The program, Understanding Shorebirds, the Miracle of Migration, is about the epic migrations of shorebirds. Six of the forty-two common shorebirds found in Washington are discussed, as we explore the trans-ocean migration of Bar-tailed Godwits, Pacific Golden-Plovers, Sanderling and other birds that cross the majority of the Pacific Ocean. We’ll look at where they migrate, why they migrate and how they are able to travel so far. These global migrants require global conservation and climate change solutions. In a effort to understand their remarkable journeys we need to look beyond the North American borders and see where shorebirds spend most of their lives.
Tim Boyer is a professional nature photographer with a primary focus on the birds of North America. Shorebirds are his favorite group of birds, and he spends a lot of weekends on the Washington Coast. Tim leads photography workshops throughout the year, and is a graduate of Seattle Audubon’s Master Birder Program.
President's Message, Summer 2017
By Irene Perry
Sunny Days of Summer in the Great Outdoors
June signals the end of the year for Skagit Audubon. The chapter takes a break from scheduled meetings and programs to enjoy the long, sunny days of summer in the great outdoors. There are opportunities to camp, hike and volunteer. The occasional field trip pops up too. Be sure your name is added to the email distribution list through Libby Mills, field trip coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Annual Klipchuck Campout, June 16-18, is the perfect time to kickoff your summer birding. Join Skagit Audubon members and friends as they seek out and enjoy the many species of warblers, vireos, flycatchers, woodpeckers and wildflowers in the area. You may even see a few butterflies too. The hikes and adventure unfolds depending on the group. Find more details under field trips.
Summer is prime time for hikers. The hiking group continues their scheduled Wednesday outings. Joan Melcher organizes this hardy group throughout the year leading hikes in weather conditions resembling the postal workers motto. Finally, summer promises fair weather and dry trails. Many hikes offer different options in routes and difficulty. If you have questions about hikes, contact Joan at email@example.com.
There are several opportunities to volunteer with citizen science, education and conservation. Choose a Purple Martin Nesting Box site to observe and enjoy these amazing summer migrants. Purple Martins swoop in the sky gathering insects to bring back to hungry nestlings. Their chatter is an addictive summer chorus you will want to experience often. Recording your visits and observations will assist in our citizen science program. Skagit Audubon provides much needed habitat with nesting boxes installed at Ship Harbor, English Boom, Padilla Bay and Port Susan. Contact Irene Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a monitoring form and additional information. The Education Committee has many programs and hikes scheduled for groups of all ages this summer. Our efforts to provide outreach, by connecting people with nature, continues to grow. If you would like to find out more, contact Sheila Pera at email@example.com. Staying on top of conservation issues never takes the summer off. There are always opportunities to assist in our efforts to advocate for birds, wildlife and the protection of natural ecosystems. Our conservation chair, Tim Manns, appreciates your willingness to help. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy your summer!
Conservation Report, June 2017
By Tim Manns
On April 26th, President Trump ordered a review of all national monuments over 100,000 acres designated since 1996; i.e. by Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton. He referred to these acts of limiting development on national public lands “a massive federal land grab,” odd to say about places all U.S. citizens have long collectively owned. Of the 27 monuments under review, only Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument had been private property, and it was donated to the people of the United States, not grabbed.
It has long bothered, even enraged, certain people that they or local office-holders lack authority over these lands. More often than not, there’s a profit motive. Decades ago, a vigorous effort to seize land from national public ownership was dubbed the “Sagebrush Rebellion” due to its strength in such states as Nevada and Utah. This movement never went away. Last year’s Malheur occupation thrust it back into the limelight. Then last November’s election reignited what could become a true land grab. The latest national move in this direction is the attempt to undo monument designations, something unseen since the Antiquities Act gave presidents designation authority in 1906. Secretary of Interior Zinke is accepting public comment on Trump’s mandated review of monument designations until July 10. To comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and enter “DOI-2017-0002” in the Search bar, or send a letter to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. The Utah delegation being especially hot about Bears Ears National Monument, designated after lengthy consultation with tribes to whom the area is culturally and spiritually significant, was given a comment period of, yes, 15 days, which ended in May. Feeling empowered? Since 1906, only two presidents have not created national monuments, which restrict development and resource extraction on our public lands with outstanding scientific or cultural values. Thank the Antiquities Act for the initial protection of Grand Canyon, Zion, and many other beloved North American places.
The Sagebrush Rebellion attitude lives in Skagit County too in our county commissioners’ dalliance with the American Lands Council (ALC) and the American Stewards of Liberty (ASL). The former’s stated mission is to transfer nationally owned public land to the states. Its organizational members are largely counties in Utah and Nevada with others scattered around the West. One Skagit commissioner proposed doubling our county’s membership to $5,000 per year, but citizens spoke out, and the membership ended. Where such land transfers happen, the result is often the states selling the land for revenue, the public losing access, and any natural resources being converted to private cash. Privatization appears the real goal of the ALC and similar organizations. In short, a land grab. There’s much flag waving and talk of liberty, but following the money shows the true intent.
On April 24th, our county commissioners gave someone closely affiliated with ALC a public forum to deliver a long, fear-mongering presentation against restoring grizzlies to the North Cascades at even the proposed very low density. The same evening, the commissioners and their cohorts from other counties took advice from the executive director of another right-wing group, the “American Stewards of Liberty,” on ways to block implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on 6 million publicly owned acres of the North Cascades Ecosystem. They lambasted employees of the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service doing their duty under the ESA, which is law. Ours is still a nation of laws. The commissioners have signed a contract to pay the “American Stewards” up to $5,000 of our tax money for advice.
Among the great benefits all Americans share are idealistic laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the abundance of public land. Attempts to undo such benefits threaten so much that Audubon members value. Please support continued protection of public lands: national monuments, national parks, national forests, fish and wildlife refuges, wilderness areas. These are key habitat for America’s diverse wildlife. Resist any weakening of the ESA. For human action or neglect to cause extinction of species is not simply regrettable; it is immoral. We have a responsibility to all who come after us to not let the politics of the moment do literally irreparable harm. My friends, there is a world to save and we are the ones to save it.
Skagit Audubon “Publications Chair” Needed
A volunteer is needed to take on putting together The Skagit Flyer, the newsletter, which is the main means our chapter has of communicating with members, whether via the web or paper copy. After doing a wonderful job for 8 years as Publications Chair, Jackie Boss is stepping down. The job involves receiving monthly information on field trips, hikes, and bird sightings plus other regular monthly items from the committee chairs. There is also the opportunity to select & include other relevant items.
Pateros, WA (City Park), Saturday, September 16, 2016; 8:00 am – 3:00 p.m.
Join the Chelan and Entiat Ranger Districts, North Central Washington Audubon Society, and HawkWatch International this fall for the eighth annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival! This family event combines free activities in Pateros Memorial Park with trips to Chelan Ridge to learn about and celebrate raptors as they journey to winter territories. At the park participants will find vendors, live raptors, interpretive booths, and projects for kids.
Friday night, September 15th, we will offer a workshop with an expert from HawkWatch International on raptor migration and field identification to prepare you for your trip up to the ridge.
The trip with free shuttle to and from Chelan Ridge lasts 4 hours and includes seeing banded raptors released.
From 8 AM to noon, there will be a field trip to Wells Wildlife Refuge.
More information and on-line registration for the shuttle, field trip, and workshop will be available July 1st at www.ncwaudubon.org.
Skagit Audubon Society holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month except for the months of July and August. We meet at 7:00 pm at Padilla Bay Interpretive Center(Google map), 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd. Mount Vernon. Meetings are open to all.
The board of directors meets at the same location at 7:00 pm on the first Tuesday of each month, except for the months of July and August.