Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I turned green .... by Jill C.

There I was scrolling through Facebook classifieds out of complete and udder boredom when I came upon a post from AHWF looking for volunteers. Seriously? This kind of opportunity never presents itself to me. Well at least it didn't in my previous small-town life in Perry, Utah. I was bored and looking for ways to connect with people. Possibly even connect with me. We had just purchased a powersports dealership in town and had only been here a few months. I needed out of the house like a dehydrated dog in the dessert needs water. I have always been an animal lover and have dreamed of working with animals. I could kill two birds with one stone. Bad analogy, I would never kill a bird, but I could help save some. This was going to be perfect! And it is!

 Day one I showed up eager to learn and jump right in. The best part was that this incredible lady sharing her knowledge and passion with me allowed it! She was so patient with me and thorough with the information needed to care for the animals. I left on cloud nine and couldn’t wait to return. I could only get out to volunteer like once a week, which was far from enough time. For some reason I couldn’t find a volunteer babysitter to care for my boys while I volunteered elsewhere. Apparently, people want to get paid for that these days. Ha-ha. If only I had family here! It was springtime and the animals were flowing in like crazy. Kathleen had lost her interns for the season and was trying to keep up with it all on top of working a paying job. I honestly do not know how she keeps it all together. It was kind of like watching someone juggle ten objects. You just sit there and watch with your mouth open, but no words come out. I am pretty sure that she is the real wonder woman.

I mentioned loving animals, but I did not mention anything about love for mealworms or the lack there of! I am pretty sure that I turned green when Kathleen stuck her hand in a container chuck full of the creepy crawlers. Mealworms and beetles! Was I going to have to do this? I had two choices at this point: run like the wind or face my fears. Luckily, she brought up the tweezers shortly after. Oh, thank the lord, I could breathe again. As time went on and I spent more time tending to the wide variety of birds and sifting for their tasty treats, I got a little less squeamish. I eventually stuck my bare fingers in there and grabbed a couple, but I hated every second of it.

I haven’t been a volunteer for too long, but it already feels like I belong there and AHWF will always hold a special place in my heart. When I was lonely and missing home, it helped me to start to fall in love with my new home here in Northern Idaho. It’s so fulfilling watching these little fighters grow and become strong through the education, knowledge and experience that their amazing founder has. Let’s not forget to mention the cuteness overload here either. Have you ever sat and watched a baby skunk or raccoon play? If not, I highly recommend it!

I have had the opportunity to assist with many other things that go on behind the scenes as well, and trust me, there is a lot!! If I could change one thing about the foundation it would be more consistent support. I would urge more people to volunteer their time and make donation to keep this amazing organization thriving.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2019 Spring Update

2018 patients finally ready.  

In 2018 we accepted 71 individual animals, from songbirds to small mammals we have state and federal permits to care for them all.
At the end of summer, which is the time when many young mammals are normally moving out of their family territory and establishing their own, is usually the time we release our orphans. We had two
different species we felt were just too young to release at that time. The decision was made to overwinter—meaning they would remain in care until the snows had melted and plants started to grow. The group of 5 fox squirrels and the group of 4 raccoons. 
They were released in April.  The squirrels were returned to their home
territory but the raccoons were placed in a new territory. This is sometimes the case with the animals we accept. The region were found is too dangerous for return so we must find a suitable habitat.
If you feel your parcel would be acceptable for our native neighbors please let us know which ones and we will put you on our listing for those interested.

   New ways to support local wildlife without even trying. Or by  volunteering!
   As you are aware, we have many types of fund- raising platforms.  We re- cycle: aluminum cans (last month over 100 pounds was collected), ink car- tridges, and technology gadgets (we have gath- ered several but still need three more to send them in).
   We are a charity support- ed through Amazon, Yokes, Purium, iGive, Chewy, Bird Watchers  Digest, along with assort- ed online merchandise – teespring & ssa & cafe- press and a few others. We have just signed up with a new program from Wine Cellars. Buy wine (with a guarantee you’ll love it) and save North Idaho’s wild animals. All these links are found on our facebook page. They will also be on our new website—the old one was hijacked recently and still experiencing glitches up- loading the updated de- sign.
   We are of course in need of volunteers to as- sist with animal care (our chosen intern had to de- cline due to family emergency), animal taxi, public relations, outreach and awareness, event plan- ning and coordinating.
We have many upcoming events planned which need you! June 23rd is the 7B Sunday at Schweitzer Mountain Re- sort. July 4th is the Day of festivities in Clark Fork. We set up a table in the morning and then we offer a carnival mid-day. September 6th is the Wildlife Trivia night at Matchwood Brew- ery. September 14th is the fourth annual Silent Auction and Clean Comedy night fundraiser. October 5th is a night of singing by Samantha Carston at Farmhouse Kitchen. The first three weekends of October we hold the scarecrow contest. Businesses, groups and individuals are encouraged to enter their scarecrow and be voted by hundreds of Hickey Farms patrons.   
We cannot do this without you   

1,000 hours to date 

   I for one am amazed at the speed at which this year is passing. We just accepted case number 11. Our volunteers do the best they can with the resources they can for every animal in care. The founder just attended a webinar on wildlife triage, it was a nice refresher.   A national survey reported 30% is the average re- lease rate. Wildlife rehabilitation is the act of   providing sufficient nutritional, emotional, physio- logical and environmental support with the result being successful release of the wild animal into the natural habitat.
   We have  offered four presentations at our local public library on various
wildlife topics of interest. The spring highway clean up, and several fundraising events have also oc- curred the last 18 weeks.
    This is the third year ICL & KLT have joined with us to bring a memorable speaker to the panida theater. This year was acclaimed photographer Jerry Ferrara. We drew the name of a lucky winner in our Silverwood Theme Park raffle. Huckleberry Lanes was the host for Bowling for Wild- life. Excellent staff and food only accentuated the wonderful times had by all. BINGO was called again this year at the Center in Clark Fork. Amazing prizes were the rewards for the winners including the custom made teeshirts (which are also available online). Idaho Gives is the annual one day online day of giving and our state residents did just that. Thank you to all who donated, as a bonus we also received a $500 prize.
   Along with planning, coordinating and implementing these great events and presentations, volunteers assisted AHWF through tidying up and preparing the animal en- closures and infirmary. We are pleased to announce the Nature Walk is very near completion. We do need a few more people to assist with this as well as sign up to be the guides!     

Monday, December 24, 2018

2018 Annual Report

2018 AHWF proposed operating budget      


EXPENSES:                                                              REVENUE:    

  2,300         Fund Raising & Marketing                   10,000   Memberships & Donations 

  2,300         Utilities                                                      500   Merchandise & fundraising programs     

15,000         Mission                                                   5,000   Events    

79,000         Nature Trail & Classroom Building      500   Aluminum & other recycle programs 

                   (large game enclosure included)             5,000  Grants

Total $19,600                                                            79,000 Phase III Funding   

                                                                                              Total $21,000

                            2018 AHWF  actual operating  budget      


EXPENSES:                                                              REVENUE:    

  4,701         Fund Raising & Marketing                        9,593 Memberships & Donations 

  2,343         Utilities                                                      3,959 Events (Merch.+OnlinePrgs)     

  9,874         Mission (inc. below                                        55 Aluminum & other recycle    

  1,900         Nature Trail & Classroom Building        18,000 Grants 

                                                                                       3,225 In-kind contributions (excl. labor)


Total $16,918                                                                 Total $34,832


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.  




This year 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 Spring 2019.   

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 native neighbors.

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 bobcat kittens.  



 Education and public outreach

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 Bonner Mall.       

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 location.   

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 the future.  

Speaking 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.

We 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 and migrants.    

Did 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 (cafĂ© 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 wildlife.   



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 bears

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.  

Our 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.




Submitted by Kathleen St.Clair-McGee. Lead wildlife specialist volunteer, board president & cofounder. December 21, 2018


*many 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.    

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Fall update - 2018

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!

Monday, September 3, 2018

There is sack of candy in my driveway!

Gardening with Nature 

No 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 you.

Fencing 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.

Many 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 deterrent mechanism.

If 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. 
Live 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

Here 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.

There 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.

Fruit 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.
Keep 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.

Become a superhero for every species from Leopard Frogs to Alligator Lizards, Chickadees to Merlins, Deer mice to Deer.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Four Seasons of North Idaho

Here 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.

It is 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.

While 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.    

So 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.

By 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 %.

Please 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.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

2018 July Newsletter


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 that  wildlife 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.     


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.     


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 with  construction of the trail, or once completed help maintain the trail. We also need volunteers to become the nature guides for these scheduled tours.

Based upon available time & commitment to our organization, I pledge to raise $__ by ___.            

                                                                                                                         (Amount)     (Date)

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