Highlights from April 2, 2018 Board Meeting

  • The May business meeting will be short.  We will elect officers and new board members and vote to revise the Constitution/Bylaws.
  • Beauty of Birds class has been cancelled for this year.
  • The board authorized printing 1000 revised FAS brochures.  They will be available at the Montana Bird Festival in June.
  • Renee Cordes has joined the Education Committee. 

Birds of Prey Festival—Save the Date!

This year’s Birds Of Prey Festival will be held Saturday, September 15th at Lone Pine State Park starting at 9:00 AM for general activities and 7:30 for the early-bird walk.

Last year, we had over 500 members of our community participate, and we expect the numbers to grow again. Booths, activities, great presentations, live hawks and owls, and fun raptor-oriented family art and craft projects are scheduled again. Don’t miss it!


West Valley Naturalists are thrilled that Denny Olsen will lead our program on April 30. Denny says that he will present a program on Bird Brains. We are certain that the attendees will come away with a totally different notion of what that term means. This presentation will be held in the boardroom of West Valley School, 2290 Farm to Market Road, at PM on Monday, April 30. Guides will meet you at the main entrance to show you the way. This is open to the public with no charge…and who knows…. you might come away with a few Doves in your pocket!

Wildfire in the Bigfork Area – May 1, Science on Tap

Ali Umwelling, Rick Trembath, Bret Pargman, and former Bigfork Fire Chief Mark Thiry, will talk about the history and ecology of wildfires in the Bigfork Area, and about fire safety, May 1, 6 PM, at the Flathead Lake Brewing Company in Bigfork, as part of the Science on Tap series.

Science on Tap presentations will continue over the summer but at a different location. For information about the summer schedule visit www.scienceontapflathead.org/

Mission Mountain Audubon May Program

Thursday May 10, 7 PM, Polson Library Meeting Room. “Tracking Moose in Western Montana” by Jessie Newby, wildlife biologist, Montana FWP.

Family Forestry Expo for 2018

The 29th Family Forestry Expo will take place at Stoltze Lumber’s Ron Buntemeyer Educational Forest located north of Kalispell along Trumbull Creek on Saturday, 12 May, from 9 AM — 3 PM. This is a free family-oriented event that offers a hands-on understanding of the role that local forests play in our everyday lives. Expo visitors get to explore how the different parts of a forest are connected to make up a dynamic ecosystem, 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.

FAS has maintained an exhibit at the Family Forestry Expo for many years and are always looking for volunteers to help show Expo visitors the value and beauty of birds. If you enjoy being outdoors on a spring day and talking to people of all ages about forests, and especially birds, please contact Denny Olson, the FAS Conservation Educator, at auduboneducator@ gmail.com. Whether you are a volunteer, participant or just want to enjoy a day in the woods, everyone is welcome to come on out to the Forestry Expo on Saturday, 12 May.

Montana Native Plant Society Field Trip

Flathead Chapter of Montana Native Plant Society invites you to their Birdsong Tree Farm Evening Stroll on Wednesday, May 16. Birdsong Tree Farm is adjacent to the Smith Lake Waterfowl Production Area and supports a diversity of native and non-native plants. Owner Valerie Beebe diligently implements her land management plan with the help of a conservation easement, Certified Family Forest (tree farm), and lots of hard work. We’ll see and hear about changes to the forest community as a result of Valerie’s work, and some that occurred on their own. Bring a picnic supper to enjoy at her outdoor living space and teepee. See https://www.facebook.com/BirdsongTreeFarm for more about Birdsong Tree Farm.

Meeting time/location: 5:30 PM. Parking lot east of the Social Security and Driver Services offices in Kalispell or 5:45 at Birdsong Tree Farm – call Valerie for directions:  cedartrees4me@montanasky.us or 406.253.8536.

For a current list of Montana Native Plant Society, Flathead Field trips, go to http://www.mtnativeplants.org/Flathead. 

North Shore Boat Tour, June 28

Join Flathead River to Lake Initiative partners the evening of June 28 aboard the Far West tour boat to celebrate conservation success and learn about projects on the North Shore and the Flathead River. Tickets may be purchased for $50 by contacting the Flathead Lakers at 883-1341 or Flathead Land Trust at 752-8293.

Vote on Change to Constitution and Bylaws at May Meeting

Two years ago, after an extensive review of the FAS Constitution and Bylaws, the Board of Directors proposed several changes and additions to both documents, and these were approved by the membership at the May 2017 meeting. The resulting version of the FAS Constitution and Bylaws can be viewed on the FAS website under “About Us.”

The FAS Board of Directors has voted to recommend a minor change to that 2017 version. In the 1990s National Audubon required that Audubon chapters include certain wording in their constitution and bylaws; those required portions were marked by an asterisk (*), and this annotation was explained in a short paragraph preceding the Constitution itself. After extensive investigation and multiple inquiries to National Audubon, FAS Treasurer Joe Batts has found no evidence that this is still required by National Audubon. Therefore, the FAS Board recommends that the explanatory paragraph and the asterisk notations be removed from the FAS Constitution and Bylaws. This will allow FAS to modify and adapt it’s Constitution and Bylaws more easily to our needs .

At our May 14 meeting, the FAS membership will vote on accepting this recommendation.

We again thank all our donors who have been so generous throughout the year. As a result, Flathead Audubon has been able to continue our many fine programs that reach a broad spectrum of people.

Flathead Audubon Society Revenue and Expenses 2017

January-December 2017

Ordinary Income/Expense


Calendar Income 3,600.00
Donation Restricted
Education 595.00
Hawk Watch 600.00
More Kids in the Woods 8,459.06
Other 120.00
Owen Sowerwine Natural Area 24.30
Raptor Day 250.00
West Valley Conservation Easement 2,903.75
Total Donations Restricted 12,952.11
Donations Unrestricted
Amazon Smile 84.93
Birdathon 3,563.00
Calendar Sponsor 450.00
Duck 52.00
Individual donations 1,993.39
Jack White 24.15
Pledge by Board member 1,470.00
Pledge by General Member 1,648.00
Prudential grants 493.70
Quinn Foundation 1,000.00
Roads Scholar 1,500.00
Soroptomists 2,000.00
United Way 296.00
WF Community Foundation 1,000.00
Donations Unrestricted-other 210.023
Total Donations Unrestricted 15,785.40
Grants 400.00
Interest income 205.00
Local Dues 6,278.65
Calendar 5,915.20
Silent Auction 867.00
Other 321.82
Total Sales 7,104.02
Total Income 46,122.23
Cost of Goods Sold 84.52
Gross Profit 46,037.71


Administrative 127.98
Fundraising Expenses
Birdathon -544.30
Calendar 5,412.97
Other 1,073.80
Total Fundraising Expenses 5,942.47
Donations Made
MT Audubon 1,000.00
United Way 300.00
Total Donations out 1,300.00
Educational Coordinator 26,360.00
Educational Materials 2,257.12
Honorarium 350.00
Raptor Day 1,506.00
Education-Other -75.00
Total Education 30,398.12
Hawk Watch 200.00
Postage 829.60
Printing 2,433.73
Total Newsletter 3,263.33
Owen Sowerwine Natural Area
License 600.00
Management Expenses 201.03
Total OSNA 801.03
Total Program 35,962.48
Total Expense 42,032.93
Net Ordinary Income 4,004.78
Transfer from Savings 121.00
Net Income 3,883.78

FAS Investment Portfolios

Flathead Audubon Society’s Board has instituted four investment portfolios to be dedicated to long term support of our local projects. Four percent or less of the portfolios may be spent on projects each year, so that these funds can grow to be a permanent financial support for our chapter’s good works. The investments fluctuate with the economy, interest rates and stock prices. Total value at the end of 2017 was approximately $217,000.

We try not to tap these funds unless absolutely necessary. Our goal is to build the funds to a level that will support our chapter’s operations with interest/growth only, independent of other fundraising. Much of the money in these investments was donated as bequests from former members who have passed on. We respect their wishes that their gifts be maintained in perpetuity for the strength of the chapter.