News Archive

Lane County Plans to Resume Roadside Spray of Herbicides Immediately

Since 2008, Lane County has maintained roadways mechanically without the use of chemicals that may harm the health of people and wildlife. Some problem areas were identified and a task force recommended allowing limited use of roadside spray.  Recently the county announced that it would resume roadside spray along 400 miles of guardrails. They did not respond to requests for information about how they identified or prioritized areas in need of spray despite the fact that the task force clearly stated “All decision making and process development will be transparent to the public and guided by human and environmental health considerations.”

Further, a public works representative agreed with concerns about toxic run-off during the rainy season and indicated they would not spray at this time.  Yet, road signs indicate that the herbicide application will proceed NOW.

Please contact the county administrator and ask that they stop the herbicide spray plan immediately until a public hearing can be arranged. We need more information and a chance for public input.

Steve Mokrohisky, County Administrator
CountyAdministrator@co.lane.or.us

Phone (541) 682-4203

From Our Treasurer: Simple Pleasures

Talking with a longtime friend on a warm evening in early September, I discovered he had never seen the Vaux’s Swifts entering the chimney at the Old Condon School near Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. The building with the chimney is now called Agate Hall. If you haven’t yet seen the swifts descending into the chimney to roost each evening for a couple of weeks in September and again in April as they migrate through, be sure to put it on your bucket list of birding events. See next April’s Quail for details on Lane County Audubon’s “gatherings” celebrating their spring migration.

The next day, my friend, his wife, and I headed to the chimney, and happened upon a couple of other Audubon folks there doing “citizen science,” counting the number of swifts entering their temporary roost as they migrated south in the fall. There were also a few neighborhood residents who had dropped by to witness the spectacle. It was near sunset, and our small group of observers enjoyed an easy conviviality, sharing our enthusiasm and wonder.

The swifts didn’t disappoint. They began circling right before sunset and gradually increased in numbers until they filled the sky, circling the chimney like a tornado, getting ready to retire for the night.

Welcome New LCAS Board Member, Rachael Friese

We want to welcome Rachael Friese to the Lane Audubon Board! Rachael has been involved with our organization as the Audubon Adventures coordinator since spring of 2016. She is excited about birding and cares deeply about the value of environmental education for her children and all children.

Rachael’s Self-introduction
Hello! I’m Rachael Friese and when I’m not too busy being a wife and mom, I’m also the Audubon Adventures coordinator for LCAS. I’m happy to join the board and continue my efforts to protect birds through education and conservation. My interest in birds was sparked by a pair of Western Screech Owls only four years ago and I haven’t put my binoculars down since!

Thanks and Farewell to Caryn Stoess

We want to thank Caryn Stoess for her service on the Lane Audubon Board since January of 2015. She took on the Audubon in the Schools program, one of our important educational activities. Caryn has been a great asset as well as a fun companion on our bird walks and other events. Her enthusiasm for birding and learning will be missed. Caryn has moved to Corvallis for a new job and will continue her birding adventures up the valley. Best of luck and thank you Caryn—we will miss you!

From Our President: Savoring an Autumn Sunset

One corner of our land, on the far northeast slope, is tucked under the overhanging branches of the big firs. It is a peaceful hill where we have buried our pets, and where the previous owner had buried his old dog. My husband has made grave markers for each of them. I have many memories here. In the spring, this corner has the first Red Currant blossoms and a spreading patch of fragrant Lady-slipper Orchids. A patch of Pacific Hounds-tongue blue flowers lights up the area when they bloom. It is the spot where one of our dogs cornered a porcupine against the fence, giving us a chance to see the little animal at close range, before we helped it find an opening to get away. Here we have seen bobcat and coyote scat along a deer trail that continues over the old fence into the woods to the north.

Rachel Carson Award Winners

Our LCAS president, Maeve Sowles, and our conservation chair, Debbie Schlenoff, along with Louise Shimmel of Cascades Raptor Center, are soon to be honored for receiving the Rachel Carson Award. This award highlights efforts to reduce and eliminate pesticides in ways that protect community and environmental health.

The three women worked as a team and partnered with NCAP, publishing an op-ed piece about Rozol and other rodenticides.

Audubon in the Schools Program Coordinator Needed!

The Audubon in the Schools (AITS) curriculum comprises five fun-filled lessons that combine bird biology and basic art techniques. Originally developed by artist Kris Kirkeby, our former Education Chair, the lessons are excellent examples of participatory education. The program is designed to provide elementary students with a solid introduction to core aspects of bird biology, including feather anatomy and function, bird identification techniques, bird field marks, and habitat. The coordinator oversees all facets of the program. This includes classroom scheduling and volunteer training, plus teaching lessons to students along with the other volunteers. Help us take this wonderful education program to new heights!

For more information, visit our Volunteer page online at laneaudubon.org/support/volunteer, or contact Maeve Sowles at 541.343.8664, or president@laneaudubon.org.

Compiler wanted for Florence Christmas Bird Count

The Florence Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has been an annual December event for 34 years. The data from that count, which averages about 130 species, provides local birders and counters an invigorating early winter challenge away from the preparations for the holidays. The Florence count folds into the greater LCAS CBC.

From Our President: LCAS Thrives on Volunteers, New and Well-seasoned

We are happy to announce that Ramiro Aragon has agreed to be an LCAS Board member. He has attended Board meetings, co-led our Latino Outreach programs, assisted with bird walks for more than two years, and recently graduated from OSU with a Master’s of Natural Resources. He is also a dedicated advocate for birds and wildlife and teaching people to enjoy the experience of the natural world. We appreciate the time and talents he brings to Lane Audubon.
Ramiro is but one shining example of our dedicated volunteers. Building our core group of volunteers is our most powerful means for reaching out to the community and engaging the public with our goals of education and conservation.

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