AHWF is the only nonprofit organization in the panhandle of Idaho working with the injured and orphaned local wildlife. We also offer community education programs. Because our patients don't have pockets please help us continue our mission. AHWF.ORG
Thank You for your support!
American Heritage Wildlife Foundation has the mission to
conserve local wildlife through the efforts of rehabilitation of the injured or
orphaned and community education. We do not receive federal, state or county
funding. We exist only because of community support. We are a 501c3 nonprofit
organization and a registered state nonprofit incorporation. AHWF holds federal
rehabilitation permits from the US Fish and Wildlife Service for all migratory
bird species and Idaho State Fish and Game rehabilitation permits for all
species of birds and non-game mammals. We are the only north Idaho facility
providing care mammals, birds, reptiles & amphibians.
was one of the most upsetting. Thankfully, this community was so supportive of
our financial need but the calling of wildlife rehabilitation is not one which spares
the emotion, spirit, or mind of the caregiver.
“It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had
once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and
scores of other bird voices there was now no sound; only silence over the
fields and woods and marsh.”- “A Fable
for Tomorrow” from Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring 1962
Early spring our volunteers reported
seeing the first returning migrant birds – American Robins, appearing healthy
but within a few short days they were found dead. We received a few which were
not able to be rehabilitated. They were greatly underweight. This trend of
malnourishment was seen in multiple species and continued to be seen throughout
the year. Sadly, this situation was reported by other professional national
wildlife rehabilitators as well. We are heartsick at the only logical
conclusion: habitat alteration or fragmentation, air + soil + water pollution (noxious
gases, lead, herbicides, urban run-off (including roadway de-icing solutions),
and excessive use of pesticides & insecticides all creates environmental
dead zones. To complicate the distress some pesticides cause anorexia (loss of
appetite & weakness) which results in starvation. The animals were
confronted with a lack suitable habitat & food in the wintering grounds and
then had barren deserts (lacking food and or shelter) to cross before arriving
at the breeding grounds, of which might have been ‘gentrified into oblivion’,
as one urban nature blogger stated.
At the end of the day the reality is
that whatever we do to their habitat so too will we feel the effects. All
things connect. When we touch one piece of the web it is felt throughout. Consider
this: the water treatment plants cannot filter the toxins (such as household
chemicals as well as herbicides that are sprayed along roadways, which also get
into the rivers and lakes) then release the treated water out into the same
source used for tap water. Studies of major waterways documented that 100% of
all surface water samples, 96% of all fish, and 33% of aquifers contained one
or more pesticides.These toxins cause
neurological, immunological and physiological issues; they can be fatal. FYI
the bottled water industry is less regulated than tap water.
We can make a change – both locally
and on a large scale by demanding our political representatives pass
legislation against the agricultural industry (& others) continuing to
create these bio-hazards. There are 180 chemicals registered in the US alone.
This is 40 % of the world wide pesticide usage (5.86 billion pounds). We use
25% of the world total herbicide amount.There are sound alternatives. Years ago, we, as concerned citizens,
successfully mandated that there would no longer be lead in our paint nor in our
fuels. Let us do the same with other aspects of our environment! Margret Mead
said to never doubt the power of a small group of determined people. They are
the ones that will change the world.
Biomagnification is a big word that
means that if a dose of ‘poison’ is ingested it does not degrade as it passes
from one animal to the next in the food chain – it magnifies. The producer
basically concentrates that dose from 1,000 to 5,000 times more. The primary
consumer then becomes 10,000 to 50,000 times more. The secondary consumer
100,000 to 500,000 times. And finally the tertiary consumer 500,000 to
50,000,000 times more than the original amount.
We cared for 70 individual animals. The
wildlife we received were migration exhausted or pollution impacted (to use the
description from another rehabber). They were orphaned due to mother being
killed or habitat being destroyed, hit by automobile, struck a window or
attacked by cat or dog. Many patients were significantly underweight upon
arrival. 34 patients died or were euthanized as to end their suffering.
Thankfully this year we did not experience any obvious toxicosis cases relating
to the bio-magnification effects poisonings from herbicides & rodenticides
but we did hear other rehabilitation centers reporting high numbers. Studies
report that an estimated 67 million birds die from poisoning each year; no
numbers were reported on the mammal species which were certainly effected.
Currently we are overwintering 9
individuals (4 raccoons and 5 fox squirrels); they were born late in the season
and simply too young to release at the end of summer. Release dates will be
We did have wonderful volunteers and
interns to help us with the daily challenges and requirements animal care. We
had to be strong enough in mind to be intuitive and strong enough in body to
endure long days. We have a listing of volunteers who help with answering
telephones, animal care and animal transportation but we can always add more
phone numbers to our listing – just give us a call. The more the merrier!
The interns were chosen from a list
from almost 30 applicants. The process required over 6 weeks and many volunteer
hours. These students receive an overview of what to expect but the job is best
described as learn as you go position. The learning curve is often difficult. One
hard working intern was able to remain most of the summer, one quit after one
week, and one we wish we could have hired sooner as well as kept her on as a
staff member. We do wish her the best as she continues vet school.
We responded to 320+ phone calls from
our community. 65 of there were directly related to animals in distress. These
animals were referred to nearby veterinary clinics, were never relinquished by
the rescuer or not able to be captured.
Early in the year we were given an old
X-ray machine. It does need some work and we need to create a room. If you
would like to lend a hand, we would be very appreciative. This is an amazing
opportunity for us to add to the level of care we are able to provide for our injured
We started a building expansion
project to add a secondary infirmary room. This will create a size
approximately 20 foot by 8 foot and be used mainly as a mammal care room.
The 2015 recorded phone message from
IDFG stating if we build the needed bear cub enclosure(s) they will approve it
gave us confidence to spend the last three years researching enclosure
materials, contacting contractors, writing grants, connecting with media and
getting creative with our fundraising efforts. As many of you are aware, there are
only a handful of facilities in the nation and two in Idaho. They are located
in central and south Idaho. We want to be able to respond to injured game
mammals in need from North Idaho as well as nearby states like Washington. The
last few years we have received calls regarding cubs as well as cougar and
Education and public
Where do I begin? This year we
provided our community with 35 events & activities! No wonder the hours
recorded for the first six months are about equal with the recorded hours for
the last six – an amazing total of almost 4,000 hours. While some of our
volunteers were occupied with animal care others were reaching out into the
community in assorted ways. The public libraries as well as school and private
groups were the locations for nearly 20 programs or presentations. If you would
like to join with other volunteers and be part of the educational outreach
programs, give us a call or send an email.
We again joined with Kaniksu Land
Trust and Idaho Conservation League at the Little Panida Theater, where Dr.
Wayne Melquist captivated us all regaling us with his Osprey tales of struggle
and recovery. In 2019, we would again like to offer our community an event of
interest but need your input as to a keynote speaker. Call AHWF or KLT.
We attempted to have two highway
clean-up sessions however multiple attempts to coordinate volunteer scheduling
and the weather along with inability to connect with Idaho Transportation
Department proved unsuccessful. We have renewed our contract with ITD to keep
our three mile section of scenic highway 200 clean and green; if you would like
to take over as coordinator please contact us so you may be oriented with the
task prior to the Spring of 2019.
Places to meet us or show your AHWF
support: Earth Day at Farmin Park, 7B Sunday at Schweitzer Mountain, IdahoGives,
Meet the AHWF Founder at Squeeze Inn, BINGO in Clark Fork, Feed Me fundraiser
at Monarch Market, the all-day Clark Fork Independence Day celebration with
facepainting and carnival games, 4th Annual Clean Comedy Show and Silent
Auction (we were at Sandpoint Chocolate Bear for one day selling advance
seating tickets), Pints for a Cause fundraiser at Idaho Pour Authority, the No
Shave November / Beards for Bears campaign, Scarecrow Contest at Hickey Farms
(sadly no one entered this year), and the three day Christmas Fair in the
All the hours dedicated to ‘face time’
did not allow for much ‘tech time’. Remember that 20th century movie “You’ve
got mail” … it opens with that squelching noise of the internet finding its way
into your computer. Our foundation volunteers listened to that tone for 16
years. In October 2017, our provider stopped service of dial-up. We lost the
ability to stay connected and do not have internet service nor cell phone
service at our facility. Idaho is after all 50th in the nation relating to
internet speeds and connectivity. This means all online work such as email,
social media, grant research & submission must take place at a pubic wi-fi
One volunteer did however find the
time to create an Instagram site. Check it out! This form of social media will
add to our ways to reach out and spread our message of keeping North Idaho WILD.
We anticipate the newly hired ‘outreach coordinator’ will be more consistent at
online postings and program promotions.
The website software we have now will
certainly improve the looks and hopefully functionality of our website but we
did not have the opportunity to upload the newly created site yet. The current
site is still functional but suspect time is limited as it was created using a
rapidly unsupported platform. One volunteer scheduled time to come out and take
over the task but life must have gotten in the way of the good intentions.
Please consider taking on this project if you are technologically minded. We
hope to have it up in early 2019.
This year our 5 board of directors
meet monthly (and I use the term loosely). There were times when the meeting
was simply an emailed agenda with responses emailed back. Each member choses an
activity or event to get involved in as well as supports the other directors
and projects as able and needed. We do have few directors’ seats open, including
treasurer and secretary. We only require you are an Idaho resident. We need
fresh eyes to help us see further down the path and continue to guide AHWF into
of paths…have you heard?We were so
blessed to find a funder who believed in our vision! The Laura Moore Cunningham
Foundation responded positively to our grant request. During the summer of
2018, volunteers started working on mapping out the 1,000 foot pathway which
winds through open areas and treed sections of the AHWF parcel. These
volunteers have been spreading bark and placing logs along the route. Thank You
Lori, Al, Gabby, Dave, Janie & Clearview girls. Future volunteers will continuing
to add bark, place logs, clear brush as well as tend to flowers and other
plants in the Spring. We hope for an EarthDay grand opening but this will only
take place if we have more help to clear the trail, place bark, & install
signage. At this time, we are roughly halfway complete with the major aspects.
are so thrilled with this exciting opportunity, our first step in creating the
first nature center of the Inland Pacific Northwest. The Nature Walk will be a winding trail with differing route options
depending upon ability. We will create informative signs that will provide
images of wildlife species in North Idaho. These signs will also detail other
relevant information such as identification of tracks, scat, vocalizations and
cohabitation pointers. There are four distinct habitats that we want to explain.
This trail will be unique for our community as it will give immediate answers
from the nature guide who will lead small tour groups through the Nature Walk.
The guide will encourage the patrons to consider what they can do to preserve the wild species
and spaces in their neighborhoods.
This nature trail
will be a guided experience that wanders the diverse terrain of our two acre
parcel. It will provide a complete sensory experience to each patron. One guide
will lead one group at a time on this trail and point out the diverse flora and
its importance. The guide will also identify the fauna that inhabit the region
and rely upon the native plants for survival. Detailed signs will also be
placed along the trail. These signs will provide information on native plants,
birds, mammals, as well as methods of soil conservation, water preservation and
timber harvesting. We will encourage school groups to arrange field trips as
well. We feel this project is important because the increased immersion into
nature will create a stronger sense of commitment to the preservation of our North
Idaho environment. Fun facts that you will discover on
the Nature Walk: Chickadees (according Audubon Society) require a landscape
with 70% native plants to keep the population steady. They can drop their body
temperature on winter nights to conserve energy. You will often hear the calls
of separate species of Chickadee. We also have many types of other non-migrants
you know that scientific studies have shown that nature walks among the trees
lowers cortisol levels of the brain? This means the brain is less fatigued. It
also means in areas with nature the children are less likely to have attention
deficit disorders. Of the 54% of Americans concerned about stress in their
lives, two-thirds say they will likely seek help for it. Stress symptoms
include: irritability, insomnia, appetite disturbances, headaches, nervousness,
sadness, etc.Large boosts of mood come
after as little as 5 minutes outside exercising. Nature contributes to well-being
– it reduces blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormone production and muscle
tension. This nature walk is a three purpose project 1) educate us all on how
to cohabitate with our native neighbors and keep North Idaho WILD 2) reduce
stress levels of our human neighbors 3) offering a venue to provide greater
volunteerism. We are eager to offer this experience but we need your help to
complete it first. Call and schedule your time to join others as we clear
brush, place bark, create signage, etc.
Last month we started
the USFWS application paperwork to obtain an educational salvage bird permit.
This would allow us to use assorted bird species in our educational
demonstrations. The birds would be taken to a professional taxidermy studio and
prepared. We feel this is the best option for our group at this time. The use
of live wild animals as display is quite stressful and requires special
temperament. It is also costly to house and care for the animals. Using wild
animals that are being rehabilitated is not permitted. These mounts will be
taken to the library presentations, perhaps the educational group programs and
of course on display for those enjoying the Nature Walk.
We could not continue without our
amazing donors that contributed once online or directly every month! Some
budget $20 while others are able to send $50. Thank you – every month that
envelope in the mail is our lifeline. We also had folks make large donations.
Additionally in-kind contributions were many and varied. We estimate well over
$3,000 in items & donated fuel was given. Our supporters also saved their
aluminum cans for the ‘coins for cans for critters’ fundraising campaign. Over 150
pounds have been collected and recycled. We still have at least that much to
bring in again. We also have a program established to recycle your technology
devices and ink cartridges.
Additional financial support was
gained through the shopping programs (amazon, benefit mobile, chewy, ebay,
goodworld goodshop, iGive, purium, yokes) as well as online campaigns (idahogives,
breadboost challenge, love animals, givingtuesday, several supporters creating
facebook birthday fundraisers) and AHWF merchandise (café press, teespring, apparal
now ssa store, & lulu).
Steve & Rosemary, Darcy & Randy,
Diane, Shaun, Peter & Pat, Judy, Derek & Jerilyn, Sue, Christina, Tim
& Jacqueline, Iris, Jutta, Melinda, Gabriella, Connie, Bryan, Teresa,
Margaret, Phoebe, Gracie, fishin’ Chris & friends, Mary, Jan, Shari, Cory, Teresa
Fisher Artworks, Susan, Bill, Penny, Julia, Laurie, Beth, Mark & Barb, Kathe,
Marlene, Ben, George, Felicia, Cheyenna, WW, Alfred & Catherine, Jack &
Diane, Cheri, Melinda, Michel, Anja, Margaurite & Thomas, Ashley, Ronda
& Sharon, Amanda, Beata, Margaret, Lynda & Lacy, Gracie, Brooke, Fairchilds,
Dave, 7 Peaks Counseling and Allison – Thank You.
A few volunteers spent many hours
researching and preparing then submitting several grant applications. We are
grateful to Wildlife Conservation Trust for their $5,000 support for our animal
care, for Equinox – Innovia for their $3,000 towards general operating expenses
and of course Laura Moore Cunningham for $10,000 to create the Nature Path. We
will additionally be looking to provide a classroom setting with these funds.
We provided many fundraising opportunities:
Osprey event at the little Panida with Dr. Wayne Melquist, ‘Feed Me’ bbq
sandwich fundraiser, Chocolate covered Pretzels, Bingo Night, Pints for a
Cause, 7B Sunday, Independence Day celebration, the 4th annual comedy show and
silent auction, and the Christmas craft fair where we painted faces and wrapped
gifts. Thank you KLT, ICL, Monarch Market – Ronda & Sharon, Dr.Pepper &
Coca-Cola, Idaho Pour Authority, Our Neck of the Woods, Silverwood, The Last
Resort, PAWS Pet Salon, SEB photography, Webber & Widgren woodworks,
Lakeside Coffee, Bonner County Museum, Teresa Fisher Artworks. Please support
& patronize these fine businesses who generously gave items to help local
Currently we are raffling off a pair
of 2019 silverwood tickets $10 each or 5 for $40. The drawing will be 30 March
2019. We have eight tropical vacations and ticket are only $25 per ticket for these
weeklong resort stays. Drawings will be in the autumn of 2019 & 2020. Reservations
need not be booked until December 2020.
Support is gaining for the black bear enclosure
project. Almost $6,000 has been contributed from supporters the past few years.
We provided you the opportunity to show your support with the #BeardsforBears
#NoShaveNovember campaign, love animals online campaign or purchasing the BEAR
MAMA teeshirt or sweatshirt created by Gracies Art Corner on the TeeSpring
site. Unfortunately on November 27th I was informed that the Idaho State Fish
and Game Commission has decided it will be mirroring a wild animal rehabilitation
policy similar to Montana State’s = NO REHAB OF GAME SPECIES. This means that
the Idaho State commissioners no longer want to allow rehabilitative care of
orphaned white tailed deer fawns, elk fawns, moose calves, cougars, wolves or
We are deeply saddened by this posture
from the state agency for game management. We hope they do not expand that
policy and forbid rehabilitation of all other native wild animals. While our federal
permit is valid through early 2020, the Idaho state rehab permit will need to
be renewed in August 2019. You may recall, in a 2015 Sandpoint magazine article
about wildlife rehabilitation, IDFG regional manager Craig Walker said while he
‘recognizes the social side of wildlife rehabilitation, it is of little value
biologically. Few of the species that end up in area rehab facilities are
endangered or threatened.’ He feels that wild animals should be left alone.
Rarely are there occasions when something should be done.
Perhaps Mr. Walker was not aware that
nationwide over 47,000 animals are assisted by 43 facilities from 28 states
alone. In New York City, an estimated 90,000 birds die from window strikes. One
facility accepted over 6,500 birds this year alone. Wildlife rehabilitation
facilities are world wide – more than 5,000 professionals dedicate their lives
to helping the wild animals that have become victims of the effects of humans
sharing this one planet. Many do this without financial compensation … so it
cost the state nothing to allow care.
Our goal of game mammal rehabilitation
was to expand our ability to help those wild animals in need. The sole purpose
of Idaho Black Bear Rehab in Boise has been to care for ALL bears in need (not
only Idaho’s orphans but other states like Wyoming, Washington, etc.) but they
must be Idaho permitted. The purpose of Mystic Farms in Sagle has been to care
for White Tailed Deer fawns. This year alone they had over a dozen orphans,
without a licensed facility these young animals will suffer needlessly. If this
is the view felt towards game species, perhaps there may be a time when Idaho
Fish and Game does not want to allow any type of rehabilitation.
bylaws at AHWF do not allow us, as a nonprofit, to get involved directly with
politics. I do feel, however, that when a policy is not just, we as individual citizens
have an obligation to inform our representatives. It is then their duty to
represent their constituency. This is why I am now asking, if you feel that
wildlife rehabilitation is important; if you feel that there should be game
mammal rehabilitation in Idaho State; if you want to stand up and be the voice
for our native wild neighbors, please contact the commissioners and
representatives responsible and let them know your views. Virgil Moore is the
current director of IDFG but will be retiring in 2019. Brad Corkill is the IDFG
commissioner for the panhandle region. The 2019 representatives will be Brad
Little-Governor, Russ Fulcher-District 1 state rep., Heather Scott-state rep.
position A, Sage Dixon - state rep. position B, Jim Woodward-state senator.
Kathleen St.Clair-McGee. Lead wildlife specialist volunteer, board president
& cofounder. December 21, 2018
of the statistics provided in the ‘wildlife’ section of this report were taken
from articles, journals and lectures prepared by notable scientists and
wildlife protection agencies. I will be happy to provide the names and titles
if you wish.
AHWF mini-newsletter Volume 17 Number 3 = November 2018
So much to report and so little time
This year we have treated almost 50 intake cases. Our volunteers have recorded over 3,200 hours and have provided over 30 events and activities so far this year. The upcoming activity we need your help with is the Christmas booth at the Bonner Mall December 7th through 9th from 10AM until 6PM.
Seats are available on our board of directors. One director has just resigned so the position of secretary is open as well as a few other vacant seats. Our board is responsible for maintaining the ’behind the scenes’ operations: they promote the foundation, they help with fundraising, they assist with coordinating events and activities. The directors meet once each month - this takes place in person or through email. They report progress with projects, respond with opinions and ideas.
We have added a new social media account - Instagram. Find us and follow us. Check us out on facebook, twitter, linkedin group, pinterest, blogger, youtube, vimeo. Find all these links and more on our webpage. www.ahwf.org
The founder has been the lead volunteer for all aspects of operating since 2001. She has recently stated that it is getting harder and harder to keep up with everything plus her pay- ing job. Carrying the burden of daily animal care, recruiting and training summer interns, public correspondence including social media and articles, creating and updating the web- site, maintaining all media exposure, creating and coordinating events, managing admin- istrative and financial duties, scheduling and often presenting educational programs. Thankfully one volunteer is coming out once a week to assist with animal care & one vol- unteer has taken the lead for many of the educational programs.
Additionally, an Outreach Coordinator has just been hired! She will begin in November. The position duties include posting photos and updates on social media, contacting potential event sponsors, promot- ing events and AHWF merchandise as well as implementing crowdfunding campaigns. If you can help with anything, we will gladly put you to work! Give us a call.
Were you able to attend the Spring event at the Panida theater? In 2017 & 2018, three local nonprofits (Idaho Conservation League, Kaniksu Land Trust, and American Heritage Wildlife Foundation) have come together to provide the community educating & enter- taining speakers. Previously Paul Bannick - wildlife photographer provided information on Owls and the threats to their survival and Dr. Wayne Melquist - wildlife biologist provided information about the Osprey and his years of study with Idaho Fish & Game. We would like to find an engaging program for 2019! Do you have any ideas? Contact Kathleen at AHWF or Regan at KLT.
So many projects and too few volunteers
The recent grant from Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation has allowed us to start work on our Nature Walk on the AHWF parcel. It will be a 1,000 foot winding pathway through assorted habitats. There will be a guide to answer all questions about which bird is in view or vocalizing. There will be educational stations to stop at and learn about all our native neighbors. The trail will be by appointment only. We are so excited by this opportunity as it is the first step to creating the Inland Pacific Northwest Nature Center! Over the past few weeks we have had 12 different volunteers here working on placing trail logs and bark. To date 75 hours has been tallied. We have much more to accomplish and certainly need your help. Can you roll a wheelbarrow? Scoop bark from the large pile (thank you Alpine Bark and Blowing) into buckets or wheelbarrows? Clear tree limbs (thank you Olson tree service) and branches? Add mulch around existing bushes and flowers? Create signs to identify the spe- cies of native flora? Give us a call at 208.266.1488 to schedule time to lend a hand.
We are expanding our intake room. The addition will add a space approximately 10 by 20 and house the mammal patients.
We were given an old X-Ray machine (thank you Dr. Higgins). Now we need to replace some wiring and also construct the radiograph room so we can begin to use this amazing piece of medical equipment.
Thanks to one donor, we are $5,000 closer to constructing our Orphaned Black Bear Cub enclosure. We need your help to raise the remaining funds so we can break ground and be ready in 2019. Such wonderful raffle items just waiting for you Two 2019 Silverwood Amusement Park day passes are being raffled off for just $10 or 5 raffle tickets for only $40. Drawing March 30
Do you want to get farther away than North Idaho? Get ready to feel the sun on your face and tropics on your skin. Prepare your passports and enter the raffle for a week long vacation to Panama or any of seven resorts in the Caribbean! 2019 vacations = Panama’s Los Establos Boutique Inn, Palm Island Resort and Spa (St. Vincent & the Grenadines) , St.James Club Morgan Bay - St. Lucia, & The Club in Barbados. 2020 vacations 4 of Antigua’s best: Pineapple Beach Club, St.James Club, the Verandah, Galley Bay Resort $25 raffle ticket will enter you in this amazing chance to get away. You may send a check with your donation directly to AHWF include contact information, stop at one of communi- ty events, or contribute using one of our online funding platforms - just email us to ensure we have your name entered to win! Drawing starts now and will run through Fall 2019 & 2020. Full details will be listed on our facebook page @localwildliferehab. We will have all the raffle jars at our Christmas Booth at the Bonner Mall next month. The Room Only Certificates can be transferred from the prize winner to a family member or friend however the winner may not advertise or resell the certificate. Air transportation is not included. Each certificate provides accommodations for 7 nights (or more) and up to two (or three) rooms and is subject to a required nightly all-inclusive supplemental per person based on double occupancy depending on the resort selected and travel dates. The all-inclusive supplement covers dining (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), unlimited beverages by the glass, resort activities including non-motorized watersports and all service charges and gratuities. (think of this like room and board fees - you get free room you pay the board). Government taxes are additional. The required supplemental and taxes are col- lected at the elite island resort office at the time of booking. The winner will be given the number to call to redeem the certificate and book the vacation. Accommodations are sub- ject to availability so early booking is recommended for peak travel periods. Additional surcharge may apply seasonally and during Christmas week and February. All travel must be booked by the December 2020 expiration date on each certificate.
Snow and no rest for the weary
AHWF volunteers have responded to around 300 phone calls this year. Sadly, we cannot respond immediately for several factors. These include: no cell service nor internet at the facility, availability of volunteers able to answer the telephone, limited resources restricting the ability to retrieve or rescue. Our hope with the Nature Walk is to provide a stable means of revenue which will allow additional resource availability as well as greater year round volunteer opportunities.
Currently we are caring for both Raccoons & Squirrels, and will continue over the next 5 months. The last few months the foods consumed by these wildlife patients: 60 dozen eggs, 30 pounds nuts, 20 pounds fish, 2,000 mealworms, 200 pounds fresh produce, 150 pounds of kibble plus a few other necessary dietary items. We have 20 more weeks of rehab needed before release can take place in the Spring! Donations of foods or funding to help purchase foods is greatly ap- preciated. As with all your donations simply designate your wishes in the memo line of your check. You may also donate using your credit card with any of the online platforms found on our website.
What do wildlife rehabbers do? We are their voice - we rescue, comfort, medicate, feed, clean, rehabilitation, release, educate, fundraise, mourn, love. Keep reading & discover the article titled ‘The challenges of wildlife rehabilitation’. Remember, we at AHWF can only do what we do because of you! Your support with financial contributions, with volunteer- ism, by contributing in kind donations, by promoting and attending events and activities. Thank you!
doubt about it – we are in the dog days of summer. Your garden may be full and
lush and that is the point of contention. All our wonderful native neighbors see
your garden as an oasis. Unless they taste from that garden of eden it only
must only be a mirage. Here are some tips and pointers on how to make sure your
hard work will be viewed as fortress not a convenience store. Please remember
this quaint image – if you were to toss a sack full of candy in your driveway
would you be upset if the neighborhood children came around to collect? Your
plants are often like candy to the wild animals that share their habitat with
is the primary method of reducing the unwanted terrestrial visitors but what
about the “tunnel runners” – the native neighbors that reside underground? For
most it is not a realistic expectation to construct a concrete wall surrounding
our garden and the labor involved to create raised beds is daunting. The
resolution may be found by implementing a few of the many humane methods and
techniques. Examples include soap shavings, dog hair, rotten eggs, certain
plants, etc. Human scent (sweat, urine) is often a simple solution.
folks install electric fences but are discouraged when the animals seemingly
ignore the jolt to get to the joy. One solution is to place a bit of aluminum
foil with peanut butter onto the wire. The animal smells the food, touches the
food and is discouraged to enter the space. This negative rewarded is effective
with deer especially. The key is to rotate and keep the deterrents fresh! A
terrific device on the market is a ‘scarecrow’ – a motion sensor water spraying
the birds are eating all the berries – make the decision to share. Let one plant
be theirs, and then use the products on the market to cover the one you chose
keep. Flashing ribbon or old cd’s suspended are often sufficient deterrents.
Decoys have also been used successfully. The thing to remember is to keep unfamiliar
sights, sounds and scents new - rotating the items and changing locations.
traps are not a humane way to evict a native neighbor. By catching the animal
then moving it into a new territory where it has no idea of food, shelter,
water, or predators it is often a death sentence. There are many ways by which
you can create your space as an unwanted area to visit to the he furry and
feathered. Techniques can be found in a number of books at our public library,
the extension office or at the ahwf.org website, click on the native neighbor
tab or call the volunteers at American Heritage Wildlife Foundation.
LANDSCAPING with NATURE
are a few tips and pointers to help you create a wildlife & human friendly
yard. Placing seed feeders that are away from windows and clean will prompt
many songbirds to come and feast. By placing a barrier such as a child’s pool
in the yard with seeds scattered in the bottom will not only attract the birds
that prefer to eat on the ground it will provide them a few seconds more time
to escape the domestic cat that is trying to sneak up on them. The pool lip is
a barrier that the cat will have to jump over, this action allows the birds to
see the predator and fly away before the cat can attack.
are also natural ways provide food and shelter for the Feathered Native
Neighbors. With appropriate landscaping design, attracting wildlife is easy.
Birds use shrubs and trees for food sources and places to nest or hide. Holly
& Roses provide Winter sustenance, Serviceberry & Chokecherry in
Summer, Honeysuckle & Blueberry Fall. Additionally many flowers provide
seedheads which are readily consumed by Towhees, Nuthatches, Goldfinch,
Chickadees, Sparrows and Finch species. Consider planting Aster, Rudbeckia,
Zinnia, Echinacea, Marigold, Cosmo, Goldenrod, Phlox, Salvia and Sunflowers.
trees are favorites for Jays, Catbirds, Cedar Waxwings, Finch, Goldfinch,
Flickers, Grosbeaks, Orioles, American Robins, Sparrows, Tanagers, Towhees,
Warblers and Woodpeckers. Junipers and Privet provide safety for Wrens,
Towhees, Juncos, Waxwings, Larks, and Sparrows. For those little Hummingbird
species don’t just hang sugar water. These amazingly tiny birds also consume
bugs and nectar. Planting Beebalm, Geraniums, Veronica, Delphinium and
Penstemons will help them find a balanced diet in your yard.
noxious or invasive plants at by without chemical warfare – just be consistent
and breaking off the seedheads. The plant cannot make more plants if it cannot
scatter seeds. This simple act ensures the ecosystem does not have unnecessary
chemicals introduced into the water table or our wild native neighbors systems.
Allowing tall grasses keeps the water table high, which is conducive to
earthworms. Have sections of grass that are very tall – some native grasses
reach astounding heights and are beautiful as well as produce seed heads to
feed the wildlife. Put out water bowl(s) or create a shallow pond in your yard.
a superhero for every species from Leopard Frogs to Alligator Lizards,
Chickadees to Merlins, Deer mice to Deer.
in North Idaho the four seasons are not what you traditionally expect; we may
call them by their formal names of winter, spring, summer and fall/autumn but
we locals all know them by their common names. We have a snow season followed
by a frigid & icy season. This quickly gives way to rain & mud season
and finally the road construction & fire season.
true that a forest fire may be considered beneficial because they promote
regrowth and control pathogens; it also releases carbon and air borne particles
into the atmosphere. Air pollution affects water, soil and leads to
deforestation. Fires threaten or consume homes, lives and precious resources. The
native wildlife is scrambling to outrun the flames and still locate water,
food, shelter, all while trying to identify where the predators are located.
we humans have no control over the weather or road conditions and we cannot
predict lightning strikes, we can and must accept responsibilities for our
actions during these dry hot days. Please remember that the human caused fires
have started from fireworks, slash piles, cigarettes, sparks from trailer
chains, parking or driving hot cars in tall grass, chainsaws, improperly
extinguished camp fires, & arson. Under the right conditions, even expended
shell casings from target practice can spark a blaze.
far, this year, we have been fortunate and our human neighbors have been paying
attention to their actions. In recent years, the forest fires have been right
in our back yards – burning on all sides – barely contained. The smoke so thick
many become house bound for weeks, the sun at full midday height barely
illuminating the sky. Various reputable sourced surveys report that there has
been a change in the fire seasons: there have been more fires, larger complex
fires, and longer seasons.
paying attention to our actions (and those of our neighbors) we can make sure
that our wild native neighbors do not suffer. The temperate forest foundation
reports that 88% of fires annually are caused by humans through careless acts
or arson. While no less devastating, natural causes amount to only 12 %.
be a good neighbor to our wild native neighbors. Their very survival is reliant
upon us to be good stewards. If you find a wild animal in distress please
contact your professional wildlife rehabilitation facility as soon as possible.
Call American Heritage Wildlife Foundation volunteers at 208.266.1488.
Wildlife rehabilitation is the act of providing care for the injured or orphaned wild animals. If wildlife rehabilitation were easy everyone would do it!
The reality is wildlife rehabilitation is physically and emotionally demanding. State and Federal permits are required. The standard release rate is 35%.
The space, time, and money issues thatwildlife rehabilitators struggle with every day are at times overwhelming. These conditions can lead to frustration and burn out. The animal care, basic work load and maintaining a daily flow are challenging but quickly become debilitating when there is a lack of funding or manpower.
AHWF is 100% volunteer supported… let that sink in a minute… over 3,000 hours are recorded each year. You number crunchers have already figured this is over 50 hours each week for all 52 weeks. AHWF cannot exist without your support! Will you give one hour to talk with friends, what about a few hours to encourage memberships? Will you sign up to volunteer and help educate our community, talk with patrons, get involved with projects, or accomplish basic chores such as laundry and food prep?
The wildlife patients are depending on you to give them a helping hand. Call 208.266.1488 for details.
WHY SO EARLY?
We were so eager to let you know of all the events and ways to get involved with our group we sent this newsletter out a few weeks early. I cannot believe we have already had more than two dozen activities and events take place and we have almost a dozen more scheduled before the year is out. The one thing they all have in common is you and folks like you.
Join our volunteers at the Sandpoint Library on the 30th of June 11AM for a presentation about wild animal babies. Independence Day we are in Clark Fork with facepainting & carnival games. There are a few more ‘meet the neighbors programs lined up. A fundraiser at IPA takes place September 12th. The clean comedy show & silent auction is September 15th at the Memorial Center. Experience a one hour show with Tyler Boeh. Tickets are $20. The fall event include the second highway clean up and the 3rd annual Scarecrow contest at Hickey Farms.
WHAT IS HAPPENING AT AHWF?
AHWF is the North Idaho nonprofit facility to call when you have a native wild animal questions or when you see a wild animal is in need of assistance. Each year we respond to over 300 calls each year. We provide care for an average of 100 individual animals annually.
We are working to expand our permits and care for orphaned black bear cubs. We are also working to expand our educational aspect by creating the first nature center. We will begin construction on our interactive nature walk soon. This trail will be allow you to discover the native plants and animals. You can get involved withconstruction of the trail, or once completed help maintain the trail. We also need volunteers to become the nature guides for these scheduled tours.
WILL YOU MAKE A COMMITMENT TO KEEP N.IDAHO WILD?
Based upon available time & commitment to our organization, I pledge to raise $__ by ___.
To reach my goal, I will:
__Make a personal gift of $______
__Send a letter soliciting my network for a gift
__Send an email soliciting my network for a gift
__Host a gathering for my friends, network
__Secure in-kind support for an existing budget item
__Call existing donors to thank them for past support
__Call existing donors to follow up on a mailed appeal.
__Attend and sell tickets to special events
__Join staff for a solicitation meeting of a donor/prospect
__Join the board or directors
__Allot time in my schedule to volunteer regularly
__Contact AHWF monthly to identify which ‘wish list’ items are needed
__ Write social media posts and articles for the newsletter
__ Get involved with grant research and writing
__ Organize events or Coordinate activities
__ Promote the variety of available AHWF merchandise (or shopping programs) to friends, network
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT IN WHATEVER FORM IS ARRIVES!