October Enews
Photo by Steve Bondi

October Enews

Cider Squeeze 2012 JP 036
Photo by Jason Paulsen

Join us for the Big Squeeze!

Cider Squeeze
Saturday, September 28th, 2 to 4pm
At The Sabold's Place (17 Bean Rd, Winthrop)

Rain, snow, or shine we'll be out at Dave and Marilyn Sabold's place on Saturday for our annual Cider Squeeze & Social. This sweet event is always a special, fun-filled time to celebrate community, conservation and the harvest season. It's free and all are welcome.

The highlight of the event is, of course, the apple pressing. You’ll want to take a turn working the unique and historic apple press.

No RSVPs are necessary. Join us and bring a friend! It’s fun. It’s casual. It’s sweet.

Salmon4 small

First Tuesday Presentation: Upstream – Searching for Wild Salmon, From River to Table

October 8th, 7pm – 8pm,
The Merc Playhouse
Free, No reservation required

Local Washington author Langdon Cook will take us on a timely look at salmon—one of the last wild foods on our table. You’ll hear about his travels to meet a variety of colorful people associated with this unique species, from Alaskan anglers to fish farm owners to four-star chefs. Langdon shares a fascinating story of the salmon's remarkable place at the intersection of nature, commerce, cuisine, and human history.

Countless volunteer hours are being put in to make Homestream Park. Photo by Phil Davis

Homestream Park Grand Opening & Coming Home Celebration

Sunday, October 13th, 11-2pm
At Homestream Park, right by the bridge on the way into Winthrop from Twisp

Volunteers have been hard at work transforming the former horse corral into a park. On October 13th, Cathy and Phil Davis (the inspiration behind this vision) and all the park volunteers and partners will be ready to celebrate an official opening of this park, dedicated to the story of the fish who have long called the Methow River home. This celebration will include guided tours and stories about how it has come to be. Join us for good food, music, community, and a celebration of fish and history. (And, if you want to volunteer at the opening, just sign up here).

Xc ski MK
Photo by Mary Kiesau

Save the Date: Methow Mixer in Seattle on November 18th

Monday, November 18th, 7 to 8:30 pm
University Heights Center in Seattle (5031 University Way, Seattle, WA 98105--lots of free parking!)

We're looking forward to another great Methow Mixer in Seattle in November. We're bringing along Don Portman, who will share his very popular presentation The History of Cross Country Skiing in the Methow Valley. Here's your chance to get excited about winter, learn a little Methow lore, and mix and mingle with others who share your love for the Methow Valley. We promise a fun and engaging evening! This event is free and open to all--so bring a friend! If you are on our mailing list and live in the Seattle area, check your mailbox soon for an invitation!

Larch by jp feature size
Larch by Jason Paulsen

Learn with Us!

It's already been a busy fall of awesome educational programs and we have even more to come! Join us!

To get all the details on these events and for information on registering, check out our Events page here.

Hancock Citizen Science by Johnnie Duguay
Photo by Johnnie Duguay

Volunteer with Us!

Conservation requires action. If you want to get involved, check out these awesome opportunities to help out on some of the exciting projects we're involved in! All of our volunteer opportunities (and so many other great ways to get involved with other Valley organizations) can be found on the Volunteer Methow website.

Stokes grialou pp0613
Photo by Julie Grialou

Thinking About Agriculture

You may have wondered about the working agricultural lands protected by the Methow Conservancy, and we wanted to offer a snapshot of the diversity of farms and ranches under conservation with us! 52 of our 112 easements support agricultural uses, including orchards, vineyards, row crops, hay production, and livestock – and these agricultural lands range in size from 15 acres to 1500.

Those 52 easements protect a total of 5,000 acres, including 1,670 acres of prime agricultural soils. Of those 5,000 acres, the following are currently under working agriculture:

  • 175 acres of orchard, vineyard, and row crops
  • 560 acres in hay production
  • 850 acres of irrigated pasture
  • 1700 acres of working dryland range

Additionally, those 52 agricultural easements also protect:

  • 720 acres of riparian habitat
  • 500 acres of forest
  • 1900 acres of shrub steppe habitat

With your support, we are committed to making sure agriculture--in many forms--has a home in the Methow Valley forever!

Johnnie as a bird

4th Grade School Yard Science -- Who are we?

Methow Conservancy staff members Sarah Brooks and Johnnie Duguay kicked off another year of School Yard Science with Mr. Haley’s and Mrs. Surface’s 4th grade classrooms in September by exploring the International Baccalaureate theme of "who we are." Although the students have all selected their own animal names (Sarah is Sloth and Johnnie is Jellyfish), we decided that for our first day of School Yard Science, we'd all ponder what makes a bird a bird. Johnnie Jellyfish was dressed up as a beautiful bird, with features like hollow bones, feathers, wings, a beak, etc.

We next explored different adaptations birds have and conducted some experimental inquiries into how different beak types might lend themselves to finding food in different habitats. Some students had "beaks" that were like tiny tweezers and others had "beaks" more like tough but blunt pliers. Groups of birds then tried to eat at different habitats (like deep pots of water or rotten logs, etc.). We discovered that some birds starved in some habitats, while others thrived. We all made hypotheses about where we might eat best -- and we learned that sometimes you learn more from the times when your hypothesis was wrong!

Photos by Kat Werle

What Do You See?

by our Conservation Biologist Julie Grialou

An observant friend of mine was out in the woods recently and sent me these photos.

Go ahead and zoom in … what do you see …. dead bats (skeleton and wings) pinned onto thistle plants.

My hypothesis is that the small thorns on the thistle plants were not detected by the bats’ echolocation, and the bats flew into the thistle, were pinned, and were unable to escape. Probably a slow, torturous death, but a very interesting sighting none the less. I did search the Web, and found no other stories of such bat-thistle encounters.


Season of Giving:

It’s that time of the year when we ask for your financial support. If it has been about a year since your last donation, then you will soon receive our annual appeal mailing. We sure hope you’ll renew your support this year (or support us for the first time!), since gifts from people like you make up more than 70% of our Annual Operating Fund. This year, we’re offering three different ways to renew your support or to give for the first time:

  • If you received a letter in the mail, you can return the reply card and your donation in the envelope we mailed you.
  • You can always go to our secure website and click on the “Donate” button.
  • During the month of October, you can participate in the “Give Methow” Campaign sponsored by the Community Foundation of North Central Washington on our page of www.givemethow.org. They’ll cover the credit card fees and offer a “stretch” to each donation made.

If you have already given this year – thank you! And, if you’re wondering how we put your support to work on the ground in the Methow Valley, just ask. We’d love to have a conversation. You can call Sarah at 509-996-2870 or email Sarah. We sure appreciate you!

Mary morgan reading

Read Along with Us this October

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.

High Country News: The Ute Mountain Tribe Goes Solar:
Tribal lands in the lower 48 have the capacity to generate more than 4 times the total electric energy currently produced in the United States. The inspirational Ute Mountain Tribe is leading the way:

Mountain Journal: Does the E-Bike Invasion Represent a Menace to Wildlife and Character of Public Lands:
Speaking of electricity, E-bikes pedaled quickly into the headlines recently with new allowances for them on certain public lands. Is there trouble ahead for wildlife or the multi-use trail culture many have worked to cultivate over the past 30 years?

Bitterroot Magazine: Flames Spared the Methow Valley This Year, But Lessons from Past Fires Remain
Get off you bike and enjoy this piece that attempts to capture our wildfire experience here in the Methow Valley through the voices of our friends, neighbors and even a Methow Conservancy staff member!

Crosscut: Indigenous Fire Practices Once Shaped the Northwest — and They Might Again
“Good” fire season is here and local crews are working hard to make our forests more resilient. We’re getting back to practices that have been utilized by Native cultures for centuries, and that is good news to Native leaders:

Crosscut: Wildfires are Burned into Washington's history — and Our Headlines
Mark Twain visited Tacoma in 1895 and wrote: “Really, your scenery is wonderful. It is quite out of sight.” He had a good sense of humor, as thick wildfire smoke was in the headlines, and not for the first nor last time…

And if all this reading has you ready for something light, you’ll enjoy this year’s finalists for the 2019 The Comedy Wildlife Photography Award.

News from Other Organizations

We're excited to share news of interest from other organizations in the Methow Valley or in the world of conservation.

  • WSU Extension healthy forests workshop and demonstration - On Friday, October 4th from 9am to 4pm, join the WSU extension in Leavenworth for an event to help landowners enhance, protect and manage their forest property for optimum health now and for future generations. Click here to get more information.

If you would like to share news from another organization, please email us by the 25th of the month.

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