We recently had to put our 13-year-old dog, Kahu, to sleep. He had been part of our family his whole life and was a source of fun, companionship, love, and loyalty that whole time. My grieving makes me think of the valuable lessons we learn from animals if we are lucky enough to hold them close in our lives.
Audubon Adventures combines the best of all worlds for participating teachers and their students for the 2015–2016 school year—the new materials are available as printed newsletters with exciting online components. This award-winning environmental educational program introduces students to the fundamental principles by which the natural world functions. This year’s topics focus on protecting Earth’s natural resources:
Audubon Adventures is National Audubon Society’s (NAS) award-winning environmental education program. Audubon Adventures was designed by the environmental experts at NAS and boasts top-quality educational materials. Through our Adopt-a-Classroom Program, Lane County Audubon offers teachers in grades 3–5 an opportunity to participate at no cost to their schools.
LCAS is looking for someone who can link the participating teachers with the generous sponsors of this program. If you have a computer and a little time, this might be the volunteer opportunity you’ve been looking for! It takes flexibility, organization, and a sense of timing to make things work well for the teachers and sponsors.
Your input is needed on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plan for our public forests.
Deadline Friday, August 21. Submit comments at:
The plan is for management of 2.6 million acres of federal land in western Oregon. Unfortunately, most of the proposed options increase clearcutting, reduce streamside buffers, and increase road construction.
- The BLM should protect mature and old growth forest and work to conserve habitat that so many species depend on.
- The BLM should not decrease streamside buffers. Let’s keep the water cool and clean to support fish and drinking water.
- The BLM should not allow further road construction which fragments valuable habitat and delivers sediment to streams.
None of the proposed alternatives provides a sound plan for ecosystem management. Please urge decision makers to present an alternative that values the forest for recreation, a multi-billion dollar industry; that protects habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife; and that guards the ecosystem services such as clean water and carbon storage that an intact forest provides.
Questions? Please contact Debbie at dschlenoff (at) msn.com
We spent the first week of June in Eastern Oregon touring Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and some of the surrounding areas. This is the fourth year of drought there, and it was obvious that several key areas were lacking water. Along Highway 205 south of Burns in an area called The Narrows, no water was in sight. Two lakes, Malheur and Harney, intersect there and usually there’s water at least 15 feet deep beside the road. In years past, we have seen pelicans fishing there and both Western and Clark’s Grebes were easily seen from the road. Another location with NO water this year is in the northeast portion of the refuge along Lawen Lane, which runs into Ruh-Red Road. In previous years, we have seen Avocets feeding and Ruddy Ducks swimming happily there.
Last fall, a 25-acre piece of land across the street from us was clear-cut. It had been a second-growth stand of mixed forest for over 50 years. Some of the trees were very old, so we know that in the past the forest had been only selectively cut. The logging was impossible to ignore and painful to watch and hear. Some of our neighbors had tried to buy the land to preserve the forest, but they lost the bid to the logging company.
Have you been to the top of Skinner Butte to see the bald eagle nest? Yes? Great!
Haven’t seen it because you couldn’t find it?
Haven’t seen it because you didn’t know where to look?
Well, we can help:
Drive to the top of Skinner Butte, park at the overlook, and follow the paved trail, counterclockwise, to the opening in the trees. (See the arrow on the map.) Use the map to locate the nest tree.
Bring binoculars to get a good look. Bring a scope and get an even better look. Bring a good telephoto camera and a tripod and get a good photo!
April showers are on my wish list this year. As I write this in early March, we are in a dry spell and are well below our normal rain and snowfall amounts in western Oregon. I will perform a rain dance if it will help bring us rain. At our property, spring began in February this year. A young satsuma pear tree was in full bloom before the end of February. Pollinators were out looking for flower nectar, but most were left wandering and wondering where their food was during the untimely warm days. Bats were out looking for food earlier than I’ve seen them before too. Many of the spring birds arrived at our property early—Turkey Vultures, Tree Swallows, Violet-green Swallows, and Rufous Hummingbirds.
Over the past year, sales of Dick Weeks’s book, 52 Small Birds, have resulted in almost $1,000 that he has donated to LCAS!
The book is a memoir of an eight-year quest to photograph and paint the 52 breeding warblers of the United States, and Richard’s beautiful artwork appears throughout the story. According to the author, “This narrative relates how the process of searching for, photographing, and painting birds enhanced and deepened my connection to the natural world.” Published in cooperation with LCAS, 52 Small Birds sells for $22 plus $2 shipping. It’s also available at LCAS monthly meetings for $20. All profits go to LCAS.
If you have not yet seen Dick’s work, visit www.rweeksart.com
John Cooney, who was a vocal presence for the environment in our community, passed away last November. His radio show, John Cooney’s Natural World, aired on KLCC for 15 years and provided audio glimpses of the natural areas that surround us. His style was distinctive, reverent, informative, and poetic. He gave us a unique perspective and educated us while entertaining us with his radio shows. He will be missed.
John’s wife, Angela Andre, has donated John’s bird books to Lane Audubon. The collection includes 93 books, with topics ranging from hummingbirds, warblers, seabirds, and birds of North America to birds of the world. The donation also includes a collection of the Life Histories of North American birds, including 18 bird groups.
Apparently, John could never pass up a bird book. Angela said that he had planned to be involved with our group when he retired.