from Linda de Kort

We are excited to announce a web site for the West Valley Naturalists. This group began about ten years ago as a spin off from a “More Kids in the Woods” grant written by Teresa Wenum at USFS and administered by Flathead Audubon. We hold programs (up until the pandemic) at the school and occasional field trips in the summer. On a recent foray into Kuhn’s Wildlife Management area with a small group, socially distanced, we were wondering where to post the photos of this intriguing place. And that is how the idea for a website began. It took little time for Skip Via to hatch the idea. Skip and his wife Mary retired to West Valley five years ago from Fairbanks Alaska where Skip was a professor of telecommunications. His expertise and dedication to detail are evident in the website.

We are so grateful to Skip for so generously sharing his talent and many many hours getting this project up and running so smoothly. You can check out recent wanderings at the Kuhn’s Wildlife Management area, have a look at some of the gorgeous local mushrooms that have sprouted and much much more. There will be frequent current postings so please keep checking back. I especially liked the “ID Me” feature that Skip included on the website. Many of us are confounded by plants and bugs that are new to us. If you can post a photo (and Skip and help you do that) all the rest of us can learn from it too. Skip came to our rescue just as our programs and field trips were shutting down because of the pandemic. Now we can still stay connected.

It is a work in progress as we continue to discover and as contributors are invited to join. You can access it now at Please feel free to leave comments and make suggestions and corrections.

If you would like to contribute journal posts to the site, contact and explain what your goals for contributing are. You do NOT need to log in to the site to make comments on the pages, but you will need a login name and password to be a journal contributor. We hope you enjoy and benefit from the site.