Action is rekindling for FSPW Volunteers involved in our Wolverine Watch this season. Two remaining plots were established this week, one plot was checked on and relocated, and another plot has been taken out and the data submitted to our office.
I had the privilege of guiding the Forrest M. Bird Middle School’s 7th grade Wildlife Class to set up one of the new plots established this week, this one a Corridor Camera Station. The group was really excited to get out and hike!
For some of the students, it was there first snowshoeing foray! On the way to the plot coordinates, the keen students observed rabbit, deer, and grouse hiding in the woods. They were also able to identify several of the tracks and scat we came across. The class listened well to explanations of a typical technician’s day in the field, and all had great suggestions for setting up our plot. They are also nearly all budding thespians, as I encouraged them to ‘act like mustelids’ when assessing our camera’s field of vision, I got more than I bargained for! Those pictures to come soon…
The class decided to name their crew the ‘Awesome Tacos,’ and there is definitely a lot of awesomeness in this group of young adults. I look forward to getting back out in the woods with them to retrieve the camera, as well as attending their class once more as we check out the images recorded by the camera. What a great learning experience for these students!
On Monday, Mike Wolcott of Inland Forest Management, his associate John Ailport and I established one of the remaining bait plots in an area that had finally received enough snow to allow for us to snowmobile into the remote location. In just 1,000 feet elevation gain we drove our way out of the rain and mud and into a true winter wonderland, with snow loaded spruce trees and large gentle snowflakes all around.
Stepping off the snowmobile track, we found ourselves thigh-deep in wet, heavy snow. Donning our snowshoes, the plot was established quickly and with little complications. And for kicks, our ‘snowmobile guru’ (who was unable to assist plot setup due to a recovering knee injury) dug a snow pit and gave us a quick lesson in snow stability. It was a great day. Thanks Mike and John, and your super sleds!!!
Over the weekend, Rod Barclay’s crew checked on his plot. He removed the data card and captured a fisher on film, along with a pine marten, flying squirrel, and coyote. Just for fun and curiosity, he put in a new data card and will leave the camera up a bit longer, hoping that wolverine will come around! Look for pictures of these critters next week!
Last week, Geoff Harvey, and Ann and Neil Wimberley checked on their Corridor Station in the Blue Creek Drainage. The crew observed a lack of activity on the ground and on the data card, and together made the executive decision to relocate the camera to an area where they had observed more signs of wildlife activity. Way to take charge, crew! It is great to have such knowledgeable volunteers working on this, folks who have enough confidence to make these rather involved decisions. Thanks Geoff, Ann, and Neil!
It is getting close to the time to summon our Photo Warriors, as March should see an onlslaught of data come back to the city from the wilderness. Stay tuned, everyone! For more information about our project or to volunteer as a Photo Warrior, contact Kristen@scotchmanpeaks.com.