Long Jim holding his dog (far left) at his hunting camp on the Methow River. From the Sue Misao Collection, Shafer Historical Museum.

First Tuesday Program - “Lost Homeland”
Tuesday, November 7th, 7:00-8:30pm at the Merc Playhouse

Local historian Richard Hart will showcase his new book “Lost Homeland: The Methow Tribe and the Columbia Reservation” with the complex story of the Methow tribe’s long struggle to retain their cultural land while showing never before seen photos of the Methow people featured in the book. Published by the local Shafer Historical Museum, Richard’s book tells the history of the Methow tribe, the Columbia Reservation, and the Methow land and water that sustained indigenous people for centuries.

Richard Hart provides historical, ethnohistorical, and environmental historical services and expert testimony for North American Indian Tribes and has had a long relationship with members of the Methow tribe.

Local musician Ken Bevis created three new songs inspired by the book that will be played during the program, and the book will be available for sale by the Trails End bookstore at the event.  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.

Add Your Voice (Again) to Protect the Methow Headwaters
The chance to permanently protect the upper Methow from mining is within reach! The US Forest Service recently announced the opening of their NEPA Scoping Period for the "Methow Headwaters Mineral Withdrawal."  Your public comments are needed by midnight on November 6th.  This is a new action, so if you’ve signed or sent letters in the past, you need to do it again now.  Please add your name to the Methow Headwaters comment letter here (or write your own) by Monday, November 6.  If you’d like to see the Methow Conservancy’s comment letter, click here.

Methow Mixer Coming to Seattle
Sunday, November 12th, 7:00-8:30pm at Elsom Cellars at the Adventure Hub

Calling all “westsiders!”  Please join us for our annual Methow Mixer!  Mix and mingle with others who love the Methow Valley and enjoy some terrific Mazama Store treats and Elsom Cellars wines.  We’re bringing the beloved Methow biologist Kent Woodruff and his short presentation called “One Stick at a Time: Lessons from the Methow Valley on Climate Change.”

Elsom Cellars is at the Adventure Hub in SODO (2960 4th Ave. S,  Seattle, WA  98134).  There should be plenty of free parking! 

Kent Woodruff, a retired US Forest Service biologist from Winthrop, has been engaging people across the West in discussions about what we can do to soften the impacts of climate change. He will share a short film focused on his climate adaptation work with beavers in the Methow Valley as a conversation starter about what works in a changing world.

Free admission, bring a friend! RSVP’s not required. We look forward to bringing a little bit of the Methow to Seattle!

Last Work Party of the Season – Volunteers Needed!
Our volunteer projects are updated regularly on our page on Volunteer Methow.  Browse tasks and register there, or contact us anytime.  Thank you!

Photo by Mary Kiesau.The Featured Activity this month is:
Building Bird Habitat in the Methow Wildlife Area

This will be our last in-the-field volunteer work party for the season! Come burn some calories with us while installing bird-boxes and spreading native grass seed in parts of the Methow Wildlife Area that burned in 2014. We are teaming up with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) Methow Wildlife Area to help restore and recover wildlife habitat, both on the ground and on fence posts. We'll be installing bluebird boxes on posts, and reseeding areas that still need some extra help.

We'll provide all the materials. No experience necessary but we will place experienced volunteers in different small groups. Bring work gloves and wear sturdy shoes. Dress for the weather, which we will be watching closely of course. If snow or stormy weather requires us to adjust or cancel this project we will let you know!

Questions? Contact Mary at 509-996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org

We could also use some help on Tuesday Nov. 7th at our First Tuesday program!

While you’re at Volunteer Methow check out the Rally for the Valley Tally!  Rally for the Valley is an effort to inspire community members to volunteer at least 1,000 hours of service to local nonprofit organizations before the end of the year. Every hour counts!  As of Nov 1, the tally was just over 650 hours!  Register yourself with Volunteer Methow now and view volunteer opportunities by calendar date, by task type, or by organization.  There are 37 local organizations on the site and more joining every month.    


Methow GenNxt Housing Happy Hour
Monday, November 6th, 5:30-7:00pm at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery Taproom at TwispWorks

Methow GenNxt meets again!  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 at the OSB taproom.

Danica Ready and others from the newly formed Methow Housing Trust will share currentnews 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.

Join your fellow GenNxters and share your experiences and input to help make quality, affordable housing one of the best things about living in the Methow, not one of its challenges.  Your experience and input is a big part of the solution!

It’s free and snacks and drinks will be provided!

All are welcome, 21 and over. RSVP appreciated but not required. Bring a friend!
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 young adults (early 20s to early 40s) who love the Methow Valley, whether they grew up here, live here now or just visit.

Schoolyard Science
Reflections by Sarah Brooks
Schoolyard Science day is quickly becoming one of my favorite days of the month.  I’m not sure it gets any better than time outside wondering with eager and enthusiastic students, supported by truly outstanding teachers, and with a terrific community volunteer partner, Michele Koger.  Now in year three of this project, we know a bit more about what we are doing and how to make it as meaningful and fun as possible.  It is simply a joy – and I can’t say thank you enough to all of you who support projects like this through your donations to the Methow Conservancy. 

This past month we dovetailed with the students’ current International Baccalaureate (IB) unit on “How the World Works – An inquiry into the natural world and its laws, with an emphasis on energy.”  We focused specifically on food chains and webs and the transfers of energy they represent.  I’m always amazed at how much the students already know or intuit about their school yard and how quickly they catch on to the basic principles.  We played a “game” attempting to find some balance between mice, snakes, and red-tailed hawks.  The students started with a very reasonable hypothesis and good reasoning for why and then we went out and tested it.  We learned we needed to make some adaptations to our original theory as we realized those red-tailed hawks need a lot of energy to survive!  It was inspiring to see the students eager to think through the issues and even debate with each other.  This Valley definitely grows critical thinkers!

Update from the Ag Desk
Last month, we hosted a casual mixer for young, new-coming, and aspiring farmers at the OSB Taphouse in Twisp.  We were thrilled and inspired to have well over a dozen folks attend!  They met, mingled, sipped, and shared their experiences as beginning farmers in the valley.  As one young farmer pointed out, it’s crucial for new farmers to seek out and learn from experienced mentors – but it’s also really important to have an opportunity to digest experiences, commiserate, and share encouragement with your peers.  We hope to organize another mixer for young farmers in the coming months!  

We also hosted a team from the USDA’s Rural Development office in Yakima, who gave a very informative presentation about a unique grant opportunity available for farms to process their crops into “value-added” products.  The Value-Added Produce Grant program provides financial assistance to farms who want to explore turning their raw-commodity crops into higher-value products – for example: turning fresh fruits into jams, dried snacks, or beverages.  It’s a great opportunity for farms to get creative and enter new markets.  About a dozen farms from both the Methow and Okanogan Valleys participated in the workshop and were able to have their questions answered by the program’s director for Washington State. 

We’re Giving Thanks!
November is a great month for expressing our gratitude to all of you who choose to inspire people to care for the land of the Methow Valley.  We literally could not protect more than 32 miles of riverfront and 8,500 acres of wildlife habitat and fertile soils without partners like you. 

Thanks to all of you who participated in the Methow Valley’s Give Methow campaign throughout the month of October!  We met our goal of $10,000 through that online campaign and we were excited to see the generosity of this community shine in the incredible donations to all the Valley’s nonprofit organizations. Thanks, too, to our 1000 households and businesses who financially support our work throughout the year.  Whether you give in December or March or July, it all adds up and it all makes a difference.  And, thank you to our incredible volunteers – hearty, community minded people who pull weeds, plant seeds, stuff envelopes, hang posters and so much more.  We’re just bursting with gratitude for the good work we can do together!

D.G. MacKean; www.biology-resources.com

Winter Wildlife & Nature Classes
Join us this winter for some great classes, both indoors and out.

Bringing the Outside In
Kick off the New Year with a natural history & nature drawing class series with instructors Perri Howard & Mary Kiesau.  Each class will start outdoors for the first hour then move to Perri’s indoor studio at TwispWorks for about three hours.  The outdoor hour will be a natural history lesson lead by Mary on the class topic (winter bird or animal tracks for instance).  We’ll pick locations close to Twisp that are easy to access and may or may need snowshoes. The indoor session, led by Perri, will focus on drawing lessons and practice.  All materials, including pens, pencils, paper, and photos and drawings from which you may work, will be included, but feel free to bring your own materials if you’d like.  Attend individual classes or the 4-class series. Themed classes will be every other Friday, 12:30pm-5:00pm, on the following dates:
Jan 5: winter birds
Jan 19: animal tracks
Feb 2: winter plants
Feb 16: mammals
Classes are $65 each or $240 for the 4-class series.  Space is limited  to 8 people per class, and registration is required. Contact us at 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org to reserve your spot or for more information.

The Wide World of Skulls & Bones
Saturday, January 13th, 9:00am-4:00pm, $65Photo by Mary Kiesau.
All animals engage with the world through their sensory perception via the skull. Through studying the evolutionary history that is evident in the structures of skulls, we can get a rich glimpse into the lives of animals. What are its dominant senses? What is its primary diet? How is this animal adapted to live in particular environments? These are all questions we will work through with skull expert Marcus Reynerson of the Wilderness Awareness School during this daylong workshop exploring the fascinating world of the skulls and bones of some of our local species.  Indoor location TBA.
The class is $65.  Space is limited and registration is required. Contact us at 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org to reserve your spot.

Winter Wildlife Tracking
Sunday, January 14th or Saturday, February 3rd
8:30am-12:30pm, $45

Explore the winter landscape of the Methow Valley with professional wildlife trackers and educators.  Learn how to identify and interpret wildlife tracks and signs so that you can connect with the hidden lives of the creatures that share this land with us!  We are offering two separate half-day field-classes with extremely knowledgeable wildlife track and sign teachers.  Snowshoes and good fitness are necessary. 

Join us:
January 14th, 8:30am-12:30pm with Marcus Reynerson
February 3rd, 8:30am-12:30pm with David Moskowitz

Each class is $45/person.  Sign up for either (or both!).  Registration is necessary and space is limited.  Contact us at 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org to reserve your spot.

Gifts that Leave a Legacy
A few weeks ago, we received a thick envelope from a law firm we didn’t know.  That will always leave you a bit nervous as you slide the letter opener through the paper. Turns out, however, that this legal notice was of the amazing, humbling, and incredibly generous kind:  it was a notification that a long-time supporter had chosen to include us in their will. 

We are always so honored by these gifts. To think that someone has chosen to leave a legacy through remembering the land of the Methow Valley in their will and entrusting us to carry on their vision is an immense responsibility we take on with great care.

If you have questions about including the Methow Conservancy or any other favorite nonprofit in your will, feel free to call Sarah at 509-996-2870 or sarah@methowconservancy.org.  You will, of course, want to contact an attorney or estate planner for specific advice, but we’d be happy to talk to you in general about legacy gifts.  If you already have included us, please let us know. We would love to honor you in our Aspen Stand of legacy donors (you can choose to remain anonymous, too!).

Another legacy gift worth knowing about is a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA.  Individuals who are over 70 ½ years old must take an annual distribution from their IRA.  In December 2015, Congress passed a law allowing you to give up to $100,000 to charity directly from your IRA when you reach that mandatory distribution age.  This gift will not be counted as taxable income.  For more information about qualified charitable distributions, ask your attorney or accountant or give us a call. 

Holiday Social & December “First Tuesday” Program
Tuesday, December 5th at the Winthrop Barn

Mark your calendar for our annual holiday social and December program!  We will be at the Winthrop Barn again with plenty of room for everyone.  See below for more details and contact us at 996-2870 or mary@methowconservancy.org.

Holiday Social & Annual Conservation Awards Ceremony
December 5th from 6:00 - 7:00pm at the Winthrop Barn
Everyone is invited to join the Methow Conservancy in celebrating community, conservation and our mutual love of the Methow Valley with the Conservancy's annual year-end holiday social from 6:00-7:00pm. There will be free appetizers and holiday punch.  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 “Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest” with David Moskowitz
December 5th from 7:00 - 8:30pm at the Winthrop Barn, free and open to everyone

The Methow Conservancy’s annual year-end community program and social on Tuesday, December 6th at the Winthrop Barn will feature local biologist, photographer and author David Moskowitz and his latest project on the mountain caribou. 

Hidden in the interior of the Pacific Northwest is the largest remaining inland temperate rainforest on earth. This magnificent landscape is home to numerous First Nations communities, thousand year old trees and critical habitat for endangered species like mountain caribou.  Less than 15 caribou remain in the herd that crosses back and forth between the United States and Canada in the Pacific Northwest, and herds across the southern range of this unique eco-type of caribou are disappearing quickly. The population is estimated at less than 1500 across all of British Columbia.  Industrial development has pushed this ecosystem to the tipping point.

“Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest” is a 35-minute cinematic journey of 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.   

David Moskowitz works as a biologist, photographer and outdoor educator.  In the summer of 2015 he launched a photography and conservation project to discover what was happening to mountain caribou.  What he discovered was a compelling and complicated story that defies easy answers, and illuminates the complicated web of ecological relationships which humans have altered in ways not easily undone.

Join us for a beautiful and thoughtful journey into the imperiled world of an endangered species.  Read more here.

New Members  - Thank You!
October brought in a great group of new members inspiring people to care for the land:  Kari Anderson, Eloise Barshes, Melissa Campbell, Christina Cline, Christi & Brandon DeCuir, Betsy Gross, Terry & Pam Hunt, Lisa Jenkins, Drew Katz, Patsy & Dick Pattison, Lonnie & Ted Peddycord, Peggy Ratermann, Stewart Reynaud, Nancy & Jim Roberts, Ann Speckman, and Sis & Chet Woodside. Thank you for joining us!

Methow Conservancy Events

November 6th, 5:30-7:00pm GenNxt “Housing” Happy Hour at the OSB taproom at TwispWorks, free, 21 and over.  See above for more details.  

November 7th:  “First Tuesday” Program, “Lost Homeland,” with local author and historian Richard Hart, 7:00-8:30pm, free, at the Merc Playhouse.  See above for more details.  

Join us for the Methow Mixer!November 11th:  Volunteer Work Party to install birdboxes and spread grass seed in the Methow Wildlife Area - POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING!

November 12th:  Methow Mixer, 7:00-8:30pm, free, at Elsom Cellars in Seattle.  Mazama Store sweet treats, wine and other beverages, and Kent Woodruff’s presentation “One Stick at a Time.” See above for more details

December 5th: 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.  See above for more details.   Photo by David Moskowitz.

January 5th: “Bringing the Outside In” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on winter birds with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (1/5; 1/19; 2/2; 2/16).  Space limited, registration required.  See above for more details.    

January 9th: “First Tuesday” Program, "WA Trust Water Rights” with the Methow Watershed Council. 7:00pm. Location TBA.

January 13th: Wildlife skull identification class with instructor Marcus Reynerson, 9:00am-4:00pm, indoor location TBA. $65, space limited, registration required.  See above for more details.    

January 14th: Snowshoe Wildlife Tracking Class with instructor Marcus Reynerson, 8:30am-12:30pm, $45, space limited, registration required. See above for more details.    

January 19th: “Bringing the Outside In” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on animal tracks with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (1/5; 1/19; 2/2; 2/16).  Space limited, registration required. See above for more details.    

Photo by Jason Paulsen.February 2nd: “Bringing the Outside In” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on winter plants with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (1/5; 1/19; 2/2; 2/16).  Space limited, registration required. See above for more details.    

February 3rd: Snowshoe Wildlife Tracking Class with instructor David Moskowitz, 8:30am-12:30pm, $45, space limited, registration required. See above for more details.       

February 6th: “First Tuesday” Program, “River of Hope: The Columbia River, from Source to Sea” with speaker Peter Marbach. 7:00pm. Location TBA.

February 16th: “Bringing the Outside In” Natural History & Nature Drawing class on mammals with instructors Mary Kiesau & Perri Howard, 12:30pm-5:00pm, $65 or $240 for 4-class series (1/5; 1/19; 2/2; 2/16).  Space limited, registration required. See above for more details.    

March 6th: “First Tuesday” Program, “Sasquatch: Man-Ape or Myth?” with speaker David George Gordon. 7:00pm. Location TBA

News from Other Organizations

Dana Visalli, publisher of The Methow Naturalist, has an 8-session “Ecology of the Methow Watershed” course on Mondays at 7pm beginning November 6th and running through January.  The first session is free.  See more details at www.methownaturalist.com, or contact Dana at 509-997-9011 or dana@methownet.com.

Methow Valley Citizens Council & Audubon Washington are teaming up on Wednesday, November 8th to present the Citizens Climate Lobby program "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.

The Methow Watershed Council presents, “Wetter, drier and hotter. What’s in store for Methow waters?" with speaker Amy Snover (Director of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington), Nov 21, 6-8pm at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp.  For more information, visit www.methowwatershed.com or email Greg Knott at gknott47@gmail.com.

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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