September 2019 Enews
Photo by Rachelle Weymuller

September 2019 Enews

Interwoven lives

September First Tuesday: Interwoven Lives - Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities

Tuesday, September 3rd, 7pm - 8pm,
Location: The Winthrop Barn
Free, no reservation required.

We'll hear from local Washington author Candace Wellman, whose first book of biographies, Peace Weavers, won the national 2018 WILLA award for scholarly nonfiction. In her recent companion volume Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities she shares the stories of 19th century Indigenous wives of county officials, military officers, and other settlers in the Washington Territory. While these strong women became community mothers across the region, they have been left out of local histories.

First Tuesdays are free presentations offered each month (usually on the first Tuesday of the month, but not always!). We host local and regional speakers on topics of interest related to the natural and human history of the region, ecology and conservation hot topics, and other inspirations to help people care for the land. If you have a topic you hope we'll cover in a First Tuesday, let us know.

Hancock Restoration by Katy Pfannenstein
Restoration Work at Hancock Springs, Photo by Katy Pfannenstein

Learn with Us!

From beavers to barns, we've got a great line up of educational classes and presentations to learn more about this Valley and beyond:

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

Get Involved: Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Looking for ways 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.

Farm Tour Tackman by Alyssa
Attendees toured the McFarland Creek Lamb Ranch fiber studio, and got to see and feel naturally-dyed yarns. Photo by Alyssa Jumars.

Farm Tours a Hit!

This summer, we tried something a little different with First Tuesdays… we took them to the farm! We visited McFarland Creek Lamb Ranch in Methow, Ruby Slippers Farm in Carlton, and BCS Livestock in Winthrop. We learned all about the specialized tools and creative techniques that each of these farms are using to bring us their unique products. And we discovered the passion they all share for caring for the land and raising nutritious food for their community. Big thanks to these farmers for sharing their stories and their homes! Stay tuned for next year’s line up of First Tuesday’s on the Farm, June through August!

Methow Grown Guide 2

Methow Grown Farm & Ranch Guide 2.0

We send a grateful shout out to the Methow Valley Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Washington for providing the grant funds to release the 2019 version of our popular Methow Grown Farm & Ranch Guide. More than 20 local farms and ranches are highlighted and the beautiful photography and each farm's unique story will definitely inspire you! If you'd like a copy of the free guide, email us or look for them around the Valley at different retailers.

Coyote print reduced

Have You Seen This?

A beautiful new brochure titled First People of the Methow has just been published and is now available for free around the Methow Valley. This informational map was produced to provide an introduction to the Methow Valley and its First People.

Over ten thousand years ago, the Methow Valley was covered in glaciers up to a mile thick, the tallest peaks in a sea of ice. As the ice receded, the First People settled throughout the Methow Valley, where food and cultural resources were available. They established several trails and trade routes and traded goods with the coastal and plains regions. Their descendants, the Methow, continue to live in this region, teaching and practicing cultural traditions passed down through hundreds of generations.

Users are encouraged to walk the trails and visit the interpretive sites noted on the map. Please respect the land and personal property. Do not disturb archaeological sites. Leave only footprints, take only memories. The map is a project of the Methow Valley Interpretive Center - a great place for an in-depth experience of the unique geology and natural history of the Methow Valley, and the pre-European native inhabitants.

Planning photo

Comment Period Extended for County Comp Plan

September 19th is the new deadline for written comments on the Okanogan County Draft Comprehensive Plan and Draft EIS. As constructive participants in the Comp Plan process for over 12 years, Methow Conservancy staff continue to review the draft documents and input by others with the goal of seeing the County adopt a legally defensible Plan which supports good local land use and water planning, supports agriculture, and protects the natural resources critical to the rural character and economy of the Methow Valley. Our Board approved a formal comment letter on Sept 12th--click here to read the letter. You can find the Plan documents and information on how to comment here.

Cider Squeeze MK
Cider Squeeze fun circa 2007. Come join us for our 2022 Squeeze on September 25th. Photo by Mary Kiesau

Join us for the Big Squeeze

Methow Conservancy Annual Cider Squeeze & Social
Saturday, September 28th from 2:00 – 4:00pm
The Sabold Residence, 17 Bean Rd, Winthrop

Mark your calendars for September 28th for our annual Cider Squeeze at Dave and Marilyn Sabold’s. 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. Our goal: no one leaves without juice!

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

Homestream park sign

Coming Soon: Homestream Park

Grand Opening & Coming Home Celebration
October 13th, 11am-2pm
@ Homestream Park

We're excited to celebrate the Grand Opening of Winthrop's newest park with visionaries and project leaders Cathy and Phil Davis, and we'll hope you'll join in the fun, too. Homestream Park will be a community gathering place that honors the rivers, fish, and Native People of the Methow Valley. The Park has been made possible thanks to many partners, volunteers, advisors, and supporters throughout the Valley and beyond. It will be a place to pause, reflect, and enjoy a floodplain under restoration, inspiring sculptures by Smoker Marchand, and the reciprocal impact of rivers and fish on all of us.

Mazama Riverfront Photo By Methow Conservancy
Photo by Jason Paulsen

Did You Know: Why Leaves Change Colors in Fall

by Heide Andersen, Stewardship Director

Maybe you too have noticed that even in the 90-degree temperatures some of the leaves along your favorite trail have recently turned red? Perhaps you’ve wondered exactly what changes and why? It is all a fascinating chemical process. The summer sunlight not only encourages us to get out on our mountain bikes or go hiking, it encourages the leaves to work out as well. They are making chlorophyll, which gives leaves their green color. This unique chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, as food for the plants. But lurking in the background behind the dominating green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll, which also do things like give carrots their orange color.

With the change in light in the fall, leaves stop their food-making process, the chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors take the forefront. The variety of colors that you see in the foliage of different trees is the result of varying levels of chlorophyll residue and the particular concentration of each of the other pigments in the leaves. Besides light, temperature, and water supply do have an influence on the degree and duration of autumn color. Colder temperatures that are still above freezing will favor brilliant reds in the maples. Rainy and overcast days will lead to more intense fall color. Drought or an early frost can cause leaves to fall off of the trees before they’ve even had a chance to change color. If you see any terrific fall colors in the Methow in the next few months, send us a picture!

Palm, Carl E. (2019). Why Leaves Change Color. Retrieved from
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2019). Why do Leaves Change Color. Retrieved from

Summer Reading

Read Along with Us this September

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.

New York Times: As Phoenix Heats Up, the Night Comes Alive - This interesting interactive piece takes a focused look at how one of America’s hottest cities maintains its way of life in spite of summer’s oppressing heat.

Seattle Times: More than a Viral Sensation, the Salmon Cannon Could Bring the Species Back to the Upper Columbia After 90 Years - Inspired by the orchards of Eastern Washington, this technological marvel created by Bellevue based Whoosh Industries is part of the Colville Confederated Tribes new strategy for reintroducing Salmon into the Upper Columbia and Spokane Rivers.

Washington Post: The Dog is One of the World’s Most Destructive Mammals. Brazil Proves It. - In environmental circles, especially the more bird-centric ones, cats often get the bad wrap as the ecological deviants. Yet dogs, in places like Brazil are growing in numbers, forming packs, and wreaking havoc on natural areas and endangered species. The U.S. may not have the same feral dog problem as many Latin American countries, but it’s important for us as dog owners to be aware of the fact that domesticity has only changed their behavior towards humans not the natural world.

High Country News: Bobcats Persevere Despite Human Encroachment - These incredible photos of one of our most forgotten backyard residents will inspire you to look a little harder on your evening walk for this charismatic creature.

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.

  • Water 2066 Community Workshops - The Methow Watershed Council (MWC) is inviting all interested individuals to attend one of two Community Workshops to learn from the community what is desired for the future of water in the Methow Valley. The workshops are on Wednesday, September 18th and Thursday, September 19th at 6pm at the Methow Valley Community Center. The results of this community visioning exercise will be provided to governments, regulatory agencies, sovereign tribes, and NGOs to inform water management plans and actions by those entities charged with that task. You can find more information here.
    • 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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