by Pam Willison, Co-Chair, OSNA Committee

Owen-Sowerwine Natural Area

Flathead Conservation District has awarded FAS a $2000 grant through their Cost-Share program, which will be used to address the weed problem in Owen Sowerwine. This is a 75%/25% matching grant, which means FAS will need to provide match funds and volunteer hours to fulfill our match and use the grant.  FCD provides this program for “on-the-ground” conservation projects, including control of noxious weeds. We look forward to coordinating with bordering land owners for the most efficient use of funds and effective control of noxious weeds at the fence lines, as well as working in some of the core areas.

Through a variety of techniques, we hope to give the native plants a competitive edge and improve the habitat for birds and other critters, as well as for the human visitor to Owen Sowerwine. Many thanks to Flathead Conservation District for the funding awarded to FAS through this program. Thanks also to the members of the Grants and OSNA Committees for the hours of work invested in the grant application.  We should all start seeing the positive results when new efforts get underway early next spring.

On a related note, we recorded over 160 hours of volunteer work done in OSNA and directed toward the control of various noxious and invasive plants and shrubs. These volunteers worked to control houndstongue, thistle, knapweed, oxeye daisy, poison ivy, viburnum, buckthorn, daphne, and barberry.  Volunteers are such an important part of programs at Flathead Audubon, and I offer my heart-felt thanks to the volunteers in OSNA for their time, sweat equity, and concern.