OSNA Volunteer Monitoring Program


Flathead Audubon has been the local manager of the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area since 1997.

Crucial to this management is monitoring the Area – to discover what birds and other wildlife are frequenting the Area, to find out when walkways or fences need fixing, look for signs that Natural Area rules are being violated, watch for parking problems or trail blockages, and generally keep track of what is happening there.

The Owen Sowerwine Volunteer Monitoring Program was instituted in 2007. The Program recruits volunteers who provide regular reports on what they encounter when visiting OSNA. This allows us keep up on maintenance chores, identify problems, estimate visitor numbers and learn about visitor activities, and develop a more complete list of the plants, birds, and wildlife at OSNA.

Volunteer Monitors serve as the eyes and ears of Flathead Audubon at Owen Sowerwine.

We are looking for Monitoring Volunteers for the months of March through November.


Take an OSNA Monitoring Form and an OSNA map on a monitoring visit to Owen Sowerwine. The form indicates what sorts of things to look for and where to look. The map shows the areas and trails referenced on the form. If you wish, you may use a camera to document your observations.

Whenever you go to Owen Sowerwine Natural Area – whether for just a short time to walk on the trails, or for a few hours of birding, make it a monitoring visit. Take along a Monitoring Form, indicate on the form what parts of Owen Sowerwine you visit, and record what you see as you walk around. If you have a chance to talk with other visitors or with Owen Sowerwine neighbors, find out what they like to do at Owen Sowerwine, how often they visit and what wildlife they’ve seen, and get their comments and suggestions. Record this information in the “Comments” portion of the Monitoring Form.

Send the completed form (and any pictures you’ve taken) to Kay Mitchell, who records the information on the form for our OSNA records. She will notify Rick Mace, OSNA On-the-Ground Manager, when a maintenance need is reported. (Kay’s USPS and email addresses are on the Form; pictures can be sent by email).

The OSNA Monitoring Form and map are available in this section of our website. The form is also available at FAS meetings and at the Treasure Lane kiosk and Greenridge sign board.

In the past we’ve signed up volunteers up for scheduled monitoring visits. This year we are experimenting with having no scheduled visits. We’ll see if without them we can still get adequate feedback on what is happening at OSNA.

BE SURE TO LET US KNOW ABOUT THE BIRDS YOU SEE! If you report a species that is not yet on the OSNA bird list, Kay will make sure it gets added. Use the “Comments” portion of the Monitoring Form.