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Native Stink Bugs and their Plant Hosts

with Jim Hepler

February 7, 2020

On February 7, 2020, Jim Hepler, of the Beers Laboratory at WSU’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, joined us to share his extensive knowledge (and humor) of native stink bugs and their life history. He gave an enlightening overview of the diversity of stink bugs found in eastern Washington, and expounded on the challenges and rewards, and all that is known and unknown about these creatures. Jim’s palpable interest was contagious, sparking the curiosity of our local community.

Fun facts:
-Stink bugs can drill through nut husks to feast on the nutrient-rich innards
-Pesticides are futile in fighting stink bugs since they are constantly on the move into and out of orchards
-Stink bugs have very specific relationships with other insects who will lay their eggs inside stink bug eggs or drill through adults’ exoskeletons to feast
-Stink bugs are very capable of killing themselves with their own noxious fumes!

Rough stink bug
Rough stink bug (Brochymena species) Photo by Jen Weddle

Highland Wonders presentations feature the natural history of the Okanogan Highlands and surrounding areas. OHA provides these presentations on the first Friday of the month from November through April. These presentations, which start at 6:30 pm, are free to the public (donations are welcome), and clock hours are available for educators. The events take place at the Tonasket Community Cultural Center, and dinner is available before the presentations.

Consperse stink bug
Consperse stink bug (Euschistus conspersus) on a bitterbrush plant (Purshia tridentata, a favored host). Photo by Jim Hepler.

Highland Wonders: 2019-20 Indoor Season

We are excited to share our 10th year of educational programs with an exciting lineup of topics and speakers! We hope to see you this winter – the first Friday of November, January, February, March and April. New this season: continuing education clock hours are available to educators!

Dinner benefitting the CCC starts at 5:15 pm – $9 for adults; Presentation starts at 6:30 pm – free to all

Why Floodplains Matter

and what we are doing locally to restore them

Beaver Creek in autumn

On Friday, November 1, John Crandall shared “Why Floodplains Matter and what we are doing locally to restore them,” with a crowd of 70 at the Community Cultural Center of Tonasket. For decades, floodplains and wetlands were viewed as “wasted” space and they have been diked, filled, drained, mined, and otherwise altered to make room for increased human activity. These activities disconnect floodplains from adjacent streams, degrading habitat and leaving wildlife, fish, and water to deteriorate. Why do these floodplains matter — what services do they provide, not only for fish and wildlife, but for humans too? What can we do to bring them back into a healthy condition? John Crandall returned to the Highland Wonders series to help answer these questions and to share about a variety of projects happening in Okanogan County that are aimed at restoring floodplain processes and making our aquatic ecosystems healthier — from the quality and quantity of our water to the abundance of our fish and wildlife.

John shared videos and photos depicting the ways that floodplains interact with their waterways, and how spring flooding depends on the shape and structure of the surrounding landscape. Floodplains are crucial to the lifecycle of many fish, who time the hatching of their young to coincide with spring floods because of the protection, food, and downstream push that floodplains and high water provide to young fish. In many areas, human activity (such as road building) has disrupted or changed the structure of the floodplains, reducing their size and cutting fish off from their traditional rearing grounds and/or travel corridors. Projects throughout Okanogan County are working to restore floodplain functionality, to reconnect streams and rivers with their floodplains and provide ways for fish to access flooded areas.

Okanogan Highlands Alliance Welcomes New Executive Directors

The Board of Directors of Okanogan Highlands Alliance (OHA) is happy to announce their decision to hire Jennifer (Jen) Weddle and Sarah Kliegman, as Co-Directors to lead the community-based nonprofit.  Jen, a former member of the OHA Board of Directors, has a BA in Biology-Environmental Studies and teaches at the Outreach Program at Tonasket School District. Sarah, who volunteered with OHA from an early age and grew up in the Okanogan Highlands, recently returned to the Okanogan after working as a chemistry professor at the Claremont Colleges. Sharing the position will enable each of them to balance work and family life while providing OHA with a unique blend of experience and expertise.

“We are happy to welcome such highly qualified professionals to lead OHA into the future,” stated George Thornton, OHA’s Board President. “Their complementary skills and experience will be a great asset to the organization.”

After more than 25 years of service, David Kliegman, OHA’s founding ED, notified the Board in January that he would like to retire. Since that time, the Board has been working on transition planning.

“It has been an honor to serve as the spearhead for this community effort to use science and the law to stop the open-pit mine that was proposed on Buckhorn Mountain and to begin OHA’s successful restoration and education programs,” stated the retiring ED. “I will continue to track the mine’s efforts to clean up the pollution but look forward to spending more time with my family and carving wood.

In 2007, OHA settled its appeal of the underground mine in hopes that increased cooperation would evolve into greater protection of the environment, but the company’s efforts have fallen short of what is needed to stem the flow of pollutants from the site.

“Since the mining company has been unable to control the pollution from their mine, the new directors will have our work cut out for us,” states Sarah Kliegman, OHA’s new Co-Director. “We will continue the effort to try to get [the WA Department of] Ecology to hold the mine accountable for its pollution.”

“We look forward to further developing OHA’s robust restoration and public education programs which repair damaged wetlands and bring experts in natural history to share the wonders in Tonasket and the Highlands,” states Jennifer Weddle, OHA’s other new Co-Director. “OHA’s leadership will help to improve and better understand the ecology of the Okanogan Highlands.”

The Okanogan Highlands Alliance is a non-profit organization that works to educate the public about watershed issues, including the environmental threats of large-scale mining. For more information go to

Video Test

(TEST) Nature’s Engineers: How Beavers Restore Habitat

Beavers possess remarkable engineering skills, which they combine with unparalleled work ethic to the benefit of streams and wetlands. On January 7th, 2011, this event focused on how beavers create the stream conditions and wetlands needed by an array of other plants and animals. In the process, beavers are sub-irrigating by raising the water table and increasing groundwater recharge in the Okanogan Highlands, making more water available for everybody during the low flows of late summer. Guest speakers who work with beavers in the field shared from their experiences and answered questions about these curious creatures. OHA also shared some exciting updates about the work of beavers on two of our restoration sites.

HTML Embed (more size flexibility)

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: The Land’s Council

YouTube Embed (no YouTube logo, one size)

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: The Land’s Council
Part 3: Methow Beaver Project
Part 4: Okanogan Highlands Alliance

Welcome to my Test!

Here are some samples of Google Embedded Images:

Hi ladies! Here is a sample post of an embedded Google Slides slideshow.

The one below is 960px wide by 749px high as you can see below in the HTML code I copied from Google Slides. To get this code, start in the Google Presentation, click “File” then “Publish to Web”. When the dialog box opens switch over to the “Embed” options rather than “Link”. You will see your HTML code in a box to copy as well as some other options for size and auto advancing. Choose the settings you like, copy the code, and insert it like shown below. This block is found under “Formatting” blocks, called “Custom HTML”. Simply paste and save! You can hit “Preview” for just that 🙂

Small Option:

Audio Example

Here is some sample audio! I would recommend including some kind of introduction to what our users are about to list to, like this:


Crown/Kinross 2015 Mine Report claims, “No Action Needed”

Kinross Plans Unapprovable

Each spring the company is required to report the results of monitoring activity. Once again the mining company has reported that “no action is required,” basically because it continues to ask the wrong questions. Lack of action on the part of the Department of Ecology has allowed Kinross to continue operating under outdated management plans, specifically the Adaptive Management Plan (AMP) and the Hydrologic Monitoring Plan (HMP). Two years ago, the current operating permit required updated plans that considered the water quality changes that occurred during the window of the first discharge permit. The AMP submitted by Crown Resources/Kinross Gold was basically the same as the one that has been in force from the beginning of operations, with no substantial reflection on its adequacy to address the current water quality issues. Ecology pointed this out, but has not required the follow-through that the permit requires. The company responded that what it submitted was adequate and that they would take no additional action…

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