November 2013 ENews

First Tuesday Program – “Storytelling for Change”
Tuesday, November 5th, 7:00 - 8:30pm at the Twisp River Pub
Root gatherers; photo by Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy SteeleLocal filmmakers Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele have been telling stories about people, nature and climate change for over a decade. Benj and Sara will share some of their projects and give us a look behind the scenes. They are currently producing a series of films on climate change in the Pacific Northwest, documenting an early warning system for nature with Conservation International, and recently, they launched an interactive website on the future of natural history. Their work has been screened at Mountainfilm in Telluride and the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, published by National Geographic and Smithsonian, and featured in exhibits and presentations around the world. See their work here.

The event is free and open to everyone. The Pub will open around 6pm and a buffet dinner and drinks will be available for purchase.

For more information, contact Mary at 996-2870 or

Love this Valley
We all love the Methow Valley. While we may cherish different things about it, one central fact remains: the Methow Valley makes us feel alive. Love this Valley!

As wild and beautiful, peaceful and awe-inspiring as this Valley is, it needs us as much as we need it. We won’t keep a place this special simply by hoping it so. The truth is, the Methow Valley needs people like all of us to inspire others to care for it.

You should have just received your membership renewal notice, or request to join in the mail. This is your chance to speak, now and for future generations, for the land of the Methow Valley. We know your decision to support our work is a thoughtful one, and we can’t thank you enough for your ongoing support. We are honored to play a role in helping you protect this remarkable valley that you love.

You – and the 800+ other members like you – are the cornerstone of our Annual Operating Fund. We rely on donations from people like you to provide nearly 80% of our Annual Operating Budget. Simply put, you are the lifeblood of conservation in the Methow Valley.

If you have already renewed your membership, THANK YOU! If you’d like to renew or join, use the easy “Donate Now” button on our membership page, or if you received a form in the mail you are welcome to return that. Thank you!

We welcome your thoughts and questions anytime. Reach us at 509-996-2870 or

Thank You to Board Members Coming & Going
New board member Ashley LodatoWe recently welcomed two new community members to our Board of Directors. Please meet Ashley Lodato and Stephanie Stewart!

Ashley grew up as an Air Force child, eventually landing in Wenatchee, WA, where she graduated from high school. Her family often camped and skied in the Methow when she was growing up. Ashley earned a BA in English & Italian Literature from Stanford University, taught high school English at the Ojai Valley School in southern California, and then earned an MA in English Studies from Western WA University. She worked for Outward Bound as an instructor, course director, and program director both seasonally and year-round from 1986-2010. Ashley is now the Education Director for Methow Arts Alliance; she runs an Artist-in-Residence program in seven school districts throughout Okanogan and Douglas counties. Ashley moved to the Methow in 2005 with her husband, Jon. They have two girls, Wyatt (9) and Leki (7). Ashley also writes for Bluebird Grain Farms and the Methow Valley News and works for the Methow Valley Nordic Club.

Stephanie Taylor Stewart has devoted her career to the nonprofit sector, primarily in conservation. She spent 18 years at The Trust for Public Land (TPL), working on conservation real estate projects, including several in the Methow Valley. Her accomplishments include leading the permanent protection of a New board member Stephanie Taylor Stewart500-acre working dairy farm within Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve on Whidbey Island and more than 10,000 acres of timberland along the I-90 corridor. After TPL, Stephanie spent five years as a senior development officer for The Wilderness Society, raising funds to help protect the North Cascades and other wild places across the West. A year ago, she transitioned to the healthcare arena and is now serving as the director of major and planned giving for Overlake Medical Center Foundation in Bellevue.

A Pacific Northwest native, Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University. She lives in Bothell with her husband, Jamie, and their menagerie of chickens and rescue dogs and cats and spends as much time as possible at their home in Winthrop. She is passionate about animals and the outdoors and enjoys horseback riding, cycling, sailing, gardening, cross-country skiing and hiking. Stephanie says she joined the board, “because it's a terrific opportunity to stay engaged in conservation, protecting the landscape I love the most.”

As we add new board members, we also say good-bye and thank you to those who have completed their terms. Following nonprofit best practices, we limit board terms to no more than six continuous years, so that our organization remains fresh and accountable to a changing community. Last month marked the 6th year of service for incredible board member Kevin van Bueren. A past President and always a deep thinker and provoking question-asker, Kevin brought his love for the waterways in the Methow Valley and his perspective as a small business owner to our conservation work.

This month we will also say thank you to Beth and John Sinclair who have completed their full terms. Beth and John shared their love for this landscape, business acumen, and reflections as orchardists to our work.

We are grateful for all of the time, energy, enthusiasm, and innovation that all of our volunteer Board Members bring to our efforts to inspire people to care for the land. We especially thank Kevin, Beth, and John for their dedication!

Holiday Social & December Program
Monday, December 9th at the Winthrop Barn
Mark your calendar for our annual holiday social and December program because it’s going to be a great event!  We will be at the Winthrop Barn again so there will be plenty of room for everyone!  See below for more details, and contact us at 996-2870 or if needed.

Holiday Social & Annual Conservation Awards Ceremony, December 9th from 6:00 - 7:00pm at the Winthrop Barn
Everyone is invited to join the Methow Conservancy in celebrating another amazing year of conservation in the Methow Valley with the Conservancy's annual holiday social from 6 - 7pm. There will be free appetizers, holiday punch and door prizes! Before the 1st Tuesday program, we’ll honor community members with our annual conservation awards. It’s our time to thank you for all that you help us do – please join us!

Community Program “Grizzly Bears, Wolverines, and the Natural Power of Connections” with Doug Chadwick
December 9th from 7:00 - 8:30pm at the Winthrop Barn, free and open to everyone

(Note: this is a Monday night, not the first Tuesday!)
Glutton, demon of destruction, symbol of slaughter, mightiest of wilderness villains... Wolverines and grizzlies come marked with a reputation based on myth and fancy. Yet these enigmatic animals are more complex than the legends that surround them. With a shrinking wilderness and global warming, the future of large carnivores is uncertain.

Doug Chadwick will present a slide show to help illustrate fresh ways of looking at, and thinking about, some of the country's wildest wildlife, particularly wolverines and grizzly bears.  Recent scientific studies -- including the exciting wolverine work being carried out here in the North Cascades region -- are finally replacing centuries of tall tales with solid information.  And as they do, it turns out, that both wolverines and grizzlies have some surprising and very important things to tell us about what conserving nature really means and how best to go about it in the century to come. 

Doug Chadwick will reveal the natural history of these species and the forces that threaten its future. Chadwick, who volunteered with the Glacier Wolverine Project, a five-year study in Glacier National Park, uncovered key missing information about the wolverine's habitat, social structure and reproduction habits. Wolverines, according to Chadwick, are the land equivalent of polar bears in regard to the impacts of global warming. This study was the subject of Chadwick's book, The Wolverine Way, and the PBS/Nature documentary "Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom."

Douglas Chadwick (aka Chad) is a wildlife biologist, author, photographer and frequent National Geographic contributor. He is a past officer and member of the board of The Vital Ground Foundation, a nonprofit land trust that has helped safeguard more than 600,000 acres of wildlife habitat in Alaska, Canada, and the western US. Chadwick is also a director of the Gobi Bear Fund, which attempts to restore population of this most endangered of all the yellow bears.

Chadwick's affiliation with National Geographic spans more than thirty-five years and more than fifty articles from the first in 1977 up to assignments in 2013 (his latest NG story, on Cougars, is in the current issue of the magazine, and his next story, scheduled for a spring issue of NG, is about Grizzly Bears in the Gobi Desert). Chadwick's research involves multi-year projects of extended close observation in species habitat, trapping, radio collar tracking, mapping, and studies of community relationships. In this manner, he has studied wolverines in the northwestern U.S. and Canada, mountain goats and grizzlies in the Rockies, and elephants in Africa. On assignments from Siberia to the Congo River's headwaters, he has produced several hundred popular articles and eleven books.

Help us Get to 1000!
That’s right we are less than 50 people away from having 1000 Facebook followers!  If you are on Facebook, we hope you have liked our page and are enjoying our posts.  We give you extra reminders about all our upcoming events, share photos, videos and stories from the Methow, and post lots of helpful and interesting information from the Methow Conservancy and others.  Check us out, or better yet, share our page with your Facebook friends! 

10th Annual Conservation Course
Winter is coming and we are busy planning another educational and fun conservation course.  This year's course will be botany-based, centered on learning plant families so that you can identify individual species with more ease and confidence.  The course will again be held on Monday evenings for six weeks, starting in late January or early February.  Stay tuned to the December E-News for lots more details!  If you are sure you want to go ahead and register, feel free to reserve your spot with Mary at or 509-996-2870.

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 Sept. 24th and October 28th: Janis Sodt & Paul Allen, Kris & Mike Baker, Denise Tompetrini & Leverett Hubbard , Sherry Malotte & John Spaude, Kate & Al Werner, Dave Bacon, Robert Ballinger, and Drs. Sarah & Kevin Beshlian. Thank you for becoming members and supporting our efforts!

In addition, this past month we were humbled by an incredible number of donations that came in response to requests from people for birthday or wedding gifts. The following donors honored the people they care about by making a gift to the Methow Conservancy: Leah Campbell, Pamela Cersosimo, Margot Cheel, Margaret Childs, Deb Crespin, Judy Hoefer & Anne Cunha, Mary Geary, Kristin Griffin, Therese Govern & Steve Groves, Kimberly Harper, Christie Masters, Diana Lynn Parsons, Sarah & David Patton, Jacqueline Abel & Chris Robertson, and Kristina & Thomas Weir. Please know how much we appreciate your choice to honor your friends and family with a gift of conservation!

November 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. See above for details.Photographer Dale Pedersen

December 9th: Holiday Social & December Program, “Grizzly Bears, Wolverines, and the Natural Power of Connections,” at the Winthrop Barn. The Holiday party starts at 6am with drinks, appetizers and awards. The program runs from 7pm–8:30pm with wildlife biologist, author and photographer Douglas Chadwick who will illustrate fresh ways of looking at, and thinking about, some of the country's wildest wildlife, particularly wolverines and grizzly bears.  Recent scientific studies -- including the exciting wolverine work being carried out here in the North Cascades region -- are finally replacing centuries of tall tales with solid information.  And as they do, it turns out, that both wolverines and grizzlies have some surprising and very important things to tell us about what conserving nature really means and how best to go about it in the century to come. See above for details.

January 7th: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” program, “Bighorn Sheep of the Okanogan”, 7:00 - 8:30pm at the Twisp River Pub. WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Jeff Heinlen, will talk about the cultural history, ecology and life history and management issues associated with the Bighorn Sheep of Okanogan County. The Pub opens at 6pm for food and a buffet dinner.

March 4th: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” program internationally acclaimed acoustic ecologist, Gordon Hempton, 7pm at the Twisp River Pub. We’ll listen to sunrise circle the globe, hear snow melt, whales sing and discover that the Earth is music, clear enough to hum all day. Re-examine our widely held belief that the human ear evolved to hear human speech by listening to nature sounds that fit neatly into our peak hearing sensitivity (2 kHz-5 kHz) and speculating about the evolutionary consequences of detecting these sounds over great distances. During modern times with our global environmental crises is it enough to hear ourselves or must we, as a species still subject to the laws of survival, once again listen to what the Earth is telling us? This audio-visual presentation will change the way you look at and listen to the world around you. The Pub opens at 6pm for food and drink.

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

“Moving Mazama” Documentary
Move the Hut invites all with an interest to check out the short documentary produced by Indie film maker Katie Turinski on the controversy surrounding the vacation hut built on the Flagg Mountain ridgeline in the upper Methow Valley, and the pending lawsuit involving the protective covenants placed by the previous land owners. Take a look at the film “Moving Mazama” and judge for yourself

Christmas Bird Counts
The 114th Annual Audubon “Christmas Bird Count” will take place Dec 14, 2013 to January 5, 2014.  The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends. Tens of thousands of people participant and you can too!  The North Central Washington Chapter of the Audubon Society, a four-county region, hosts six separate bird counts in Twisp, Bridgeport, Okanogan, Chelan, Wenatchee and Leavenworth.  Get the dates and info on each of them here.

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

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