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WSU/Pend Oreille Extension introduced the Sense of Place series in 1999, with a focus on local landscape and natural history of Pend Oreille County, Washington. A partnership with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department has allowed us to expand this program through EPA funding to include more classes, a newsletter and this website.

Birds Sing Praises

for Little Spokane River Valley

The Inland Northwest Land Trust recently surveyed riparian habitat in the Little Spokane River valley to prioritize the best areas for conservation easements to help protect songbirds. The land trust invited landowners with significant riparian habitat on the Little Spokane River and its headwaters to participate in the Songbird Survey. By knowing what birds are on the property, the land trust will get a good idea of the quality of habitat. US forest Service biologist Kent Woodruff said, “the birds have a chance to tell us where the best habitat is.”

The survey project helps the land trust focus its conservation work over the next several years by providing information about general habitat quality and landowner interest throughout the Little Spokane River Valley. Since launching the survey in late May, the land trust has conducted many hours of bird surveys as well as extensive one-on-one habitat conservation education with eight participating landowners. Heather Batemen, land specialist for the Inland Northwest Land Trust, conducted the bird

surveys. As of early July, Heather had surveyed over 580 acres of private land with riparian habitat in the Little Spokane River Valley, from the headwaters near Eloika and Reflection Lakes and along the Little Spokane River nearing confluence with the Spokane river. Birds that are indicators of quality riparian habitat, called focal species, are among the 15 most common species , including yellow warbler, gray catbird, American goldfinch, and cedar waxwing. In all Heather observed 548 birds from 63 different species.

For more information on Inland Northwest Land Trust, visit their website at www.inlandnwlandtrust.org, cal Chris DeForest at 509 328-2939 or 208 255-5997, or e-mail at info@inlandnwlandtrust.org.

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