Upcoming Events and Field Trips

Events & Field Trips

Chapter Meeting: Columbia Riverkeeper - Simone Anter

August 22 (Thursday), 7pm - Yakima Area Arboretum Office, 1401 Arboretum Dr., Yakima, WA

The August presentation is by Columbia Riverkeeper’s Simone Anter. Columbia Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. The talk will focus mostly on Riverkeeper’s work in the past year with Yakama Nation’s Environmental Restoration Waste Management Program to change the “vision” for the future of Hanford. Highlighting current pressing issues that that Riverkeeper engage on at Hanford as well as outreach efforts that have occurred. The presentation hopes to leave attendees with a sense that how we view the future of Hanford affects the cleanup today. More information on Columbia Riverkeeper can be found at: https://www.columbiariverkeeper.org/

Simone Anter serves as an associate attorney for Columbia Riverkeeper, where she works with the Yakama Nation to support increased public engagement in Hanford Nuclear Site cleanup. Her work also focuses on lending legal support to other Riverkeeper campaigns and Clean Water Act enforcement actions. Simone received her B.A. from the University of Oregon, where she double majored in Philosophy and Sociology, with a focus on the environment and people. In 2017, she earned her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, where she earned a specialization in Critical Race Studies with a focus on tribal and federal Indian law and indigenous human rights. Simone is a descendant of the Pascua Yaqui and Jicarilla Apache.

Image - Simone Anter
Simone Anter

Future Programs

Field Trips

September 6 (Friday) — Sheep Lake, Yakima County

Ellen and Andy Stepniewski will be heading a Yakima Valley Audubon Society hike to Sheep Lake above Chinook Pass September 6 (Friday). We will meet at 7 am and return 4-ish in the afternoon. This hike is on a good trail (the Pacific Crest Trail), is 4.5 mile round-trip and involves a few hundred feet of elevation gain on the way in and again on the return. (Editor’s Note: So, it is uphill both directions!) If some in the group are interested in an “extension,” we may push on beyond the lake upwards to Sourdough Gap, which reaches the lower edge of the Alpine Zone. In addition to seeking out birds, we will also delve into the natural history of subalpine plant communities and their birds and mammals. The spectacular wildflower display for which this area is renown will be past its peak, instead Mountain Ash may be red with ripe fruits. Expect to see Clark’s Nutcracker, Canada Jay, along with many migrating songbirds such as warblers, robins, and finches. We’ll especially be targeting Pine Grosbeak, an uncommon boreal finch. White-winged Crossbill, an erratic visitor from Canada and Alaska may also be looked for. Raptors will be soaring south along the ridges, especially if winds are from the north. Mountain Goat and Hoary Marmot are a couple mammals we’ll be on the lookout for. Bring food, water and appropriate clothing and footwear for September hiking in the mountains. To sign up and get meeting place, contact Andy Stepniewski at 509-949-7404 or steppie@nwinfo.net.

September 8 (Sunday) — Potholes, Grant County

Scott Downes will lead a trip to the Potholes area of Grant County. The potholes area can be great for migrants in September including passerine, shorebirds, gulls and terns. We’ll search Potholes State Park for passerine migrants, Potholes Reservoir for open water migrants such as Sabine’s Gull, terns and maybe a Parasitic Jaeger. Shorebird spots around Potholes should turn up a good variety of shorebirds including possibly unusual species like Stilt Sandpiper. Driver’s should have the Discover Pass. Scopes are helpful but not required. Bring food, water and clothes appropriate where the morning could be chilly and afternoon could hit mid to upper 80’s. We’ll leave Yakima at 6:30 am and return around 4-5:00 pm. To sign up and get the meeting place, please contact Scott at downess@charter.net

October 5 (Saturday) — Bird Banding at the Yakima Arboretum (backup date of October 12 in case of bad weather)

Jeff Kozma will lead a banding demonstration at the Yakima Arboretum. Jeff will introduce participants to bird capture and banding using mist nets. The goal is to capture birds as they are migrating south through the Yakima Arboretum. Nets will be put up near the Yakima Arboretum Sparrow Patch feeding area to increase our chances of catching birds. YVAS members will get the sparrow patch up and running with food a few weeks before the banding date. Jeff will teach participants various aspects of bird banding including different mesh/net sizes and their uses, how to remove birds from nets, performing measurements on birds (e.g., weighing, wing chord, bill length, etc), how to age birds, banding codes, affixing bands to legs, etc. The best thing about capturing birds is you never know what might show up in your nets! Birds we captured last year included Spotted Towhee, White-crowned Sparrow, Bewick’s Wren, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Black-capped Chickadee, etc. Dress appropriately for the weather and in layers as mornings can be cool before heating up during the day. A folding camp chair would be good unless you prefer to rough it on the ground. Bring a camera to capture close up images of birds. Also, bring food/snacks and beverage if you think you’ll need them. Hand sanitizer would also be good to bring as birds like to poop! To sign up and get meeting place and time, contact Jeff Kozma at 509-225-3465 or jcr_5105@charter.net (e-mail preferred).