Secrets and Strengths of the Moss World

Mosses are a fascinating part of our world. They operate much like their larger relatives, like trees and shrubs, just on a much smaller scale. On Friday, January 4, 2019, Erica Heinlen shared her expertise to bring the moss world into focus for our community. In this talk, we touched on the taxonomy of mosses as well as their structure and life cycle. We discovered the importance of mosses in our ecosystems and discussed where they grow. We explored concepts of conservation and then saw some special species found here in the Okanogan. Finally, we addressed some of the “Frequently Asked Questions” the audience had about mosses. It was an interesting journey as we unlocked the secrets and strengths of the moss world.

Continue reading

Local Loon Tales

On Friday, November 2nd, 2018, Dan and Ginger Poleschook returned to the Highland Wonders education series to update our community on how our local loons have fared in the seven years since the Poleschook’s last presentation in Tonasket. They shared stories of our local loons — where they hatched, adventures they have experienced, obstacles they have overcome, and which loons at which lakes are related to each other. Some stories reflected loons as being highly intelligent, beyond their basic survival skills and genetic influences, and provided examples of loons having long-term memories of places and people. We learned ways in which people have helped loons survive, and what we can do to increase and protect future populations of the common loon.

Continue reading

Butterfly Field Trip – Gems that Fly

Butterflies are the quintessential symbol of renewal through change. In a world that is rapidly changing, the Highland Wonders educational series provides opportunities for our community to learn more about the natural world, with the hope that these experiences may renew our enthusiasm to take care of the rich biodiversity around us. 

Continue reading

Era of Megafires

Things seem to be changing in the West – snowpack levels are lower than they used to be, and the snowpack melts earlier in spring. Fire seasons are longer and more severe. Megafires, wildfires over 100,000 acres, now occur more often, causing wide-ranging impact on homes, communities, and wildlands. These changes are expected to continue, and we need to increase the fire resiliency of our wildlands, while also completing defensible space work around homes and communities.

Continue reading

One Stick at a Time: Climate Vulnerability & Forest Management in the West

Film Screening & Discussion

Beaver ponds on Lost Lake are storing water both on the surface and below

For the last year, Kent Woodruff, a retired US Forest Service biologist from Winthrop, has been engaging people across the west in discussions about what we can do to soften the impacts of climate change. As our already dry landscape and water resources become impacted by climate change, this topic will be increasingly relevant to our ecological and human communities.

Continue reading

Those Marvelous, Myriad Lichens

with Jack Massie
An indoor/outdoor combo opportunity: April/May 2017

Lichens appear as an entire organism but are actually composed of two or more very different partners — they truly are peculiar, efficient, and wondrous. Often misunderstood, the lichen field trip will provide an up-close look at these incredible life forms and how they function.

Continue reading

© Okanogan Highlands Alliance 2019-2022. All Rights Reserved.
Go Back