Right now, we have a great list of stewardship and education events for you to peruse, which makes it easy for you to remember when you can always help out throughout the summer. Stewardship is the purest form of advocacy. Good stewardship of our public lands begins when someone steps up to advocate for protecting their favorite places. Stewardship in the Scotchman Peaks over the last several years have been supported by over 300 unique volunteers.
When people step up to work with boots on the ground to preserve the special qualities of a place, then they are more than just good stewards; they are also advocates willing to put time, money and sweat into making their intentions of preserving a landscape into a reality. Whether it’s swinging a Pulaski, pulling a weed, surveying and monitoring flora or fauna, or taking kids on a hike, stewards show that they not only care for the landscape, but that they will take good care of the land and its resources.
Demonstrating that there are people who have such passion for a place that they will commit to taking care of it advances our efforts of advocating for public policy actions needed for protection. Community leaders, agency officials, politicians at the local, state and national level are more likely to take positive actions when they see people demonstrating that they care enough for a place to get out on the ground.
We have a formal partnership agreement with the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests that covers our summer stewardship efforts include trail building, relocation and maintenance, whitebark pine habitat and tree surveys, weed monitoring and mitigation, campsite rehabilitation and backcountry user education. Additionally we have loaned wildlife camera equipment and provided volunteers for independent grizzly bear DNA surveys.
Since 2010, we have partnered with Idaho Department Fish and Game to conduct a Citizens Science project to study Wolverines and other Rare Forest Carnivores including Lynx, Marten and Fisher, providing valuable information. Through these efforts we have developed a constituency for supporting good wildlife management decisions.
We also believe that natural resource education is a vital part of stewardship. People will become better stewards and will become more engaged in stewardship as they better understand the dynamics of the landscape, the flora and fauna, as well as the need to act for their preservation.