Highlights from the March 2016 Board Meeting:

  • Heard Treasurer’s Report that total revenue exceeds expenses to date for this fiscal year and that total financial assets have declined due to stock market trends.
  • President Kay Mitchell reported a number of accomplishments to date this year including the finding of suitable storage space for FAS materials, recruiting several new committee members, and the updating of the FAS logo.
  • Heard that Montana Audubon signed off on the Owen Sowerwine Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Heard report that the Wiley-Robbins Bird Blind project had finally received the floodplain permit and work was continuing on getting the piers in place.
  • Heard report that a variety of field trips for the spring and summer are scheduled and that the American Prairie Foundation trip is already full.
  • Discussed participation in the “Great Fish” community fundraising effort and decided that the timing was not right for FAS.
  • The Website Committee reported that updates have been accomplished, and material from the Pileated Post is put on the website.  A draft policy concerning e-commerce was discussed and will be revised and brought back to the board next month.
  • Heard Membership report that both Flathead Audubon memberships (approximately 182) and National memberships (approximately 251) are down somewhat with 64 memberships that overlap.

Upcoming Elections

The FAS Board election is soon upon us! At the May potluck, FAS will elect a Secretary, Treasurer and several Director positions. It is not too early to start thinking about who you would like to see guide FAS for the near future. The person sitting next to you at the last meeting is a good choice, and the person sitting in your seat is also a good choice! If you know of someone who would be a good leader, please contact Bob Lee (270-0371 or rml3@centurytel.net); someone from the Nominations Committee will talk with them about roles and responsibilities and get them on the ballot. And anyone that would like to serve on the Nominations Committee should also contact Bob.

May Flathead Audubon Meeting

When: Monday, May 9, 2016

Where: Whitefish Community Center,121 Second Street, Whitefish

Program: Marco Restani, Director of Conservation, Montana Audubon.

Time: Doors Open 5:00 PM, Potluck Dinner 6:00 PM, Meeting Begins 7:00 PM.

Be sure to arrive early enough to look over and bid on silent auction items! Officers and Board Members will be elected.

Silent Auction

It’s Coming! – The annual Silent Auction at the Flathead Audubon May Potluck. Now’s the perfect time to gather all of the valuable “stuff” that you might be able to live without. Popular items at past Silent Auctions have been bird books, outdoor gear, art work, live bedding plants, homemade pies and cookies and bird houses and feeders of all kinds. This is your opportunity to be a Primo Recycler!

Flathead Valley Community College Early Bird Trip and Bioblitz

On Saturday, April 23, 2016 the Flathead Valley Community College (FVCC) is hosting a Bioblitz, a full day of a campus-wide citizen-science effort to inventory of all living things. Prior to the start of the Bioblitz, Steve Gniadek, Dick Walker, and KC Voermans will lead a birding field trip through some of the diverse habitats on the FVCC campus. Meet at 7:30 AM at the tents south of the Early Childhood Center; parking is available just north of the Center. We’ll return to the tents by 9:00 AM for the Bioblitz welcome and kickoff, followed by guided hikes of approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour each on the FVCC campus, centered on bird watching, plant identification, fungi identification, insect collection and aquatic invertebrate collection, plus DNA barcoding demonstrations. To pre-register for the early bird field trip, call Steve at 892-7406; or just show up at 9:00 AM for the main Bioblitz.

picture of patchVintage Flathead Audubon Patch

Recently discovered and only a few left! Wonderful for a jacket, shirt, or pack. Get one for a suggested donation of $10. Proceeds go to the Education Program. Available at the April General Meeting.

Family Forestry Expo

The 27th annual Family Forestry Expo will take place at Stoltze Lumber’s Ron Buntemeyer Educational Forest located to the north of Kalispell along Trumble Creek on Saturday, 7 May, from 9 AM — 3 PM. This is a family event that offers hands-on understanding of the role that forests play in our everyday lives.  Expo visitors explore how the different parts of a forest are connected to make up a dynamic, living system, how people and all parts of the environment are dependent on one another, and how each affects the other.

There is a free “loggers lunch,” demonstrations, exhibits, and a forest walk with many educational stops, including one run by Flathead Audubon Society. If you enjoy being outdoors on a spring day talking to people of all ages about forests, ecosystems and especially birds, please contact Lisa Flowers, the FAS Conservation Educator, at auduboneducator@gmail.com or call 406-781-1721.

West Valley Naturalist, April 2016

How can you tell a good weed from a bad weed?  How can you keep bad weeds in check without harming others? What are the many ways (high cost or low cost, much time or little time, most or least effective) to control invasive plants?  These are some of the questions that will be answered by Tris Hoffman, Weed Coordinator of the Flathead National Forest.  Tris has been generously spreading information about weed control in our valley for 10 years.  She is also the coordinator for the West Valley School insectary.  Tris will bring lots of examples and visual displays to this presentation.   It will begin at 7 pm and will be in the West Valley Middle School Commons. For more information please contact Tris at 758-3510 or Jeanine Buettner  755 4733.

The West Valley Naturalist Awards were presented to two of the students who presented their projects at West Valley Science Fair.  Emily Cleveland and MaKenna Hartle  used good scientific technique and asked questions about local issues (effect of road deicers on soil organisms and benefits of using recycled aquarium water in aquaculture).   We are grateful to Sportsman Ski Haus for donating prizes for these two young scientists.

Volunteer Monitors for Owen Sowerwine are Needed

Our tenth season of Volunteer Monitoring at Owen Sowerwine has begun!

Volunteers are needed to make monitoring visits to the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area (OSNA) throughout this coming summer.

Here are 2 ways you can help:

  1. Take an OSNA Volunteer Monitoring Form with you whenever you visit OSNA. Record what you see and hear, and mail the form to Rick Mace (address on form).
  2. Do a scheduled monitoring visitTHANK YOU to all who have already signed up to do a scheduled visit this summer! At this point, only 2 more volunteers are needed to fill the summer schedule. We still need volunteers for the periods: August 1-15 and August 16-31. The job is simple: Make one monitoring visit during the period you choose. Record your observations on a Volunteer Monitoring Form, and mail it to Rick.

For more information or to sign up for a scheduled visit, please contact me (755-1406 or lindawin@centurytel.net). The OSNA Volunteer Monitoring form can be printed from the FAS website (www.flatheadaudubon.org), and will also be available at FAS meetings. A trail map that helps you locate the places referred to on the form is also available on the FAS website and at FAS meetings. Or contact me if you want them emailed or mailed to you.