Quick Shoutouts!

Quick Shoutouts!

Thanks to Senators Cantwell and Murray and Representative Newhouse for their bi-partisan support and leadership in helping the Methow Headwaters mineral withdrawal effort move closer to success. In late September, the US Forest Service released its environmental assessment along with a recommendation in support of the Methow Headwaters mineral withdrawal. This marks an important milestone – and one we are celebrating as members of the Methow Headwaters campaign. But there are still more steps ahead to reach the December 29th deadline for a final decision on a 20 year withdrawal that will protect 340,000 acres of Methow Headwaters lands on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest from large-scale mining. To stay up to date, follow the Methow Headwaters campaign.

Thanks to Kristin Kirkby, Fisheries Biologist for the Cascades Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, for leading our Welcome Back Salmon walk. Kristin is full of fish knowledge and though our timing was a little off for seeing peak spawning, we appreciate her enthusiasm and sense of wonder about the incredible journey Methow salmon make to and from our waters. Kristin shared this cool UCSRB brochure about where to see salmon from Leavenworth to Oroville. As Summer Chinook are finding their way up the Methow River, now is a good time to get out and cheer them on! They’ve had an incredible journey traveling over 800 miles and up 9 hydro-electric dams just to get here.

Big gratitude to Nate Bacon, local wildlife tracking naturalist, for leading our six-month Wildlife Tracking Intensive Series. Nate received rave reviews from class participants like this one: “He's a fabulous teacher. One of his many skills is imitating the gaits of different animals. Very hard to do four-legged gaits with only two legs, but Nate is a champ.” Once a month, students joined Nate to search for tracks, scat, and wildlife signs. They saw evidence of bears, mink, weasels, cougar, squirrel, tons of birds and deer, and even elk. We’re talking with Nate about future courses and we also continue to offer Dave Moskowitz’s popular weekend courses, so if tracking is on your bucket list, stay tuned!

We’d like to acknowledge students from the Bush School for really “rocking” it this month in their volunteer service to the Methow Valley. Middle and high school students were in the Valley at the Bush School's new Methow Campus (the conservation easement property formerly known as North Cascades Basecamp) and
they spent hours working on clearing our agricultural field at the Mazama Corner of rocks. It’s hard work, but they were “digging” it!

Congrats to Maggie Coon – conservation easement owner up the Twisp River – for recently being named this year’s recipient of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition’s (WWRC) Joan Thomas Award, which recognizes significant, long-term contributions to conservation and preservation in the state. WWRC describes her as “one of the foremost advocates for preservation of the Methow Valley.” We agree! To read more about this important honor and Maggie’s lifelong efforts, check out this recent Methow Valley News article.

First published in October 2018

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