With three weeks to go before the camera station set-up deadline is reached, we are well on our way to another successful research season of wildlife espionage!
4 out of 8 bait stations have been set-up. 2 attempts were made over the weekend, but struggles were encountered. John Hastings and his high school participants attempted their site last Sunday, but ran into delays with their snowmobile drivers. As a result, they are postponing their adventure until next weekend.
Bill Hawkins and his crew made a second attempt at his plot, which is surrounded by some of our finest and steepest wilderness country. Trying a different route, Bill and his crew made it to within viewing distance of his ridgeline, only to observe that this route is currently fraught with the dangerous avalanche hazards plaguing our backcountry this winter (notice the cornice?). But they are not giving up! This Saturday they plan to strap on shoes and try again! I am incredibly impressed with the skill level of this crew. They are keeping a keen eye on safety, yet a strong will of determination. I love a crew that loves a challenge… this is the resolve of core Montanians/Idahoans. Can anyone say, ‘Badass’ contenders?
On the corridor camera front, 8 of the 12 stations have been established. Two crews have even gone back and performed monitoring duties, assessing the condition of the camera location and swapping out SDcards and installing fresh batteries…. at least, that’s all they thought they were there to do…
With the weather being mild, Pam Duquette, Irv McGeachy, and John Harbuck’s crews all headed out, sperately from one another, to their corridor cameras in various locations throughout this newly designated “Treasured Landscape.” With still icy road conditions, and perhaps a little to much trust in the ability of 4WD (we’ve all been there!), Irv slid off the road with his truck and found it stuck in the ditch.Which vehicle made it? Rod Barcklay’s Subaru! On went the tow ropes and the crews attempted the Subaru to Chevy pull-out! Imagine seeing the likes of this as you walk by:
Well, it was a very creative try!!
Having so many volunteers out there allowed our volunteers to do what they do best: ADAPT and MAKE IT HAPPEN! Those with the vehicle ambition hung out with the stuck truck to work on freeing it, whilst the others paired up and headed out to the various stations that needed to be checked on. Two data cards have come back, and yes those critters have been out and about! Check out some of the critters and other unexpected photo captures that we have gleaned thus far in our project:
Does he hear the camera click?
A 5-eyed alien out for a bike ride??
A Phantom on a sled?
And finally, the unmistakable proof….
Mary’s gone nuts!
Thanks again to FSPW Volunteer Crews. This is just the tip of the iceberg, people! Check in next week for more from your Wilderness!