Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sawtooth Society launches lecture series

Local experts to share findings

Express Staff Writer

Wolverines and wildflowers are just two of the topics that will be touched on during the fourth annual Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association's Friday night lecture series in Stanley.

Tess O'Sullivan, program director for Carey-based Lava Lake Institute for Science and Conservation, will kick off the series on July 8, by sharing her research on the challenges facing local pronghorn antelope. Though antelope are easily spotted throughout the Salmon River region, the institute says human development increasingly disturbs antelope migration patterns, threatening the species as a whole.

Dana Perkins, an ecologist for the BLM, will present her findings on another threatened species, whitebark pine, during a lecture on July 22. Perkins is a widely recognized authority on the tree, and will also address the issues facing lodgepole pines, another local species.

On July 29, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf recovery coordinator Carter Niemeyer will share information on local wolf issues. Niemeyer is the author of the recently released memoir "Wolfer," a story of his involvement with the federal wolf reintroduction program.

Birdwatchers and wildflower hunters won't want to miss the other lectures in the series. On July 15, biologist Mike Mancuso will share a presentation on the "Rare and Cool Wildflowers of Central Idaho," followed by a presentation on birds of prey by raptor biologist Janie Fink on Aug. 5. Fink's lecture will include live birds of prey.

The series will also include a program on wolverines by retired Forest Service biologist Jeff Copeland on Aug. 19 and a presentation on the Sawtooth Fault by Idaho State University geologist and fault discoverer Glenn Thackray on Aug. 26.

"Attending these lectures is a fun way to learn about special critters, characteristics and culture that make the Sawtooth-Salmon River country such a special place," said Wes Wills, the association's lecture series chair. "This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the best."

All lectures will take place at 5 p.m. at the Stanley Museum just north of Stanley on state Highway 75. The presenters will immediately follow these lectures with repeat performances at 8 p.m. at the Redfish Center on Redfish Lake. The series is free and open to the public.

The series is funded by the Sawtooth Society, the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch Redfish Lake Lodge and private donors.

The association is dedicated to conserving the Sawtooth and Salmon-Challis national forests, as well as educating the public about the area. The association also manages the Stanley Museum and the Redfish Center.

Katherine Wutz:

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