Holiday Social & December Program
Celebrating 100+ Conservation Easements
We are thrilled to announce the milestone of protecting the 100th and 101st Methow Conservancy Conservation Easements. This “century” of conservation easements includes more than 8,000 acres of acres of wildlife habitat, farm, orchard and ranch land, scenic open space and river front since 1996! Thank you for helping protect what is unique and special about the Methow!
The newest conservation easement properties protect 96 acres above Davis Lake and 42 acres on the Methow River just east of Mazama, respectively.
The 96-acre mid-Methow property contains quality shrub-steppe, pine, fir and aspen stands, and wet meadow habitat. The open, undeveloped, highly scenic hillsides of this property are visible from major public roadways, including State Route 20, Bear Creek Road, and East County Road. The property is also visible from nearby public lands, including Davis Lake and Pearrygin Lake State Park. Provisions of the conservation easement, including restrictions on residential development and road building, will serve to maintain these scenic views as well as the critical habitat the property provides. The intact, unfragmented, and undisturbed shrub-steppe habitat on this conservation easement provide valuable nesting, foraging, and security habitat for many mammal, bird, and reptile species, from migrating songbirds and raptors, to cougar, bear and mule deer. The property is particularly important winter range for mule deer.
This week, Karl & Carol Ege finalized conservation easement #101. It protects 42 acres and approximately 2,330 feet of shoreline up-river of the Weeman Bridge, and incorporates dense riparian vegetation and wetland habitats. The newly protected property is situated in a corridor of other conservation easements and publicly protected lands that provide valuable fish and wildlife habitat. In a 4-mile stretch of river that includes the Ege easement, 11 Methow Conservancy conservation easements, protect about 340 acres and shoreline along both banks of the Methow River. Collectively, these conservation easements and state and federal public land along this stretch provide fish and wildlife habitat connectivity between riparian areas and intact uplands.
We are grateful to the 100+ conservation easement owners who have worked with us to protect what makes the Methow Valley truly special. And it’s your support that makes protecting the Methow possible. Thank you!
Methow Conservancy Gifts
Here at the Methow Conservancy, not only do gift memberships (donations made in someone’s honor) make great gifts, but we have some great items for purchase as well. Our newest t-shirt says “I Love The Methow” like nothing else! They are 50% organic cotton, 50% recycled polyester navy short-sleeved shirt that feel wonderful and do not shrink. The design, created by local artist Corin McDonald, captures the essence of the Methow Valley and why we all love it. Plus, there is our super handy Methow Valley pocket Field Guide and our Young Naturalist Activity Booklets. See all of those items here.
If you’d like to give a gift in someone’s honor, or purchase a membership for someone, simply call us at 509-996-2870 or see our membership page.
Methow Valley Calendars by Mountain Kind Photography are another fun and beautiful gift idea that benefit the Methow Conservancy. Mountain Kind Photography is a hobby business of the Methow Conservancy’s Educational Programs Director, Mary Kiesau. Mary donates 10% of all of her annual photography profits to the Methow Conservancy. See her website for a full look at the calendar as well as how to purchase the calendar through her or several Methow Valley stores.
Other 1% or more business partners are the Chewuch Inn and Central Reservations. Check out all our business partners for more ideas, but most of all have a wonderful solstice and holiday season wherever you may be and enjoy the gifts of nature!
“Botany – The Basics & Beyond” – 10th Annual Conservation Course
Tuition is $165. Need-based scholarships, in the form of a reduced or waived fee, are available to a limited number of people who are able to help with the course.
The Methow Conservation Course was initiated in 2005 to take a Methow-specific look at natural history and translate that knowledge into both local and universal themes and uses. Now in its tenth year, the Methow Conservation Course is designed for both the novice and the experienced naturalist. The course is offered with the goal of inspiring more observation and knowledge of, interest in and connections with the natural world.
Space in the course is limited and registration is open now. More details about the course, including speakers and a class syllabus will be available in the coming months. The conservation course fills every year, so contact Mary at email@example.com or 509-996-2870 if you have questions or would like to register. Click here for the registration form.
Focus on the Future
We like to do these community focus groups every few years. Our last sessions were in 2007 and we learned a lot! The feedback we hear will be used by our Board of Directors and Staff to guide our new five-year organizational plan, which we hope to unveil in Spring 2014.
We will also be hosting two focus groups in the Seattle and Bellevue area in January – stay tuned to January’s E-News for specific dates and locations.
If you aren’t able to join us, but want to share your feedback, please fill out the Focus Group Survey here. We’ll share a summary of what we learn once we’ve had a chance to digest it all. In the meantime, thanks to all who do participate - we value your time and input!
The Methow Out My Window
December 9th: Holiday Social & December Program, “Wolverines, Grizzly Bears, and the Natural Power of Connections,” at the Winthrop Barn. The Holiday party starts at 6pm 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.
January 12th: Introduction to Winter Wildlife Tracking, 8:30am – 12:30pm, $40. Explore the winter landscape of the Methow Valley with professional wildlife tracker and educator, Dave Moskowitz. 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! Registration is necessary and space is limited to13 people. Call or email Mary at 996-2870 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
February 10th: 10th Annual Conservation Course, “Botany – The Basics & Beyond” begins. Meets on Monday nights, from 6:00 – 8:30pm with an optional dinner beforehand. The week of President’s Day, class will meet on Tuesday Feb 18th, not Monday. Registration is required and space is limited. Tuition is $165. See above for more details.
February 4th: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” program (TBA)
March 4th: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” program internationally acclaimed acoustic ecologist, Gordon Hempton, 7pm at the Twisp River Pub. The Pub opens at 6pm for food and drink.April 1st: Methow Conservancy “First Tuesday” program, “Day Hiking in Eastern Washington,” 7:00 – 8:30pm at the Twisp River Pub with Rich Landers, outdoors editor for the Spokesman Review and author of several regional guidebooks.
News from Other Organizations
Succession Planning Workshop, Saturday Dec. 7th, 9am – 3:30pm at Whistler’s Restaurant in Tonasket, hosted by WSU Extension. In this facilitated workshop for family forestland owners, farmers, ranchers, and other land-based family businesses, WSU Extension will explore succession planning, focusing on ways to maintain family ties to the land from generation to generation, building awareness of key challenges facing family businesses and motivating families to address those challenges. This workshop is a mix of presentations and practical exercises to help families develop techniques needed to address tough issues. Topics covered will also be relevant to professionals working with landowner families. Each participant will receive a copy of the Ties to the Land workbook which is designed to help families continue to improve and direct their communications at home. Fee, $45, includes refreshments, lunch and one copy of the workbook. For more information, or to register call Andy Perleberg at 509-667-6540 or Curtis Beus at 509-422-7248.
Christmas Bird Counts: The 114th Annual Audubon “Christmas Bird Count” will take place Dec 14, 2013 to January 5, 2014 throughout the world. The longest running Citizen Science survey in the world, Christmas Bird Count provides critical data on population trends. The North Central Washington Chapter of the Audubon Society, a four-county region, hosts six separate bird counts in Twisp (12/15), Bridgeport (12/21), Okanogan (1/4), Chelan (12/28), Wenatchee (12/29) and Leavenworth (12/22). Everyone is welcome, beginners and experienced. Get the dates and info on each of them here. For Twisp, meet at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery at 6:30am for pastries, coffee & tea, 7:00am for registration. Bring binoculars, lunch, warm clothes, field guides, and if you’d like snowshoes, skis, and spotting scopes. People will break up into groups for the morning or whole day. Call Juliet Rhodes at 341-4118 or Art Campbell at 996-8168 if you have questions.
Celebrating the Solstice: “Science & Spirit in the Methow” is a winter solstice program, 7-9 PM on December 21st at the Methow Valley Interpretive Center in Twisp. For more information on this program, contact Dana Visalli at 997-9011, or email@example.com, or see the Methow Naturalist website.
“Nature of Winter Snowshoe” Tours: MVSTA hosts family-friendly snowshoe tours every Saturday from December 21 - March 8. Tours begin at 11:00 am and last 90-120 minutes, depending on conditions. Local volunteers lead tours that focus on winter ecology, wildlife and tracks, snow science and more. MVSTA ski trail passes or a MVSTA snowshoe trail pass ($5) are required for each person. Tour size is limited to 10 people. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis, no reservations. See MVSTA’s website or call 509-996-3287 for more information.
The Okanogan Highlands Alliance is offering, "Highland Wonders," a series of monthly natural history programs. Check out their full calendar.
315 Riverside Avenue / PO Box 71 Winthrop, WA 98862 509.996.2870