presented by Ben Deeble

Ben Deeble holding a Sharp-tailed Grouse

After their absence of over 20 years, this fall the reintroduction of sharp-tailed grouse to western Montana was launched. The effort culminates years of habitat analysis, planning, and partnership by private landowners, non-governmental organizations, and public agencies. The goal is to restore a sustainable population of sharptails for at least the next 50 years, reestablishing the full complement of Montana’s historically breeding bird species.

Ben Deeble has been studying and working to conserve western birds for nearly 30 years. He earned a Master’s degree from the University of Montana in 1995 studying a remnant population of sharp-tailed grouse in the Blackfoot Valley, and continued gaining experience working for Idaho Fish and Game and the Bureau of Land Management on sharptails and sage-grouse. He went on to work for over a decade with the National Wildlife Federation from Missoula leading their sage-grouse conservation program west wide, eventually moving the project to Montana Audubon. Presently he is president of the Big Sky Upland Bird Association, and is working in a public-private partnership to restore sharp-tailed grouse to western Montana.

Ever since we decided to put a pause on in-person meetings, we’ve been longing for them to come back like a spring migration. After much deliberation, we’ve decided to have not just an in-person meeting, but a hybrid meeting! What this means is that we’ll meet together at the United Way building (old Gateway Mall), but we’ll also be broadcasting in Zoom!

For those coming to the meeting, we’ll meet in Room 26 (different than in past) at 7 PM which is on the east side of the building along Glenwood Rd in Kalispell. Look for our banner hanging outside. Please practice social distancing for seating in the large meeting room and we strongly encourage mask wearing.

For those deciding to attend virtually, we’ll be testing out not only broadcasting the presentation, but also trying to integrate you as well, so that you can report bird sightings and ask questions at the end of the presentation. This is a first effort so there are bound to be a few kinks to work out, but stay with us as we try and be not only safe, but inclusive for all those that want to attend!

The virtual attendance will be via the online Zoom platform on January 10th, 2021, at 7pm Mountain Time (you can hop on at 6:30pm to chat with fellow FAS members). Check your January Pileated Post for the link or email us at requesting the link with instructions to connect.

The program is free and open to the public.

Videos of earlier FAS meeting presentations are available at