Beverly Skinner will talk about the Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge near Kalispell.
Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge is a 9000+ acre refuge in NW Montana approximately 1 hour west of Kalispell. This introduction to a breathtakingly beautiful refuge will highlight some of the unique habitats currently found on the refuge including the abundant wetlands and Dahl Lake, a 1500+ acre shallow glacial lake. The lake and wetlands provide habitat for thousands of migratory birds as well as an abundance of amphibians including the rare boreal toad. Due to its location, the refuge also helps protect an established wildlife corridor for several wildlife species at risk including lynx and grizzly bears. The refuge is also home to a Federal Threatened plant—Spalding’s catchfly—which can be only be found in a rare habitat type called Palouse prairie.
Starting in 2016, several miles of county road were removed from major wetland areas of the refuge. Part of this project includes monitoring for vegetation and wildlife changes that will potentially occur over time as wetlands are restored. This presentation will introduce the audience to a wildlife biologist’s dream project of using acoustic and ultrasonic monitors in order to document changes in wildlife sounds through the restoration process and beyond.
Here is Bev’s bio:
Hard to believe but my wildlife career has now spanned over 40 years which includes 10 years of part time work while I was mostly a stay at home mom. I started off my career working with birds and endangered plants in the Missouri Ozarks for the Forest Service and have now spent the last 20 plus years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I began my FWS career on the Innoko NWR – a 3.8 million acre refuge in Interior Alaska. Almost 13 years of living remotely with three kids and a sled dog team was a dream life which shaped all of our lives in a very unique way. I also worked close to 10 years at the Charles M Russell NWR in central Montana. Married to another FWS Wildlife Biologist (now retired) has made life both easier and harder at times. Bob is a big picture ecologist and habitat biologist and I am more a detail person. With our different skill sets we usually (but not always) make a good team. I have been at Lost Trail NWR for almost four years now and absolutely love it. We currently live on the refuge in a 1913 historic farmhouse with our five Tibetan mastiffs.