Friday, May 31, 2013

Meet the New Star of the Bear Education Trailer!

Submitted by: Christina Meister

The Northwest Bear Education Trailer has a new star on the road who's 450 pounds and very furry.

The Northwest Bear Education Trailer's Grizzly Bear Display
With claws the size of your finger and a nose that can smell for miles, this grizzly is a rare sight in Washington but is very common in his native Montana. Unfortunately, this specimen died in a road accident just outside of St. Ignatius but his legacy will live on as a permanent installation in our mobile bear education display. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Moms and Daughters Hit the Beach – For the Birds

Submitted by: Emily Teachout

Luna Lowsky, Sophie Danner, Brynn Dumbeck, and Maggie Neatherlin extract piles of foam from the dunes.
My daughter, Maggie (age 12), and I participate in a mother/daughter group that wanted to do a community service project. After seeing a series of YouTube videos on marine debris ingestion by albatrosses on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the girls were really moved and wanted to find a way that they could help locally. To help address the problem at the source, they wanted to get debris off the beach and out of the ocean ecosystem where it poses a direct threat to seabirds and other animals.I was motivated by the pictures and stories about the dead albatrosses who eat plastic and die,” said Brynn Dumbeck, a girl in our group.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Clean, Drain and Dry! Help Keep Invasive Mussels OUT of Our Waterways.

Note: This is a guest post by Molly Sullivan, intern for the Washington Invasive Species Council

Zebra mussels on a young Higgins eye pearlymussel, an endangered species found in the Mississippi river. (USFWS)
Here in Washington we top the charts in quite a few categories: rain, coffee, and zebra/quagga mussel prevention. Zebra/quagga mussel prevention?! Yes! Washington remains one of the few states that has not been infested with these harmful little mussels. Hitchhikers from Eastern Europe, zebra and quagga mussels have taken over many lakes and streams in the United States and with no natural predators here, they quickly outcompete native species for food, overcrowd habitats, introduce diseases, clog drains and pipes, and reduce biodiversity. Plus, walking on these buggers barefoot will definitely ruin your day at the lake! 

Keeping Washington free from these invaders is no easy task though. Much time and many resources have been used in this battle against the mussels! Various checkpoints for boats and decontamination stations have been set up around Washington by government agencies. But the most important line of defense is…YOU! 

Quagga mussels on a boat motor near Lake Mead (Allen Pleus - WDFW)
Properly cleaning, draining and drying your boat before entering any body of water is the best prevention tool to date. Since zebra and quagga mussels can attach to boats and survive for weeks without a water source, properly and completely drying your boat is a MUST!! As the oncoming promise of spring and summer months continue to taunt us, and we start our prep for boating season, it is always good to remember: CLEAN, DRAIN, DRY your boat and water related equipment, so that we can continue to enjoy all the natural splendors of Washington.

More information on how to protect our waters from invasive aquatic hitchhikers can be found here:

Protect Your Waters -
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -
WA Invasive Species Council -
WA Invasive Species Education -

Friday, May 3, 2013

The First Annual Foothills Day is Just Around the Bend!

Submitted by: Greg Van Stralen 

Do you know what a group of owls are called or whether snakes have toes?

These are just a few of the interesting and unusual facts that will be available at the first annual Foothills Day on May 11, 2013. Organized by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, Foothills Day celebrates the beauty of the Wenatchee Valley while offering a wide variety of fun outdoor activities for young and old. The event is adjacent to the Wentachee Performing Arts Center and runs from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.