Wolverine Wednesday Update

Happy Wolverine Wednesday Everyone!

It’s been yet another busy week here at the Wolverine Project headquarters.  Sad as it may seem, this is the last week of field work for the Wolverine Crew.  We’ve had a great season together, and I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work on this project.  Your efforts have combined to create a truly impressive citizen science initiative.  The data you’ve helped collect will be a huge contribution to the base of knowledge for rare forest carnivores in our region and beyond. We’ve seen many amazing critters over these winter months, and I have to congratulate each and every one of you for making this season an overwhelming success for collaboration and citizen science.  I look forward to sharing a hearty cheers with everyone on the 1st of April!

Upcoming Events

Local mountaineer to share his adventures: Karl Dietrich, an accomplished local mountaineer will be presenting a slide show of his alpine adventures at the Laughing Dog Brewery on March 29th at 6PM in Ponderay, ID.  The show is brought to you compliments of the Friends of IPAC and it should be an exciting armchair experience for anyone interested in mountaineering.  Karl has tallied several first ascents as well as ascents in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta.

April 1st End of the season party: Don’t forget that the 1st of April marks our end of the season party for the wolverine crew.  No pranks here folks, just pure wolverine fun!  (But let’s face it, we can’t actually promise that there won’t be any pranks pulled by this bunch…)  This will be a pot-luck event with beverages provided by FSPW.  We’ll kick off the festivities at 2:00pm at the Eureka Institute Annex located at 513 Oak St. in downtown Sandpoint.  We’ll share a summary of project results, hand out awards to exceptional volunteers, and enjoy the stories of backcountry adventures from our wolverine stations.  We’ll wrap up by 5:00pm with the hope that we’ll see everyone again next season!

End of Season Reminders

March 24th is the last day to return supplies: Please return all project equipment and supplies to the FSPW office no later than March 24th.  This means that all stations need to be out of the woods by the afternoon of the 24th so you can return the components to the office.  If this is an issue for anyone, please let me know ahead of time so I can plan accordingly.  We reuse all hardware, so please include electrical connectors and gun brushes with your return packet.

Voting for the 1st Annual Wolverine Project Badass Award

For the past week you’ve been sending me your nominations for this year’s BA award.  We’ve narrowed that list down to the top five, which are listed below for your voting pleasure.  To vote, simply reply to mustelids@scotchmanpeaks.org with the name of the nominee as the body of the message.  It’s that simple.

1. John Latta. John made 3 visits to stations over 5800 ft this season (one of those days was on his birthday) to help two different station leaders with their sites. One site was particularly difficult to get to, and John was a great companion for the journey.  A wealth of knowledge and real backcountry gentleman, John was quick to offer logistical suggestions and support for any station he could.

2.  The Ross Creek Crew: Jim and Sandii Mellen, Dennis Aslett. This team of intrepid volunteers set up our most hardcore station of the season in the far reaches of Ross Creek.  To get the station up and running, they skied in to the site in a blizzard, breaking trail for 15 miles.  In total they spent 11 hours skiing, back in the days of limited daylight.  If that wasn’t enough, all members of this party volunteered to help with multiple stations, and two of them were seen at 6 different sites!

3.  Mary Franzel. Mary adopted 2 stations this season and showed up on the cameras of several other sites.  She made 4 visits to her stations, and with each visit had to contend with either bad weather, snowmobile breakdowns, or washed out roads.  Her team skied back 12 miles in the dark after their snowmobile transport broke down, and throughout the winter endured many miles of what she called “redneck skiing”, being towed behind the snowmobile on waterskiing ropes.

4.  Team Gulo Gulo, and its leader Melissa Demotte. Melissa was the fearless leader of the self-dubbed Team Gulo Gulo, a group of snowshoers who made up one of the most dynamic and exciting groups of the season.  They supplied us with some of our best project photos and involved many additional volunteers on their station visits, making outreach one of their best achievements.

5.  Chris Bachman. Chris is one of our quiet volunteers who has put in an amazing effort this season.  After adopting an initial site that required skiing 13 miles in the battery freezing cold, Chris requested two more sites that he used as educational tools for a group of grade school kids.  Chris and his assistants taught these kids how to set up the stations and gave them an early taste of wildlife monitoring!

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  1. Of course I have to vote for Mary Franzel, not only because I was able to help her with two trips, but, because she is so much fun. The “Redneck trips” have got to be the best ( and funniest ) stories out there by far. She also helped with stations at Spar lake which were ski in sites.

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