Outdoor educational program on winter ecology March 5 | wild montana

Get outside and enjoy the beauty of late winter in Northwest Montana! Join our small group on Saturday, March 5, meet at the Viking Room at the Venture Inn in Libby at 1015 US Hwy. 2 to 9 a.m. (Mountain Time). Here, over coffee, we’ll briefly review the take-home learning aid sheets that are designed as an introduction to winter ecology. At approx. 9:30 am we will head to the field to study the oldest known writing on earth, tracking animals and interpreting signs in snow, ice and mud. With an instructor, we will follow a 10-step method to identify tracks, movement patterns, behavior, species and habitat. The field study will visit several sites, where we will also identify conifers and hardwoods, herbaceous evergreens, deciduous and evergreen shrubs, lichens, fungi and grasses. As we progress through the day, we will discuss predator-prey relationships and the specialized adaptations of animals and birds for winter survival.

This adult class will make several roadside stops, and take a few short hikes on private land less than a mile round trip. Participants will be in their own vehicles and then in the open spaces where we will maintain safety distances. This program is sponsored by Libby Base Camp Hostel, and people needing accommodations should check them out at Airbnb. All participants must register to participate. Participants should come with full gas tanks, outdoor clothing good for the weather, water, lunch, binoculars, cameras and a good sense of humor. To register email b_baxter53@yahoo.com, or call 406-291-2154. Wrap approx. 2:30 p.m. MST. Small groups of less than 10 people. No dogs please. Snowshoes optional. Experienced instructors.

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