Posts Tagged ‘In The News’

FSPW seeks Summer Project Coordinator

Posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

This position has been filled. Thanks for your interest!

Work (and play) in the Scotchmans this summer!

If you are comfortable in an office as well as the back country and have a love for the wild outdoors, then the Scotchman Peaks straddling the Idaho/Montana border just south of Canada are calling you! The job is part time, and runs from late May through mid-October.

This position is a learning experience. The successful candidate will gain training and valuable insights while in the office and the field into many phases of wilderness advocacy and stewardship, including the politics and history of wilderness, effective public relations, effective social media marketing and networking, website maintenance, hands-on trail work, leadership experience, back-country experience and volunteer recruitment and coordination. This organization places a high emphasis on the successful combination of hard work and fun and achieves great results from both. Expect to be drawn into and welcomed by the culture of Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. It will be a summer you will not likely soon forget.

Click on the link below to download a complete job description. SummerProjectCoordinatorDescription.pdf

Free wildlife films slated for Libby and Thompson Falls, February 10 and 11

Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness will bring three spectacular films from The International Wildlife Film Festival to two Western Montana venues on the second weekend of February. IWFF,  based in Missoula, is the source of many great films, a selection of which  will be shown in Libby and Thompson Falls on February 10 and 11, respectively. These events, which are free to the public, will feature the following films.

IWFF Color logo[1]American Serengeti (Made in Montana): A conservation project is underway to create a thriving three million acre wildlife reserve that will restore “America’s Serengeti.” Filmed over 2 years in stunning high-definition, American Serengeti chronicles the massive restoration project and through computer graphics interface, will fast forward to the future when vast herds of American wildlife will roam the plains once again.

Wings of Thunder: In order to chronicle a year of changing seasons, cinematographer Jeff Hogan spent countless hours in the marshes of Bear River in Utah waiting for the right moments, the perfect light, the changing weather and a host of other factors. The film title comes from an 1843 journal entry by explorer John C. Fremont describing Bear River Bay “animated with multitudes of waterfowl…rising for the space of a mile…with noise like distant thunder.”

Redwoods – Anatomy of a Giant: This film tells the story of the world’s tallest living trees, and Humboldt State University’s Steve Sillett, who is obsessed with climbing monster redwoods. Just when he thinks he’s climbed and measured an unbeatably tall tree, a new record breaker turns up in a hidden valley. Sillett awaits the results of a new high-tech aerial survey that may reveal one of the last undiscovered giants.

The films will be shown at the Little Theater in Libby on February 10th. Doors open at 6:30. The Thompson Falls showing will be a matinee at the Rex Theater. Doors open at 1:30. As  noted, admission is free, but any donations for the Libby and Troy Food Pantries and the Thompson Falls Food Bank will be greatly appreciated.

Eighth-graders take the honors in the Sanders County essay contest

Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Leah Thompson, and eighth grade student at Plains Middle School won a $100 Savings Bond for her essay on “Does Wilderness Have Value?” in the annual Sanders County essay contest. FSPW volunteer and essay contest founder Ernie Scherzer of Trout Creek announced the winners last week. Second place overall and winner of a hooded FSPW sweatshirt was Natalia Beardsley, an eighth-grader at Noxon. The four runners up are Logan Whilhite of Paradise, Carter Montgomery from Plains High School, Cody Phillips from Thompson Falls High School and Madison Koonce, a fifth-grader at Noxon Elementary School.

All of the winning essayist received a FSPW hat and t-shirt for their efforts. The essays of Thompson and Beardsley are published below.

“A wilderness untouched by man,” by Natalie Beardsley, Noxon Eighth Grade, second place overall.

There is a place in this world where I feel peaceful. When I walk through the forests of Montana, I feel at home. Away from the traffic of cities and surrounded by simply the wilderness. A wilderness untouched by man. When I walk, I feel twigs snap and dry autumn leaves crumble under my feet. The trees sway back and forth as if dancing to slow, sad music. The rush of the water reminds me that there is not only peace in this world, but life and freedom. The wind whispers in my ear secrets I only wish to understand. Yes, there is a place in this world where I can breathe, where I feel free, and where I feel at home. To me, that is the value of the wilderness.

“I think wilderness has value for many reasons,” by Leah Thompson, Plains Eighth Grade, first place overall.

I think wilderness has value for many reasons. The main reasons that it has value are because it shows natural beauty, it saves resources for future generations, and it is a safe. secluded place for hunting and fishing. These are the things I’m going to tell you about today.

First, it shows the natural beauty of the earth untouched by man. In my opinion, everyone should see the natural beauty of the earth. Why would anyone try to ruin that beauty? It is also a way to escape the sometimes overbearing industrial life. Wilderness is like a historical monument. It show life before it was touched by man. The Scotchman Peaks has the opportunity to make an area like a monument.

Next, it is important to save the natural resources given, for future generations. If we save them we will have a better source of resources. Trees, for example, produce oxygen for the Earth. Trees, a valuable resource, would be used up quickly. The trees would be used up easily because the world is always in demand for resources and the population is increasing. We need trees to enable our survival.

Finally, it supplies hunting and fishing areas. Hunting and fishing also supply food for families. For example, species don’t overpopulate and endangered species aren’t hunted as much. You can also get exercise by hunting and fishing. While you hunt you arc able to see the beauty of the Earth.

So from what I have stated, wilderness has value. Natural beauty,the importance of saving resources for the future, and hunting and fishing are all aspects of why I think wilderness has value. Scotchman Peaks give you the ability to witness all of these aspects.

Kelsey Brasseur is our new Wolverine Project Coordinator

Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Kelsey Brasseur, fresh from the Alaskan research fields, has signed on to coordinate the FSPW rare carnivore study for the 2011-12 winter season. Working with Idaho Department of Fish and Game and partner Idaho Conservation League, Brasseur will coordinate volunteers and help track data from bait stations around northern Idaho and western Montana.

“I’m thrilled to be on board with FSPW and this project,” Brasseur says, “and looking forward to meeting the FSPW volunteer corps as well as getting to know the community and the wild spots around it.”

Kelsey Brasseur is looking forward to a winter in the field looking for mustelids with FSPW

Kelsey Brasseur is looking forward to a winter in the field looking for mustelids with FSPW

A recent transplant to Sandpoint, ID, Brasseur hails from the south shore of Lake Superior, where she received her BS in Biology from Northland College in 2009. During her undergraduate studies she served as the campus’ Community Garden Coordinator as well as the Food Systems Educator and Outreach Coordinator. Following graduation, she  worked with the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service as the Research Specialist for the Hazelnut Improvement Program. Her love of wild places and the creatures that call them home eventually led her to wildlife studies. As a Research Technician for Oregon State University in 2011, Brasseur studied the breeding population of Kittlitz’s murrelets in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. After three months observing seabirds in the backcountry of Glacier Bay, her passions for both wildlife and wilderness were cemented.

An avid outdoors woman and climber, Brasseur spends most of her free time scaling rock faces from the deserts of Utah and Nevada to the Red River Gorge of Kentucky. Thanks to a dedicated partner, recent adventures have included Mt. Gimli in the Valhalla Range of British Columbia and Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. She is thrilled to have settled in a place with such a rich diversity of recreational opportunities, and looks forward to exploring the vast ranges of the Idaho Panhandle as well as continuing her education in Telemark skiing.

“I knew we had found the right woman for the job when I found out that a lot of the fun-hog community already knew her,” said FSPW program coordinator Sandy Compton. “We had a horrible time making up our minds from a whole slew of great applicants, but we’re really pleased that Kelsey has taken the job.”

Brasseur began work on November 21, and will work through the spring on the project. Friends will be able to put a face to the name on Monday, November 28th at the FSPW Sip-and-Shop at the Pend Oreille Winery (4:30 to 8:30 pm) or at the volunteer training on December 3rd. More about the training day will be announced soon.

Fourth Annual Plein Air Paintout – Artist Working For Wilderness

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2011

The 4th Annual Scotchman Peaks Plein Air Paintout convened in Hope, Idaho, on September 23, 24 and 25, the first weekend of fall, with Kally Thurman’s Outskirts Gallery and the Hope Marketplace at the epicenter of activities.

Twenty-two avid and accomplished artists fanned out in and around our favorite wilderness, bringing 64 fresh paintings back to the Gallery Sunday for hanging, viewing, and judging.

The artists’ choice for Best of Show resulted in a tie between Greg Caudell of Republic, WA, and Patsey Parsons of Spirit Lake, ID. Greg produced a striking spontaneous study of Cabin #2 behind the Hope Marketplace titled “Veracity”, and Patsey produced a beautiful luminescent study of the Clark Fork Delta entitled “Birds and Wetland”.

Outskirts Gallery owner Kally Thurman and art expertBen Mitchell ponder the new art created in the 2011 FSPW Scotchman Peaks Plein Air Paintout.

Outskirts Gallery owner Kally Thurman and art expertBen Mitchell ponder the new art created in the 2011 FSPW Scotchman Peaks Plein Air Paintout.

The formal judging was done by Ben Mitchell, a NW art curator and author of books on Harold Balazs, Ruben Trejo, and Theodore Waddell of Montana. The First Place Purchase Award was given to Aaron Johnson of Moscow, ID, for “Birch Trees on Oden Bay” which captured his passion and reverence for nature and trees. Second prize was awarded to Jared Shear of Thompson Falls, MT, for deftly bringing to life the light falling on shoreline rocks. Diana Moses Botkin of Bonners Ferry, ID, placed third with “Morning Trees by the Lake” showcasing her refined hand in very small works.

In addition to business, Outskirts Gallery and FSPW hosted two evenings of “meet & greet” where the artists had a chance to kick back and share their enthusiasm for art and nature, their expertise, and camaraderie.

Eight paintings were sold that Sunday, and the Outskirts Gallery will continue the exhibit through December inviting the public to view and Buy for the Legacy of Scotchman Peaks with part of the proceeds going to FSPW. The Gallery is open Wed-Sun from 11AM to 5PM. For more information call Kally at (208) 264-5696, or go to  These are Buy Fresh, Buy Local holiday gifts guaranteed to give pleasure for generations.

Thanks to all the folks who helped plant trees!

Posted on Monday, November 7th, 2011

Even not-so-nice weather didn't stop intrepid FSPW volunteers and USFS employees from planting trees. Sandii Mellen (foreground) swings a mean hoedad.

Even not-so-nice weather didn't stop intrepid FSPW volunteers and USFS employees from planting trees. Sandii Mellen (foreground) swings a mean hoedad.

This week we finished up planting 3500 while pine in the Lightning Creek drainage.  We focused our planting in the East Fork and Char Creek watersheds  where we converted about 9 miles miles of old road to a non-motorized trail.  We also planted lower Rattle Creek, Porcupine Creek, and NF Grouse Creek where we restored fish passage with a bridge.  Getting this many trees in the ground wouldn’t have happened without the generous help of many hoedag swingers.  I specifically want to thank the energetic people with the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness for helping us. We could not have done this without your help.  Mary Franzel, thanks for rallying the horses, that was a big day.  Jim Mellen, sorry you missed it but we mountain-biked over from Rattle and planted the upper portion of Char Creek.  You would have liked it but we had to act quick and hit the good weather window this Tuesday.  Have a great winter!

Many Thanks

Kevin Davis
Hydro Tech/COR
Avalanche Center Director
US Forest Service

FSPW wins Zoo Boise grant in a landslide.

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2011

It sounds like election news, and it sort of is. In a public vote held by Zoo Boise that ended last Friday, October 28, the wolverine study proposal written by FSPW executive Phil Hough was not only chosen as one of the four to be funded, but won “going away.” The proposal to fund continued wolverine study in northern Idaho and western Montana received the most votes of any of the eight proposals that made the final list of contenders for four Zoo Boise Conservation Fund grants.

Zoo Boise on Friday, November 4, announced that FSPW will receive the entire amount they applied for, $29,700. This means that FSPW will be able to hire a half-time project coordinator for a study to be conducted by Idaho Department of Fish and Game in cooperation with Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, Idaho Conservation League, Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education, Selkirk Conservation Alliance and other community volunteers.

FSPW will help Idaho Department of Fish and Game look for this critter over the winter thanks to a grant from Zoo Boise Conservation Fund

FSPW will help Idaho Department of Fish and Game look for this critter over the winter thanks to a grant from Zoo Boise Conservation Fund

“This is a continuation of a project we got involved in last year,” says Hough. “We were amazed by how much interest it generated, and felt that it was certainly worth continuing this year.”

The project, initiated by IDFG biologists Michael Lucid and Lacy Robinson, attracted dozens of volunteer-days from groups and individuals during the 2010-11 winter, as well as captured on film at remote-camera bait stations a variety of mustelids that included martins, fishers and wolverines. With the Zoo Boise grant, FSPW will help expand the hunt by providing a couple of dozen more Reconix cameras as well as employment of a half-time project coordinator who will work for FSPW and be hired by mid-November.

“Last year,” says Robinson, “we worked on a 10 kilometer grid. This year, we will be able to get lots more information with a 5-k grid.”

Also, Lucid and Robinson will have at their disposal a number of portable wolverine traps that can be moved relatively quickly into an area where one of the remote cameras has spotted a wolverine. The hope is to capture and collar females and so identify how many are in the Scotchman Peaks and American Selkirks. The information gathered will be helpful in helping the Forest Service develop winter travel plans as well as monitoring the population of mustelids.

FSPW is accepting applications now, and the job description, as well as contact information, can be downloaded at

FSPW will table at Radical Reels on October 15.

Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Friends of Scotchman Peaks will once again be present at Radical Reels, the adrenaline filled off-shoot of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour coming to North Idaho’s Panida Theater on Thursday night, October 13, 2011.  Doors will open at 5:30pm with films starting at 6:30pm.  Tickets are once again $12.00 in advance, $15.00 at the door and are available in Sandpoint, Idaho at Eichardts, The Outdoor Experience, Maps and More and Burger Express located on Highway 2.  In Bonners Ferry tickets are available at Far North Outfitters.  Any tickets left will be sold at the door of the Panida Theater the night of the show. In addition Jeff Rouleau and his crew from the North Idaho Mountain Sports Education Fund ( will be at the Panida presenting a raffle to provide local children the help needed to learn to ski and snowboard.

radreels11-300Nine new films are scheduled to run at this year’s Radical Reels including Living the Dream”, Renana Ozturk real life tale of the life of the traveling vagabond who follows his passion of rock climbing by living on little, draining his bank account and doing the occasional dumpster dive just to be able to experience a bit more out of life.  Now a bit more domesticated Renan shows us he is still living his dream every day.  Legendary kayaker Steve Fischer will also take us to experience the power of the mighty Zambezi River in Africa on the kayak ride of their lives with the film “The Ultimate Ride: Steve Fischer”. Seven other films including skiing, bouldering, snowboarding and mountain biking will be presented as well as Colin Blackshear’s film “Second Nature” which examines the natural boundaries of a human with “test subjects” Noah Sakamoto, Patrick Rizzo and J.M. Duran as they wield skateboards and vintage suits to race down the roads of the High Sierras in California.

With so many action films being submitted each year to the Banff Mountain Film Festival held the first weekend of November the Banff Centre created the high action film fest of Radical Reels which is held annually in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The road show then takes place annually each spring and fall and is shown throughout the United States and Canada.  For North Idaho and Eastern Washington the Panida Theater is the only venue that will show these high action films.