functions makes a big difference in where we eat versus go hungry. We were able to make hypotheses, record data, and then analyze our data to test our hypotheses. 

Special thanks to community member Michele Koger who has volunteered to help every month.  Sarah, Heide, and Michele were all impressed with the student’s engagement and their curiosity.  It’s going to be a great year! 

Be a Methow Conservancy Volunteer!
Our volunteer projects are updated regularly on our page on Volunteer Methow.  Browse tasks and register there, or contact us anytime.  Thank you!

The Featured Activity this month is:
Walk a Mile for Roadside Clean-Up
Sunday, October 22, 2:30 - 5:00pm

Help us with some dirty work in our biannual “Adopt-a-Highway” clean-up on Sunday, October 22nd from 2:30pm – 5:00pm.  We need eight able-bodied volunteers to pick up trash and recycling on a short section of Highway 20 between Twisp and Winthrop.  We work in pairs walking ½ mile sections on both sides of the road, so the total mileage per person is around one mile.  We often find some amazing treasures, and we always have a good time!  No experience necessary. You’ll just want some work gloves.


October 3rd:  We need at least 3 people to set-up chairs at the Tuesday, October 3rd First Tuesday Program (see details about that at here).  It’s quick and easy work.  Just show up at 6:15 to help put out about 100 chairs at the Methow Valley Community Center. 

October 4th:  We’d love to have 6 people join us for native sedge seed collecting.  We will be returning to Hancock Creek on Wednesday, October 4th from 1:00-3:00pm to collect sedge seeds for continued restoration work on this large conservation easement. 


The Last Salmon
Friday, October 6th, 7pm; Saturday, October 7th, 7pm; Sunday, October 8th, 2pm
By popular demand,”The Last Salmon” will return to The Merc Playhouse for another Methow run October 6th through 8th!  Mark your calendar now for this incredibly fun show! And, if you remember it from its winter 2016 run, you’ll get your chance to sing along again to those completely catchy tunes!

Based on the book by Phil Davis, The Last Salmon, is a contemporary musical for both kids and adults with live music styles such as hip-hop and indie-pop telling a story that begins with the Native American First Salmon ceremony. You’ll learn about the life cycle of wild salmon by following ‘Buck,” “Spring,” and the rest of their fishy crew from their first explorations of their river home, out into the wide ocean, and then back home again.  Told in a creative and fun-filled manner, this made-in-the-Methow show is directed by Ki Gottberg with music composed by Casey James, and an excellent cast of local performers.

We will be facilitating post-performance community discussions on the topics the show raises for people immediately following the shows on October 6th and 7th.  Get your tickets now!

Last Minute Openings!
Fall Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class
Saturday & Sunday, Oct 7-8th session -TWO SPOTS LEFT
Monday & Tuesday October 9-10th session - TWO SPOTS LEFT
8am-5pm both days, $200*
We've added a new class! 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

Giving Back
It’s that time of the year when we ask for your financial support – when we ask you to think about all the ways the Methow Valley leaves you in awe and to consider how many of them will endure because of your investments in conservation. 
If it has been about a year since your last donation, then you should have recently received our annual appeal mailing. We sure hope you’ll renew your support this year (or support us for the first time!), since gifts from people like you make up more than 70% of our Annual Operating Fund.

Conservation easement in the upper Methow Valley.
This year, we’re offering three different ways to renew your support or to give for the first time:
  • If you received a letter in the mail, you can return the reply card and your donation in the envelope we mailed you.
  • You can always go to our secure website: and click on the “Donate Now” button, especially if you only get emails from us and no “snail mail.”
  • During the month of October, you can participate in the “Give Methow” Campaign sponsored by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington on our page of They’ll cover the credit card fees and offer a “stretch” to each donation made.

If you have already given this year – thank you!  And, if you’re wondering how we put your support to work on the ground in the Methow Valley, just ask.  We’d love to have a conversation.  You can call Sarah at 509-996-2870 or email
We hope you find pride not only in the impact you make on the ground, but also that you find joy in sharing your love for this Valley with others.  We sure appreciate you!

Rally for the Valley
October 1st - December 31st

And, since “giving” doesn’t mean only financial donations, October will also mark the launch of the Rally for the Valley – a 3-month campaign to inspire the community to volunteer a total of 1,000 hours of service to local nonprofit organizations before the end of the year.

You’ll have a chance to add your volunteer hours to the total by using the Volunteer Methow website – the new one-stop-shop for connecting people to community organizations via volunteer opportunities.  Every minute helps!

If you haven’t yet taken a look at the website, you’ll be amazed at the array of ways there are to get involved.  You can view volunteer opportunities by calendar date, by task type, or by organization/cause.  There are currently 35 Methow Valley organizations on the site, and more joining every month.

Thanks go to local residents and programming wizards Neil and Kelli Rotstan who volunteered to make the site, and to the Methow Valley Fund for helping cover the costs of the Rally for the Valley campaign.

Register yourself with Volunteer Methow now and help the Methow reach the goal of 1,000 hours of volunteer service for nonprofit organizations in the Valley.  Whether you live here full-time, part-time or are just planning to visit, you can give back in many, many ways to the Methow Valley!

Update from the Ag Desk

Our "virtual farm tours,” short videos showcasing local farmers and their dedication to raising wholesome food and stewarding the land, have been a huge hit!  Agricultural Coordinator, Alyssa Jumars, and her team of volunteer helpers have continued to visit and video farms this fall.  Keep checking as we continue to post more farm videos!

Hover Highland Cattle, photo by Rachelle Weymuller
Hover Highland Cattle, photo by Rachelle Weymuller

On the more technical and strategic side of things, Alyssa recently attended a 2-day workshop on "Land Access Innovations," hosted by the National Young Farmers' Coalition.  Staff from Washington and Oregon land trusts, non-profits, and agencies gathered to learn about the innovative strategies that land trusts across the country are developing to make farmland more accessible and more affordable to farmers.  Land trusts in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and California are at the forefront of creating and adapting new tools that pair well with traditional conservation easements.  During the workshop, attendees learned about three distinct approaches that land trusts are using to increase access to prime farmland.  Alyssa hopes to continue to research how these models might apply to the Methow Valley: by reaching out to land trusts in other communities that are successfully employing these tools; by discussing with farmers in the Methow, in order to best understand how these tools might serve their needs; and by gauging our community’s desire to increase farmers’ access to stable, land-tenure arrangements.

Methow GenNxt Housing Happy Hour
Monday, Nov 6 at 5:30pm at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery Taproom at TwispWorks

Are you a young adult (early 20s to 40s) who thinks about where you are going to live in the Methow, whether to build or rent, and how to do it affordably?  If housing is a concern or interest to you, please come to a free social and discussion with your peers about OSB taproomlocal housing issues.

Danica Ready of the newly formed Methow Housing Trust will share current news and work happening around housing affordability and availability in the Methow, and then help guide lively group discussions on the various housing issues that are most important to you as local young adults.

We’ll have food and drinks of course, and the topic-based discussion will be lively and focused.  All are welcome, regardless of whether you've been able to come to any of the previous events.

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

“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.

New Members  - Thank You!
Our new members in September were Christine Cho & Mark McDuff, Alice & Arthur Domby, and Donna Werner.  Thank you for inspiring people to care for the land of the Methow Valley!

Methow Conservancy Events

October 3rd: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” Program, “Smoke in the Air: A Community Conversation about Air Quality and Health” with the Methow Valley Clean Air Project, 7:00-8:30pm at the Methow Valley Community Center. Free.  See above for more details.

October 6th - 8th: By popular demand, “The Last Salmon” will return to The Merc Playhouse for another Methow run! See above for details.
October 7-8th:  Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class, $200.  There are two spots left in this class!  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

October 9-10th:  Wildlife Track & Sign Certification Class, $200. There are two spots left in this class!  See the event above for class details.

November 7th:  Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” Program, “Lost Homeland,” with local author and historian Richard Hart (and singer/songwriter Ken Bevis), 7:00-8:30pm, free, at the Merc Playhouse. This unique program is on the history of the Methow tribe, the Columbia Reservation and the beautiful valley and river system that sustained indigenous hunter/gatherer populations for centuries.  Richard will use slides of newly discovered images featured in his new book “Lost Homeland,” while Ken will perform original songs inspired by the beauty of the Methow Valley. Photo by David Moskowitz.

December 5th: Methow Conservancy 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.  Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest is a cinematic journey into 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. With the failure of agencies in the U.S. and Canada to regulate industrial resource extraction effectively, honor the treaty rights of indigenous peoples, and protect the integrity of the natural systems of this region, this film gives voice to First Nations, scientists, foresters, conservationists, and recreationists attempting to chart a new path forward before it is too late.

News from Other Organizations

The Methow Valley Interpretive Center has one more “Last Sunday” presentation on “Cultural Plants” on Oct 29.  See their calendar here.

The Methow Watershed Council presents, “Visible and Invisible Rivers:  Hydraulic continuity between stream flow and groundwater in the Methow Valley" with speak Chris Konrad, Oct 12, 6-8pm at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp.  For more information, visit or email Greg Knott at

Dana Visalli, publisher of The Methow Naturalist, has three upcoming programs including evening programs on Oct 10 and Oct 24, and an 8-session “Ecology of the Methow Watershed” course on Monday nights beginning in November.  See more details at, or contact Dana at 509-997-9011 or

MethowReady is hosting Neighborhood Leader Trainings again.  Choose either Tuesday, October 24th or Wednesday, November 1st, both from 5:30–7:30 pm at Aero Methow Rescue Service in Twisp.  These workshops train you in the “Map Your Neighborhood” program which is designed to help families and neighborhoods prepare for disasters. In a major event, you and your neighbors will be the first responders.  Find out what you can do to prepare your home and your neighborhood.  For more information click here, or email

Citizens Climate Lobby & Audubon Washington are teaming up on Wednesday November 8th to present "Save our farms, forests and fish while strengthening the economy" at 7pm at The Merc Playhouse. Doors open at 6:30pm and the presentation is free and open to the public.

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

*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