From Our President: An Abundance of Gratitude

The ending of this year and beginning of a new year make me think of gratitude.

I find it important for my sanity to remember the many ways I need to be thankful for my existence, and to appreciate the many people for whom I am grateful. Obviously family and friends top my list, but many others whom I’ve met through Lane Audubon also enrich my life. 2018 will be the 18th year I’ve served as president of this group. It has become an identity, as well as a passion that fills me with purpose. I am also grateful for the many members who have either become friends or with whom we share a sense of familiarity and common ground. This interconnectedness gives us a shared space within which we can communicate and feel accepted.

Gratitude deepens and energizes relationships.

Conservation Column: Be Alert to Drongo Tactics in Congress

Drongos are short-legged birds who literally speak with forked tongues, as do many passerines. They are good mimics. Birds mimic for many reasons, but the drongo can use this ability for tactical deceit. When they see a meerkat carrying food, the drongos loudly mimic a meerkat alarm call. This causes the duped individual to drop their food and run for cover. Guess who gets the food?

Similarly, some people in Congress are giving an alarm call about forest practices and wildfire danger. Proponents of HR 2936 and SB 1731 claim that these new laws would make our forests healthier. What seems more likely is that they will provide benefits to timber companies without protecting the forests. The ironically named “Resilient Forest Act” just passed in the House. The Senate version, “The Forest Management Improvement Act”, has been introduced and may soon be up for a vote. Some troubling aspects of the bills are that they exempt forest projects from review and from the protection of environmental laws, such as the Endangered Species Act and NEPA, the National Environmental Protection Act. For example, the Forest Service would no longer need to consult with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service experts to determine if a project would harm a protected species, and they would no longer need to do an environmental review to determine what the impacts of their project would be.

Visit the LCAS Booth at the Good Earth Show-January 19-21, 2018

Make your plans now to visit Lane Audubon’s booth at the 13th annual Good Earth Home, Garden & Living Show, which runs January 19-21, 2018, at the Lane Events Center, 796 West 13th Avenue, in Eugene. Hundreds of vendors with earth-friendly products, a non-stop array of informative seminars and workshops on environmental and sustainability topics, and fascinating displays from many local businesses and organizations will all be part of the scene at the Good Earth Show this year. LCAS will have its booth there, as we have in years past. Stop by to say hello, and get to know our local birds a little bit better.

Third Saturday Bird Walk - January 20, 2018 8 a.m.

Thomas Meinzen will lead this walk. The walk site will be determined by interesting bird sightings posted to OBOL and other pertinent information available before the day of the walk. Details will be posted on the LCAS Facebook page: facebook.com/pages/Lane-County-Audubon-Society/330177413824, and on the website: laneaudubon.org.

All ages and skill levels are welcome. Bring binoculars, if you have them. To carpool, meet at 8 a.m. at the South Eugene High School parking lot, corner of 19th and Patterson. We plan to return by noon. Remember that it’s not a good idea to leave valuables or your vehicle registration in your car if you leave it at the lot. A $3 donation is appreciated to help support Lane County Audubon’s activities.

FMI: Rebecca Waterman at 541.653.3354 or Rebecca.waterman@gmail.com.

Date: 
Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 8:00am
Location: 
TBA

Program Meeting: Tuesday, January 23, 2018--Fernhill Wetlands Restoration Project

In 2014-15 Clean Water Services (CWS) implemented a massive habitat restoration project within the Fernhill Wetlands in the Portland Metro region. Joe Liebezeit, Avian Conservation Program Manager for Portland Audubon, will detail the restoration that transformed 90 acres of unused sewage ponds into a complex native wetlands habitat designed to treat wastewater. Fernhill Wetlands has historically been an important Portland-area birding location. Designated as an Important Bird Area, it provides ecological connectivity for local wildlife. The Audubon Society of Portland (ASOP) has been working with CWS since spring 2015 to assess bird response to the habitat restoration effort. This community science effort has involved local birders, using formal bird surveys designed and conducted by ASOP, and analysis of historical birder surveys conducted at the site for decades. General predictions were that use of the restored area by bird species dependent on open water would diminish, while use by uncommon/vulnerable marsh species (e.g. rails, bitterns) and other species dependent on native wetland habitats would increase. Joe will tell us how that is working out.

Date: 
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St

Ecology of the Butterflies of the Marble Mountain Wilderness

The Marble Mountain Wilderness is a remarkably diverse part of the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. In this night's talk Dr. Rob Fernau will introduce its environmental interactions - between land-forms, geology, hydrology, climatology, plant communities and associated butterfly communities. He'll conclude with an analysis of how butterflies are responding to climatic changes based on his > 30 years of research in the Marble Mountains.

Date: 
Monday, February 12, 2018 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St

Thank you

To Bryan Ribelin for providing his artwork for our “Thank You” post cards. His line drawing of a Killdeer provides a lovely artistic image that we will use as an acknowledgement for our member donations.

To Dick Lamster, who presented a bird box talk at the BOGS (Birds of Oregon and General Science) group on November 2. Sixty-three people attended! Dick also presented a backyard bird talk to the Junction City Garden Club on November 7.

To the Darkhorse Band from Salem Oregon (facebook.com/Darkhorsesalem/?fref=mentions), who organized a fundraiser with profits targeted to wildfire relief for animals affected during the summer fire season. Darkhorse, along with Viking Braggot Company (drinkviking.com), raised $308 dollars during a Eugene concert on October 21st. Lane Audubon is matching the donation and dividing the gift between Chintimini Wildlife Center in Corvallis and Cascades Raptor Center, both of whom receive injured animals from our Lane County area. We also want to thank our volunteers who attended the event, Hilary Dearborn and Rachael Friese.

To Jim and Charlotte Maloney, who have been organizing the Third Saturday bird walks since summer of 2013. We want to thank Jim and Charlotte for their time and effort planning and organizing the bird walks, welcoming people in attendance, teaching and helping attendees, and creating a fun, enjoyable experience for all. While they still plan to participate, they are ready to pass on the organizational responsibilities. They recently recruited a new volunteer to head this event, Rebecca Waterman, who has been enjoying the walks for several years. We are happy to welcome and also thank Rebecca for taking on the fun challenge of the Third Saturday bird walks. We look forward to working with you!

It’s Not Too Late to Donate!

The November issue of The Quail contained LCAS’s annual fundraising request and donation envelope. If you neglected to respond right away, it’s not too late to do so. You can always contribute online at laneaudubon.org/support/donate, or mail your tax-deductible donation to Lane County Audubon Society, PO Box 5086, Eugene OR 97405. Thanks for your ongoing support!

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