Majestic Methow events, Sunday-Aug. 1
Sunday: 7 p.m., Overview of the Treasured Landscape program, and wildflowers of the region.
Monday:9 a.m., Wildflower and recreation hike to Maple Pass; 7 p.m., Beaver ecology
Tuesday: 9 a.m., Beaver ecology outing
Wednesday: 9 a.m., Invasive weed identification and removal; 7 p.m., Wolverine presentation
Thursday: 9 a.m. Wolverines at Harts Pass
Outings are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and cost $25, or $38 with lunch. Call 406-830-3355 to register, or visit nationalforests.org/offices/wa.
For more information, call Kim Bondi at 996-2334.
Evening presentations are at the North Cascades Basecamp in Mazama. They are free and no registration required.
WINTHROP — Facing a shrinking budget, the U.S. Forest Service is collaborating with a nonprofit group to raise $1 million to help fund projects on the Methow Valley Ranger District.
The National Forest Foundation picked the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests as one of 14 Treasured Landscapes nationwide. Private funds will be raised over five years, and matched by $1 million from the U.S. Forest Service, to support projects in the upper Methow Valley ranging from a wolverine study to restoring alpine habitat.
This one’s called the Majestic Methow.
“It’s a great way to describe our landscape up here,” said Methow Valley District Ranger Mike Liu.
He said the district is excited to be able to showcase the area, and get much-needed funding to protect it. “A lot of folks are familiar with a lot of the parks as special places, but these Treasured Landscapes are equally as majestic and beautiful. This is an attempt to share or highlight these great places,” he said.
Next week, a few of the projects to benefit from the funding will be introduced in a series of outings during the day, and presentations at night.
Kathleen Dowd-Gailey, regional director of the National Forest Foundation, said they’ve already done some fundraising, and next week’s outings will be the first push to raise awareness about the effort.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Foundation was chartered by Congress in 1991 as a nonprofit corporation to work with the Forest Service to restore and enhance national forests and grasslands. It has four field offices, including one in Washington state.
Dowd-Gailey said the Methow was selected as a unique landscape, and one very different from the others selected. They range from Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to the Ocala National Forest in Florida.
In the Majestic Methow, several projects have been identified, including restoring important habitat at high elevation trails and sites along the North Cascades Highway; controlling weeds at trailheads and campgrounds; planting whitebark pine that are genetically resistant to disease; installing large wood or boulders in Goat Creek; relocating campsites on the eroding bank of Early Winters Creek; replacing culverts on Harts Pass; and continuing a beaver relocation project and wolverine study.
Liu said their restoration efforts will focus on the upper Methow Valley, where iconic mountains in the North Cascades means heavy recreation.
“We tried to identify projects that would help restore the landscape, and had maybe a lower probability of ever finding the funds to do the work,” he said, adding, “There are always projects we would love to do from a restoration standpoint, but never seem to have the budget to do that.”