Living with Fire

On Friday, May 1, 2015, Jason Llewellyn and Dale Swedberg co-presented about fire ecology and fire history, and shared our region’s story of fire management. Dale Swedberg provided an intro to fire history and fire ecology. Jason Llewellyn discussed what goes into a prescribed fire, from the decision to use fire as a tool, through the planning phase, to carrying out the plan and keeping fire where it is intended. Living in an ecosystem that has been dependent on fires for millennia, we can either tolerate wildfires or support prescribed burning, but it is impossible to have neither.

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Stream Ecology 2015

“No bugs, no fish!”

Mark shares from a book that he co-authored about macroinvertebrates.

On Friday, March 6th, OHA’s Highland Wonders series welcomed back a highly popular speaker from last summer’s outdoor events: freshwater ecologist and emeritus professor Dr. Mark Oswood.

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Stream Ecology 2014

On Saturday, July 19th, freshwater ecologist and emeritus professor Dr. Mark Oswood came to share his expertise in the Highland Wonders series. This event aimed to increase our community’s understanding of stream ecology, and how riparian zones and streams interact to support and affect populations of aquatic insects. Connections were made between populations of aquatic insects and what their presence indicates about water quality.

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Wild Mushrooms and Fungi Ecology

The April 11th, 2014, Highland Wonders event on Wild Mushrooms and Fungi Ecology was dedicated to OHA volunteer Marge McCormick, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer. We appreciate everything Marge did to help further OHA’s work in the highlands, and she will be greatly missed.

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Seeing the Forest Among the Trees

From the Panorama to the Patch: How do People Fit?

Renowned forest ecologist, Herb Hammond, kicked off the Summer 2013 Highland Wonders series with a unique perspective on Okanogan Highlands ecology. “Seeing the Forest Among the Trees,” featured a Friday evening presentation with a Saturday outdoor field trip the following day. This two-part approach provided the best of both venues for maximum learning and enjoyment.

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The Best of All Things: Clean Water

John Crandall came to Highland Wonders to discuss water quality and its importance in our lives. John shared the story of water quality protection in the United States, including the role of the Clean Water Act – what it does and what it means for our water. Drawing on his extensive experience in monitoring water quality, John provided an overview of the characteristics of water that are most commonly analyzed, and why. He discussed important local issues such the relationship between water temperature and fish survival, and the impact of pesticide use in our waterways. The effects of beavers, as well as wetlands, on water quality were also discussed.

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The Magic of Wetlands

The July “Magic of Wetlands” habitat tour was led by George Wooten, Bob Gillespie, and Kathleen Johnson, who together created a window into the special roles and adaptations of wetland plants, insects, and birds, respectively.

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Cedar Ecology

On July 7, 2012, local botanist George Thornton lead a group of community members into a seldom seen Western Red Cedar ecosystem near Chesaw, WA. Mr. Thornton opened the first Highland Wonders series in November 2010 by sharing his knowledge and photos of unique and rarely seen Okanogan Highland plants; in the summer of 2011, he led a walk along the wetland fringe and woods at Lost Lake, and 2012 brought this opportunity to learn more about Okanogan County’s remnant cedar populations. A group of community members ventured Northeast of Buckhorn Mountain, where an extraordinary ecosystem thrives because of the shade, stable soils, organic matter and habitat provided by the Western Red Cedar.

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