November 2018 ENews

Welcome to E-News - A monthly brief to inspire us all to care for the land of the Methow Valley.


Wolverine Dave MoskowitzFirst Tuesday Program - “Wolverines of the North Cascades” 
Tuesday, November 6th @ 7pm (doors will open at 6:30pm)
The Winthrop Barn, Free.

A homegrown blend of mountaineers, photographers, and wildlife biologists have been collaborating to understand the ecology, life history, and distribution of the North Cascade’s most elusive alpine carnivore. Come join presenters Steph Williams and Dave Moskowitz for us for an engaging night with the Cascades Wolverine Project.  The Project is a Methow Valley based effort to boost winter wolverine monitoring in the North Cascades, capture engaging images of wolverines, and leverage and enhance the skills of winter backcountry recreationists as wildlife observers and stewards of the alpine.
Photo at right by Dave Moskowitz.


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Board Endorsement of Initiative 1631:
Speaking of November 6th, the First Tuesday of November is also election day!  We hope everyone will exercise their right to vote. In this particular election, our Board has voted to endorse Initiative 1631 and below is a message about that from our Board President, Mary Johnston:

VoteThe Methow Conservancy Board recently voted to endorse Initiative 1631 which voters in Washington State will be considering this fall through November 6th.  As a Board, we took this step in light of the many ways that a changing climate is or likely will impact our valley in the years ahead.  We recognize that it will take time and investments to prepare for the impacts a changing climate will continue to have on our local forest health, range lands, irrigation supplies, and the snowpack which fuels our winter economy. 

We encourage all voters to take time to study the official Voter’s Guide, and to make their own informed decision on Initiative 1631 this election season.

We are proud of the work we have been part of over the past 22 years to conserve habitat; protect farms, ranches and orchards; encourage proactive forest management; open the door to irrigation efficiencies; and support creative approaches to climate adaptation such as the Methow Beaver Project. As a Board, we remain committed to this work into the future and look forward to our community and region benefitting from these investments.

Thank you for voting!  
~ Mary Johnston, Board President

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Another Great Squeeze!
Big thanks to Marilyn and Dave Sabold for once again opening up their home and yard to our annual Cider Squeeze.  Though the weather was cold and threatened rain, a hearty group of more than 200 community members worked together to press two bins of apples on three different presses. Any way you add it up, it was an awesome reminder of how this community comes together to make things happen.

Thanks to the Rivertown Ramblers for providing the “sweet” tunes for the afternoon, to Paul Herget who once again made 60 birdhouses to give away to good homes, and Art Zink and Booth Canyon Orchards for supplying the apples.  Hope to see you next year!

Squeeze Crowd JP Birdhouses_JPJuice_JP Squeezing_JP

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Thank youMore Thanks!
Last month we mailed out our Annual Appeal letters – and thank you to so many of you who have already renewed your support of our efforts to inspire people to care for the land.  This week we met our $10K limit for the Community Foundation of North Central Washington’s Give Methow Campaign. Thank you to all who donated!  We still need to raise significant funds to meet our annual fundraising goal, so we are still accepting donations through the mail or our secure website.  And, you can also still support many other worthy nonprofit organizations on the GiveMethow site.  It’s pretty great to be a part of community that cares so much!  You sure inspire us!

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One Night, Two Ways to Love the Methow
Whether you are in Seattle or the Methow Valley, you can spend the night of Tuesday, November 13th showing your love for the Methow Valley!

November 13th in Seattle:
The Seattle/Methow Mixer, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. @ Seattle REI -- Meeting Room, 2nd Floor - 222 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA  98109.  Free. 

Lauren DannerJoin us for a special presentation of Crown Jewel:  Creating North Cascades National Park.  North Cascades National Park is remote, rugged, spectacularly majestic, and 50 years old this year.  Writer and historian, Lauren Danner, chronicles the park’s creation in 1968. The story is a window into the modern environmental movement in the Pacific Northwest and a reminder that national parks are not only wild landscapes of national significance, but the result of political negotiation and compromise. In addition to Lauren’s thought-provoking presentation, you’ll have a chance to mix and mingle with others who love the Methow Valley. Plus we’ll bring dessert from beloved Methow bakers!  REI requests your RSVP, though last minute attendees and friends are always welcome! Photo at left by Lauren Danner.

November 13th in Winthrop: 
Raise a Strong Voice of Support for the Methow Headwaters Campaign, 6 pm @ Winthrop Barn

Methow HeadwatersThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is holding an important public meeting on Nov. 13, 6 pm at The Winthrop Barn.  This will be an opportunity to share with the BLM why the proposed Methow Headwaters mineral withdrawal is essential to the future of our valley’s rural way of life, strong communities, agriculture and local economy.  The Methow Headwaters Campaign team will be hosting a pre-party 'Happy Hour' at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery in Winthrop from 5-6pm.  You can join other supporters to learn more about how to submit an influential public comment and be a part of protecting this treasured landscape from industrial-scale mining.  Thanks to Old Schoolhouse Brewery for donating $1 of every beer sold during happy hour to help campaign efforts.  Whether you can join us in person or not, please consider submitting a public comment of support before November 13th. 

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Holiday Social & December “Conservation Canines First Tuesday” ProgramJaymi Heimbach
Tuesday, December 4th at the Winthrop Barn, 6pm

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. 

Everyone is invited to join us in celebrating community, conservation and our mutual love of the Methow Valley with our 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!

We'll follow the social fun with a very special First Tuesday Presentation. We’re excited to welcome Julianne Ubigau and Sampson from the Conservation Canine Program at the University of Washington to the Barn!  Since 1997, the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) has developed novel, non-invasive ways to examine DNA, hormones and toxin levels in a variety of threatened and endangered animals by using rescue dogs. By rescuing and training highly energetic dogs, the Center’s unique Conservation Canines (CK9) program assists wildlife researchers in learning about a diverse range of wildlife species that include insects, amphibians, carnivores and even whales. The CK9 program and the Center for Conservation Biology are driven by the goal to understand how environmental pressures impact wildlife and human health worldwide. Julianne and Sampson have been a team for 10 years, tracking everything from the tiny Pacific pocket mouse to Jemez mountain Salamanders, and invasive plant called garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). If you love conservation, rescue dogs, or just feel-good stories you won’t want to miss this pretty amazing story! Photo at right by Jaymi Heimbach.

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squash_mkQuick Shout Outs:
Got Squash?  We’re so excited that Willowbrook Farm in Carlton is donating a portion of their overall sales of winter squash to our farmland protection efforts!  Thanks Cameron Green and Eric Wittenbach for the super savory support! 

Big kudos to the volunteers from Audubon of North Central Washington who joined our School Yard Science program this month.  They led our two classes of 4th graders on a birding walk in the school yard.  Armed with binoculars, every student had a chance to search for and then identify 12 wooden birds that were “hidden” in various habitats around the schoolyard.  The students had keen eyes and tons of enthusiasm, though some of us never found that elusive ruby crowned kinglet out there!

Take a “Virtual Orchard Tour”:  One of our favorite things about fall in the Methow? Delicious, local apples like the ones from Twisp River Organic Apples!  Thanks to Richard and Jocelyn Murray for letting us make our latest "Virtual Farm Tour" video about them and their outstanding fruit. Photo at left by Mary Kiesau.

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Matera_SoilAnnouncing Our Winter Conservation Course
This winter’s Conservation Course is going to be … well, a bit gritty.  Join us for a series of Monday-evening seminars starting in late February about soil health.  We’ll be hosting diverse speakers from Washington State University and Wenatchee Valley College, to walk us through concepts in soil chemistry and biology.  We’ll also learn about carbon sequestration in the soil, and we’ll discuss diverse applied practices for improving soil health on the farm or in the garden.  Registration and details coming soon!

Photo at right by Stephen Matera.  

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Upcoming Educational Events:

  • Wolf Cougar Interactions:  What We Know 
    Friday, October 26th @ 7pm at Twispworks “Your Space” (aka the Education Station), Free.
    Lauren Satterfield will share her PhD research studying wolf-cougar interactions in Washington State. Her project is investigating how a growing wolf population affects the behavior, diet, and survival of cougars as they adapt to the presence of another top predator across a landscape that is also used by people. No registration required.

  • coyote by Mary Kiesau
    Wolf Cougar Interactions:  A Field Trip
    Saturday, October 27th @ 8am to 12 noon.  
    Ph.D. student Lauren Satterfield will also give a field course discussing how GPS collar data is used to identify where a predator might have killed a deer, and how scientists use these sites to study deer heath and risk of predation. $10. To register email us or call 996-2870.  Limit 12 participants.

  • Nov 11: The Wide World of Animal Skulls & Bones
    An indoor class with Marcus Reynerson, 9:00am-4:30pm, $65*, limited to 20 people.  
    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? How do you identify an animal based on its skull? These are some of the questions we will work through with wildlife and skull expert Marcus Reynerson of the Wilderness Awareness School during this in-depth daylong workshop exploring the fascinating world of the skulls and bones of some of our local species.  The class is $65.  Space is limited and registration is required. Contact us at 996-2870 or email us to reserve your spot.  Photo at right by Mary Kiesau.

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Fun Science Facts from our Conservation Biologist Julie Grialou 
Where Do Snakes Go In Winter?

bullsnake_Mary KiesauMost of us have heard of the term “cold-bloodied” in reference to snakes.  Snakes don’t really have cold blood (at least not all the time), but they are ectotherms and require heat from outside sources (e.g., the sun) to warm their bodies. This is in stark contrast to endotherms, like us humans and other mammals, who warm our bodies through metabolic processes. 

So, what do snakes in the Methow do when temperatures drop and snow covers the ground? They hibernate. Snake hibernation sites are called hibernacula, aka snake dens.  John Rohrer, USFS Biologist, and Dan Beck CWU Professor, conduct research on snake dens sites in the Methow.  These researchers have found that den sites are almost always on south-facing slopes, which receive more solar radiation, and in areas that are sheltered from, wind, rain, and dripping snowmelt.  The den sites must be deep enough to extend below the frost line and must be adequately ventilated.  Interestingly, an individual den site is usually occupied by several snake species, and several hundred snakes can share one site. Photo at right by Mary Kiesau.

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New Members  - Thank You!
The last few months have brought in a great group of new members inspiring people to care for the land: Icicle Brewing Company, Michelle Schmidtke & George Schoenfeld, Julie O'Donald, Karen Schuchardt, Andra Artemova & Maxim Artemov, Lynne Cohee, Joanne & Alexander Hunord, Carolyn Loren, Patricia & Stanley Senner, Becca Windell, and George Zeitler. Thank you for joining us!

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Our November Reading List:
Our email inboxes here at the Methow Conservancy are often full of articles we share with each other to help inform our work or inspire discussion.  We thought you might be interested in seeing what we’ve been reading. 

Editor’s note: These articles do not represent the beliefs or opinions of the Methow Conservancy or its staff. We offer them purely as a means of sparking discussion.

JulieNational Geographic: Show Up with Hope’: Anne Lamott’s Plan for Facing Adversity
: In a world that never seems to run out of problems, one woman has found a way to maintain her hope by identifying her truth.

Boston Review: Defensible Space
Snapshot: Written by Jessie Kindig, an author with long ties to the Methow Valley. This ambitious piece of long form opinion journalism takes on one of the fundamental ethos in the American West.

Cascade Wolverine Project: Winter 2017-2018 Full Report
Snapshot: If you are as fascinated by Wolverines as we are, then you are really excited about our upcoming First Tuesday talk on November 6th with Steph Williams and Dave Moskowitz! This report from their winter of 2017-2018 field season will get you psyched for their talk and for winter!

Research Gate: Nonnative plants reduce population growth of an insectivorous bird
Snapshot: This PowerPoint presentation breaks down a recent paper published in PNAS by researcher Desiree L. Narango from the University of Delaware on the effects of non-native vegetation on the breeding success of Carolina Chickadees. This paper may have implications for what you might decide to put in your garden next year…

High Country News: Tossing salmon for science
UW professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences Tom Quinn has been working on Sockeye salmon in Southwestern Alaska for the past 20 years. During those 20 years, his research methods inadvertently set up perfectly another study on the effects of salmon carcasses on forest growth. It turns out that those nutrients aren’t lost on trees.

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Methow Conservancy Events
For a full listing of our upcoming events see our Events Calendar.

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News from Other Organizations
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW):  WDFW has scheduled six open house events this fall to give their new Director, Kelly Susewind, an opportunity to discuss the agency’s long-term plans to conserve fish and wildlife and promote outdoor recreation throughout the state.  The open houses, all scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m., will take place at the following dates and locations:

  • Nov. 5 – CenterPlace Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley
  • Nov. 6 – Grant County Public Works, 124 Enterprise St. SE, Ephrata
  • Nov. 7 – Selah Civic Center, 216 1st St., Selah
  • Nov. 13 – Montesano City Hall, 112 North Main Street, Montesano
  • Nov. 14 – WDFW Ridgefield Office, 5525 South 11th Street, Ridgefield
  • Dec. 12 – Issaquah Salmon Hatchery Watershed Science Center, 125 W Sunset Way, Issaquah

Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group & Washington Water Trust:  Columbia River Rolls On--Fish Passage and Reintroduction into the Upper Columbia River Basin, on November 14th @ the Okanogan County PUD in Okanogan and on November 15th @ the Cashmere Riverside Center.  Each night, the program will run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, with doors opening at 6pm.  Learn about current efforts to reintroduce salmon above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams, which blocked approximately 1200 miles of tributary habitat 80 years ago. 

Check out a full calendar of Methow Valley community events here.

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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