Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016 annual report - WHAT A YEAR!


AMERICAN HERITAGE WILDLIFE FOUNDATION 2016 ANNUAL REPORT

              

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 small non-game mammals. We are the only north Idaho facility providing care for both mammals and birds. Late autumn of 2015 we were informed by IDFG that we could begin construction on the large game enclosures and obtain the rehabilitation permits to provide care for these megafauna species. This year we received a generous contribution towards this endeavor.   

2016 Budget

 

EXPENSES:                                                  proposed      actual*

FundRaising & Marketing                                     1,600     5,098      

Utilities                                                                 2,000     2,332

Mission                                                               18,000    13,672                        

nature trail & classroom                                              0            0 

 

REVENUE:   

Memberships                                                        1,500   see Grants

Merchandise                                                            500           295     

Events & Fundraising                                           4,500        5,250

Aluminum & recycle prgs                                        500          n/a             

Grants & Donations                                           15,000     19, 855                              

Phase III Funding^                                             79,000             0

in-kind donations (exc. labor)                                               3,119

 

I would like to express extreme gratitude to everyone that supported AHWF in the 2016 calendar year. Because of your contributions of time, treasure and talents, this year was an incredible year. Without your generosity we could not exist. We will need our community to step up and fill some large shoes as our longstanding volunteer CPA is retiring and a three year exceptionally generous donor will sadly not be able to continue her support into 2017.  

WILDLIFE

In one word the wildlife portion of our mission can be explained – BLUR. By December 31, we had responded to 415 phone calls. This is over 100 calls more than last year. The season of wildlife care began very early, by May we had treated 16 cases. At the end of July 50 cases; August brought 18 more cases. Case #79 was checked in on November 30. The total number of cases taken in was 80 with an individual patient count of 121! Several of these patients are currently being cared for through the winter. The past several years our average has been 50 cases with less than 100 individuals. This is a 60% case load increase from last year.

We have no paid staff and we rely on our community to volunteer. In an effort to be more responsive to our community and provide round the clock care this has been our second year with a summer college intern. The importance of having more than one person during the ‘baby season’ of late May through August is crucial to the mission. The total number of hours recorded 3,700.   

There were 39 different species. 1 Downy Woodpecker, 6 Violet Green Swallow, 5 Deer Mice, 10 Fox Squirrels, 1 Northern Painted Turtle, 10 Canada Geese, 8 Raccoons, 3 Mallard Duck, 9 American Robins, 1 European Starling, 4 Common Ravens, 1 Brewers Blackbird, 1 Mountain Chickadee, 4 Northern Flickers, 13 Pine Squirrels, 8 California Quail, 1 Alligator Lizard, 1 Killdeer, 5 American Crow, 5 Least Flycatchers, 1 Wild Turkey, 1 Black- chin Hummingbird, 1 Great Blue Heron, 1 Pine Siskin, 1 Red Naped Sapsucker, 3 Muskrats, 1 Sharp Shin Hawk,  1 Chipping Sparrow, 1 Song Sparrow, 1 Barn Swallow, 3 Gray Squirrels, 1 Northern Flying Squirrel, 2 Little Brown Bats, 1 Cedar Waxwing, 1 Cottontail Rabbit, 2 American Goldfinches, 1 Yellow Headed Blackbird, and         1 Ruffed Grouse. We had a 65% release rate. (A recent national survey reported 35% is the average rate)  

Despite very limited resources each animal was provided the best care expected from our volunteers. We estimated the amount of funds required to pay, had these people been staff, would be an estimated $30,000.   

AHWF is a member with two professional wildlife rehabilitator associations; they provide a great deal of information relating to proper care. It is illegal to possess a wild animal and attempt to provide rehabilitative care without proper state and/or federal permits. Unfortunately several of the patients we admitted were the victims of well-meaning private citizens. They chose to attempt rehabilitative care first before contacting AHWF. Some we were able to restore to health, some we were not and one is still in care with an uncertain future. Please remember to spread the word about how important it is call the professionals right away. Do not search the internet and ask the web ‘how to rehab a wild animal’. Our lead wildlife care specialist volunteer has years of experience and an extensive knowledge network.       

Our projects began early in the year by replacing our animal infirmary room floor. After years of use it gave out while the electrician was checking the heater. We started to put some finishing touches to the interior of the large aviary but before we could get to the exterior by adding a second layer of metal wire, the season began and the space was needed for rehabilitative care.  

We were blessed with wonderful ‘animal taxi’ service. So many of you were willing volunteer your time and fuel to transportation needs for our native neighbors; without this generosity these animals would not have been given the chance to recover. There were four birds that needed to be transferred to different facilities – some requiring quite long distances. Thank you to all those involve with helping the Great Blue Heron, the Red Naped Sapsucker, the Brewers and the Yellow Headed Blackbirds. 

Education & Public Outreach         

Our website provides a wealth of information about all our native neighbors (including tips on how to humanely evict); it also details the multitude of fundraising programs, how to get AHWF merchandise, volunteer and board member forms, and links purchasing our illustrated children’s books. After much searching we have located offline software to redesign the website and construction will take place over winter. We anticipate the new updated site to be launched in Spring 2017. We have created ‘hubs’ on the hubpages site so we can offer a variety of information on North Idaho topics; due to the limited time we were not able to post new articles in 2016 but we are hopeful 2017 will allow. We also have several social media accounts established to keep the community up to date on our activities. We do however need help maintaining them. If you joy posting and weeting and inning and logging and ideos or , PLEASE give us a call and we will be ever appreciative if you could take over as our s ocial media coordinator.  

Due to the quantity of wildlife cases, the number of phone calls, the busy hectic schedule of the primary lead volunteer- who also works at ‘paying jobs’ outside the facility, was only able to arrange a few educational demonstrations. These took place in January through March – the second Saturdays and the last Wednesday we were at the Clark Fork or the Sandpoint or the CF Methodist church. 

We sent out (snail mail, email, and blog) our newsletters twice each year, January and July. There were two Scenic Highway 200 clean-up projects, scheduled for April (near EarthDay) and early October. We also scheduled two in-house clean-up projects – the spring spruce up and fall inventory days. The calendar relayed there were Two events in January, Three in February, Three in March, Two in April, Two in May, Two in June, Two in July, Three in September, Two in October and One in December.

We also experienced several opportunities of public exposure: The Roundup (advertisement) in January, The Daily Bee in March, the WiseGuide in May, The Reader in June, Coeur d’ Alene Magazine (indirectly referenced) in June, KRFY radio interview in July, The Inlander in August, Three times listed in the River Journal, the Daily Bee in September, Idaho Magazine in November, KREM news in December. Thank you to those directly involved with writing the articles, coordinating with the publication editors, arranging interviews. A huge thank you is given to Trish (you know what you did!). We do maintain a listing in the Local Pages phone book. We are also seen online through the nonprofit review sites                              &    

We continue to expand our ability to introduce our nonprofit to the global community by reaching out through charity listing on several shopping/online sites as well as crowdfunding/donation sites. Each online donation site for fundraising has their own level of ease and fees associated. Donation buttons are also linked to the facebook pages. Local shopping for charity: Yokes Market & Fred Meyers. Online shopping or donating: Amazon, Ebay, iGive, Good Shop/Good Search, Network for Good, Just Give, Welzoo, Good World, Razoo, Giving Grid, Love Animals & Go Fund Me. We have signed up with a company (Ethix) that offers businesses the ability to process credit cards and have a percentage of the money go towards our charity. If your company is interested in switching your credit card processing to this group we will provide you with all the assistance you need. Ethix will also help pay your cancellation fees. All these links are on our website.   

           

 

 


One more way to help local wildlife easily is to check with your credit card company to find out if we are one of the recognized charities. For example through American Express the ‘members give’ program supports recognized 501c3 nonprofits. 

The wonderful magazine Bird Watchers Digest gives a portion of the subscription to our cause. Find the link on our website. All proceeds go directly to AHWF when you get our series of specially written books. These children’s books are available at Vanderfords and Bonner Books, at  (online) or directly from AHWF. Five books have been created: Three (Logger’s Story, Logger Returns, Logger Makes New Friends) are enjoyable stories for younger children –excellent for bedtime stories and young readers. One is an activity book that everyone would find entertaining titled Fun time with Logger. It includes 54 activities such as crossword puzzles, word searches, dot to dot, wildlife trivia and color by number local birds. Adventures of a Wildlife Special Agent is the story written unlike most – it is a chose your own adventure book. The reader gets to decide which path the USFWS agent takes. Our hope is that readers young and old will enjoy the lessons taught by the story. We have been unsuccessful in connecting with a local artist to convert the entire Loggers Story series into a graphic novel (aka comic book).  I believe they are also found through online book publishers – in the ebook formats: amazon’s kindle, barnes & nobles nook, kobu, apple’s ebook. The Sandpoint and Clark Fork Libraries have been given copies as well. 

Funds  

We held a dizzying variety of fundraising activities and events this year. Each event required varying levels of promotional expenses and return on investment amounts. The first was a Gourmet Cheesecake & Coffee fundraiser in February. We also had two ‘Pizza and a Show’ events. There were two online donation competitions – one in March called BreadBoost and one in May called IdahoGives. We also set up a gofundme page to help us raise funds for the expenses incurred by the Great Blue Heron. Four summertime barbeques took place at Monarch Market (Sharon & Ronda you are incredible) in April, May, and June. 7B Sunday at Schweitzer Mountain in June, Clark Fork Independence Day celebration, Firewood Raffle (Thanks Mike & Bev), Pints for a Cause at Idaho Pour Authority and the 1st Annual Comedy Show in September (thank you Kermet Apio & Jenny & all the local biz that donated gift baskets), The 1st annual scarecrow contest at Hickey Farms, the SipnShop at Pend Oreille Winery in October, and the Christmas Craft Fair at the Bonner Mall in December (Thank you Diane, Judi and Lois).            

Our 2016 total expenses for the year were are $21,102. The categories are Wildlife, Education & Outreach, and Administrative & General Operating.

Wildlife expenses were for food, medical supplies & attention, professional membership fees, fuel cost to deliver or retrieve wildlife, and enclosure building materials, Northern Lights electricity & Frontier phone. The mission of Education & Outreach costs included venue reservations, educational materials, & fuel reimbursement.  The total for this category is $13,672. This included $550 – the small weekly stipend and fuel reimbursement for the qualified intern who assisted with the busy Spring/Summer season – April/May through September. We found a candidate that was willing to learn and be taught, able to live without cell phone or high speed internet and remain courteous despite long hours. Applications to apply for the 2017 position will be available on the website.  Upon leaving the intern(s) are asked to complete an exit questionnaire. The results revealed 1) there is a great deal to learn and 2) the wish that the lead wildlife caregiver was more available. As you are aware, the lead caregiver is also the founder, but has to supplement her income with several part time paying jobs. The quick solution would be to provide a cell phone with frontier phone service (they seem to be the most reliable of all the carriers for the Clark Fork region) with the hope her employers do not become upset by taking phone calls while at work. The long term solution would be to raise sufficient funds and offer a seasonal part time position to allow side by side training.     
We were involved in a total of fifteen local events. This allowed our community to support us financially; we were able to support our community with information. We have several online platforms, shopping bars, and other programs which also provide a means to financially support our mission. The AHWF merchandise site on Café Press is a means to provide revenue as well as expand our reach into several different communities. Café Press offers items such as coffee mugs, teddy bears, and a variety of tee shirt styles, tote bags, aprons and baby clothes. We have locally printed tees, hats & sweatshirts. We also have the series of books written and illustrated by AHWF founders. Professional wildlife photographer Paul Felter has donated many of his own copyrighted prints and images taken of our recuperating wildlife. These framed wildlife photographs are available at Monarch Market and at any of our awareness booths. You can also view some online on the AHWF facebook page during Silent Auction Saturdays and wildlife photograph reference. The total was over $5,000 with a ripple effect of awareness and future donations.

We are so grateful to Jackie, Judy, Teresa, Sue, Ronda, Sharon, Monarch Market, Earthworks NW, Kathleen, Susan, Tomas & Margaurite, Sandy, Shelly, Jennifer, Elaine, WW, Jeannie & Alan, Shawn, Christine, Leina, Robert & Marilyn, Tim, Jessica, Richard, Bob & Leslie, Kathe, Jerilyn & Derek, Nancy, Kelly, Donna & Neil, Mya, Elliot, Jack & Diane, Jenny, Desiree, Walt & Nicki, Cheyenna, Clark & Debra, Jutta, Judy, Bob & Joan, Cindy, Mary, Diane & George, Tim & Jackie, Lakota Northwest Flutes, Mike & Bev, Randi, Judi, Jenna, Vicki, Roz, Sharon, Lia, Tina, Cheryl, Teri, Sherry & Chris, Amanda & Josh, Cindi, Mr. B, Sheri, Evans Brothers, Leslie,  Jeannine, Anna, Linda, Tika, James & Heidi, Betsy, George & Tami, Ana, Lindsey & John, Heather, Gayle, Thymon, Aaron, Kes, Deanna, Dovalee, Ed & Jane, Darcy & Randy, Co-Op, George, Fry Creek Vet Clinic, Laura, Sharon, Sally, Deirdre, Linda, Lois, Shelly, Fiddlin’ Reds Music Store, Hailey, BGH, Trish, Paul, Jim & Hickey Farms, Sandpoint Chocolate Bear, NIAH, Sandpoint Academy of the Arts, Winterridge, Clark Fork Wellness, Great Stuff, Flying Fish, Noble Wines, Hurley Dean, Northwest Handmade, Ponderay Garden Center, WCT,  Schweitzer Mtn. Resort, Cabelas, & Blythe’s Bully Buggy. These folks were willing to contribute funds or time or items. Each one made the promise to present the present as a present for future generations. They are responsible for keeping North Idaho WILD…will you?

We also wish to thank those who gave necessary supplies or readily traveled long distances. Thank you does not convey sufficient sentiment however it is our only way to express the gratitude we wish express to all those involved with transporting wild animals in need. Because of their contributions, we did not have to expend our limited resources. We are grateful that the Yokes community card members is growing and those that shop on Amazon and Ebay are making sure AHWF is their designated charity. This year’s success could not have taken place without all of you! 

The total revenue received to date $25,400.00. Including in-kind contributions & labor the total is over $58,000  

We applied for a grant in 2015 to assist in the creation of a meandering Nature Walk through the diverse habitat on the leased AHWF property. We did pass the first round of reviews but unfortunately did not make the final round and receive the funding in 2016. This could be a wonderful community service project for those able bodies willing to use rakes and shovels to level out the land, carry buckets of bark and mulch, pack wood beams to line the trail, paint signage, etc. Our hope for this trail is not only to offer hands on approach to outdoor education; once completed, we would encourage school groups, seniors, and all others to schedule appointments and meet with one of our trained guides. We want everyone to get out and explore a sample of North Idaho wilderness in a safe and informative setting. We anticipated this type of educational opportunity could provide a stable means of revenue for AHWF. If you want to help us make this happen give us a call.          

American Heritage Wildlife Foundation is continuing to expand our ability to care for all North Idaho wildlife species. The state of Idaho granted permission in late 2015 for AHWF to construct and then receive a large game mammal rehabilitation permit. This means that all the calls relating to orphaned bear cubs or other charismatic megafauna can be immediately responded to. We have acquired a 32 foot by 24 foot mesh enclosure and $5,000 but more help is needed in order to meet this goal.   

Before I move on to the upcoming events of 2017, I will take a moment to remember a wonderful woman who passed away this year. Bev you were such a delight and your positive spirit will be missed. Thank you for sharing in the joy of local wildlife. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Mike.    

What’s Next for 2017?
First and foremost I will announce that we need more board members. Many of our current directors are retiring their volunteer positions due to health problems. We can have as many as seven members. Vacancies exist for all positions – basic Directors, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, and President. We must have a board of directors to remain compliant with all nonprofit regulatory agencies. Applications can be found online or call us directly. The obligation is a monthly meeting in varying forms (phone, email, in person). The directors are the guiding force for the foundation. The tasks include reviewing the wildlife and financial information, planning and organizing outreach events. We are also seeking a CPA (or similar experience) to assist us with filing the end of year documents to the IRS. Our longtime volunteer is relocating out of our area. 
 

We need you to sign up and help with the two highway clean up sessions – usually around Earthday in April and again in the autumn (September/October). We would like you to get involved with coordinating events. In February we will be bringing acclaimed author, wildlife photographer and speaker Paul Bannick to Sandpoint. We will also again have a professional comedian for the Comedy Night fundraiser. The scarecrow contest will again take place at Hickey Farms in October. Idaho Pour Authority and Pend Oreille Winery are such gems in our beautiful North Idaho. These businesses have agreed to again host fundraisers in the fall. We want your help with all the public booths like 7B Sunday at Schweitzer, Independence Day celebrations, and the Christmas Craft Fair. We will continue educational lectures but would gladly allow others to use our equipment in order to teach our community. There are more than 20 entertaining and educational powerpoint lectures to offer our community.

If public speaking and crowds is not your thing, writing articles for the newsletter and blogging and social media posting are all important ways to keep everyone updated; volunteers that can take over this area would be such a blessing. If you are interested in helping with website design we will welcome you with open arms. We could not complete the valuable work with rehabilitation without an army of volunteers.     

As much as we need to have volunteers that donate time or bring supplies such as newspapers; funding is equally important. We need donations and financial support. We are hoping to again sign up for both online events: Breadboost in March  & IdahoGives in May. We will also launch a LoveAnimals campaign in February. We are looking to add GivingTuesday in November. We will have tickets available for the Comedy Show and seeking scarecrow contest entrants in the late summer. We are looking for the ability to continue our mission of wildlife rehabilitation and to raise the final funds needed for the large game mammal enclosures. We estimate we need either another $5,000 to complete the necessary enclosures. AHWF would be one facility of only a handful of facilities in the nation working to assist these mega-charismatic mega fauna species in need.

Whether you were able to contribute a large one time donations, or small monthly donations, contributions of aluminum cans that we recycle for funds or belong to the various shopping programs like yokes, ebay and amazon - all methods contribute to the very survival of this local charity. Thank you and please continue to remember us in 2017.       

American Heritage Wildlife Foundation is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization and all donations may be tax deductible. We are also an Idaho Nonprofit Incorporation; this does not however provide financial relief in any form. There are no federal, state or county funds given to provide for wildlife rehabilitation. We are members of the professional National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. AHWF holds permits from the USFWS migratory bird department and Idaho State Fish and Game. The one acre we lease is a certified wildlife habitat. We are 100 % volunteer.       

                                                                            *completed 18 December 2016 by K. St. Clair – McGee

Friday, November 4, 2016

Playtime in North Idaho Racoon rehabilitation yard


Make sure you call the professionals - not the internet


 
 Each year wild animals are kidnapped from their natural environment. This is a nation wide epidemic.  You can stop the spread of this heart jerk reaction.
   You look out your window into your yard or perhaps you are out on a nice stroll. You see a young animal on the ground and your heart leaps!  First thought is ’look a wild animal’ . To many the next thought is ‘the animal must be orphaned’ and the well meaning individual picks the animal up.
   Your next thought should be: AHWF. Make sure you are AWARE of your surroundings, HESITATE before approaching a wild animal, WATCH for signs of distress before picking up, FOLLOW through with contacting the professionals if indeed there is a need to remove this animal from their natural home.




   Wildlife rehabilitation is challenging at best and exceptionally frustrating when patients come in to care days or weeks after they have been ‘rescued’.       
   The saddest part of rehabilitation is when an animal must be euthanized. The state of Idaho requires all native wild animals be released or euthanized. The wild animal must not be kept in confinement—it is not fair to the wild animal.  
   When an animal has been wounded and full recovery is not possible the decision is easier. The animal is suffering so an end to the pain is the most humane decision.  
   When an animal had every chance to be returned to the wild but must be put to sleep because of ignorance on the part of the well meaning rescuer it is very painful.
   A wise man once said ‘you are forever responsible for what you choose to tame’. When you choose to keep that wild animal and attempt to provide long term rehabilitative care you are not helping the animal. You are not thinking about the animal. You are doing a disservice to that helpless wild creature.
  
 


Wildlife rehabilitation facilities are run by dedicated people with years of training & experience. They did not just read an article on the internet.  Without proper nutrition and housing the animal will not meet the full potential and will not be able to be successful if released back into the wild.
   Survival of the fittest is not just a slogan or nonchalant saying in the rugged Idaho wild lands.

Wild Patients in Need!

This post was supposed to be made in July but as you will read we did not have the chance to get to the computer as we were exceptionally busy with animal care! 
Every year in the early spring, the founder sends out internship applications to nearby universities and colleges. She is looking for the best candidate to fill the position of wildlife intern for the busy spring & summer months. She also gets on the phone and makes calls to a network of supporters. She is asking for help.
Without a crystal ball there is no way of knowing what quantities or what types of wild animals will be needing the services of American Heritage Wildlife Foundation. There is also never a guarantee that the funding will come in to allow this small nonprofit to continue the vital mission of keeping the Inland Northwest WILD. 
What is certain is that an average of 50 cases will need daily care. At least 250 phone calls will be responded to by dedicated and trained volunteers. Somewhere between 2,500 and 3.000 volunteer hours will be recorded.
You read that correctly. Last month we recorded 520 hours of volunteer labor. Can you help too?
To date we have assisted two groups of raccoon, two batches of pine squirrels, one fox squirrel , one young brewers blackbird, one downy woodpecker, one young killdeer, several robins of varying ages, Violet & Green Swallows and one Tree Swallow (requiring feeding every 15 minutes for 16 hours each day—usually for two weeks), several different Deer Mice babies, one Little Brown Bat pup, Mallard ducks, Canada Geese, one Mountain Chickadee, Nestling Northern Flickers, and one adult Flicker, one Starling, Quail hatchlings, two young Ravens, a few American Crows, a young Alligator Lizard, a Northern Painted Turtle, and these two hatchlings —days old  (perhaps gold crowned kinglets?) just in a few hours ago. We will do our best to provide proper care but there is no substitute for the natural mother.    
Fortunately we did have a great summer intern this year to help provide care for the injured and orphaned wild animals in need. 
  
Meet the candidate chosen to be the 2016 Wildlife Care Intern. Sarah Lendzioszek will be graduating in December with a degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology from Montana State University.  She has hopes of working with animals further in the future and is thankful for this learning opportunity. She has had the experience of interning in Yellowstone last summer doing wolf behavior research with a top wolf researcher. Additionally she has experience of vocalization studies through an independent study at the University with several species such as coyotes, wolves, and feral cats. As is the case with so many ’animal people’ she also has various other experiences conducting research and working with animals.  
   The founder recently asked her to describe in a few words what it meant to be working in the field wildlife rehabilitation. Her initial response was a large sigh— “oh wow...in only a few words? I would say rewarding and hard work, also a steep learning curve”.
   She will complete her term with us in August. We wish her the best as she completes one more semester to graduate early and with honors.
Because one or two cannot do it all we send out this plea...
A willing spirit cannot embody physical requirements. There is limit to the amount of stress and strain one body can take.  After all there are only 24 hours in one day. 
   One person can only perform one task at a time. One mouth can be fed, one dish washed, one phone call responded to, one diet prepared, one enclosure cleaned, one animal medicated, one animal examined, one item purchased, one journal article read, one lecture given, one event planned, one thank you letter written, one meeting agenda planned, one project worked on...get the point? To operate AHWF at a successful level we need more than one. We need you. 


 
   

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The year has begun slowly but steadily.
Our new Intern Sarah has started and is currently caring for 5 raccoon babies, 4 Canada Goose goslings, 3 Mallard Ducklings, 1 Northern Painted Turtle,  1 American Robin, and 1 European Starling. We never know what the next phone call brings so in between our times of wildlife care we are trying to complete various projects such as designing the new large game mammal enclosures. If you want to help us help them and keep North Idaho WILD please go to our website and donate. Thank you.

We are also very active with outreach activities: Barbeque fundraising events each month, highway clean up, occasionally Pizza or Cheesecake fundraising events, & Wildlife Presentations. We have the firewood raffle again this July 4th. We also are planning several events this summer/fall. Comedy show in September and Scarecrow contest in October. The IPA (Idaho Pour Authority) & POW (Pend Oreille Winery) events this fall.  

Lend a hand if you can and volunteer.     

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spring 2016 UPDATE

As I prepare for the upcoming year I take a moment to reflect on the year that was 2015. You may remember from the January Newsletter that we responded to over 300 phone calls, cared for 24 different species of birds and 9 species of mammals. Our volunteers contributed over 3,500 hours and the three interns put in close to 800 in only 4 months.
The year was also filled with  outreach activities and public events. We attended several popular Bonner County events such as the Independence Day celebration in Clark Fork and the 7B Sunday event at Schweitzer Resort. 
We had major concerns as the fires continued to grow and get closer to our facility and properties. The main parcel upon which operate was less than 5 miles as the crow flies from two major complex fires and secondary parcel was less than 2 miles from the third fire causing discomfort in the Clark Fork Valley.
 Our wildlife patients for 2016 are one patient that unfortunately did not survive his trauma.     We also are caring for three patients.                                                                                                               Release is planned for early summer 2016.  We have received a handful of phone calls including being asked to offer assistance to three bears in need but had to refuse due to having no facilities to provide care.
We take the slow time of winter to focus on expansion and growth. The first two months have provided Bonner County residents the opportunity to attend five educational wildlife presentations & attend a gourmet cheesecake tasting fundraiser. In March we will offer two educational events and a Pizza party fundraiser. We have also entered an online fundraising contest which if we raise sufficient donations we could win $10,000.  The month of April we have scheduled the first of two Scenic Highway 200 clean up sessions during the weekend of EarthDay. The month of May begins with the annual IDAHO GIVES one day online fundraising campaign for state wide nonprofits.
Several other events are being planned throughout the year. Of course we will be at the Schweitzer resort event and the Clark Fork Celebration. We are also planning a target shoot and a nature walk. A comedy show at the Tango Café/ColumbiaBank building and pints for a cause event at IPA in September. For October we have planned a scarecrow contest at Hickey Farms and a Sip and Shop event at PO Winery. The second highway clean up will also take place late summer/early fall. We may also be scheduling hot dog and ice cream social fundraiser.      
In relation to wildlife care we are currently replacing our floor in the animal infirmary room, after 15 years of use and improper construction by original owners it needed attention. We are also working towards Spring construction of large mammal enclosures which will house bears and other large game species.  The state has finally given their approval for us to care for these charismatic wild animals when they are in need. As soon as the chosen Intern candidates get our of university in late May, we will again use their assistance to care for all our native neighbors through the summer and fall.                         


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2015 Annual Report of AHWF

AMERICAN HERITAGE WILDLIFE FOUNDATION  2015 ANNUAL REPORT
                                                 
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 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 small non-game mammals. This fall, permission was granted to allow AHWF to provide care for large game mammals once enclosures are constructed. We do not receive federal, state or county funding. We exist only because of community support.                 
2015 AHWF budget
EXPENSES:                  
  proposed  &  actual
     300              390      Fund Raising (including merchandise)
     543              716      Marketing
     960            1,676     Utilities
  4,000           9,740      Animal Care & Educational Mission  
  4,500           7,500      Large Flight Barn  
20,000                0        Nature Trail*                                                                                 
60,000                0        Classroom & Educational Items* 
2015
REVENUE:  
 1,750               6,002   Memberships & Merchandise       
 1,800                2,477   Event (donations) and Aluminum recycling & other programs                  
 3,500              12,112   Donations and Grants
80,000                  325   Phase III Funding* (raised to date)   
                          1,800   In-Kind contributions (excluding labor)   
I would like to express extreme gratitude to everyone that supported AHWF in the 2015 calendar year. Because of your contributions of time, treasure and talents, this year was our most successful to date.
WILDLIFE
By December 31, our total number of phone calls will be over 315. This is roughly 100 calls more than average.   The total number of cases = 50. The number of individual wild animals for 2015 is 88. Our smallest patient was a baby bat the size of a thumbnail. The largest was a young injured coyote. We provided care for a large variety of bird species as well as native non-game mammal. We tallied 1/3 more hours than last year. Currently we are near 3,500. As is the case every year, some of the animals were successfully released back into their wild habitat; some simply had injuries to traumatic to recover from. Each animal however, was provided the best environment we could offer with our very limited resources.    
We have no paid staff. The rate of pay for the donated hours would have been an estimated $27,600. We rely on our community to volunteer time. Our dedicated volunteers donated thousands of hours this year to provide care for our native neighbors. This year we did have sufficient funding to offer internships. Almost 800 were due to our interns. These wildlife care assistants resided at the facility and were available to provide round the clock care when needed. They were also able to respond immediately to phone calls. This is a wonderful improvement from previous years – the lead wildlife care specialist is not readily available since she needs to work away from the facility at various part time jobs. AHWF is a member with two professional wildlife rehabilitator associations; they provide a great deal of information relating to proper care.
The saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is no less applicable to wild animals. Our total hours of volunteered time will be over 3,500 by the end of 2015.This is a 30% increase from previous year.  From May/June through October our three interns tallied 800 hours.   
Despite having three large fires burning very close to our facility we were still able to complete necessary projects: the large five room aviary, a small mammal yard, and adding sand to two of our existing enclosures as well as creation and mounting of a new exterior AHWF sign.  
We need your help to acquire funding to construct sufficient enclosures – Idaho Fish and Game has granted permission for us to rehabilitate large game species once we get our enclosures constructed. AHWF would be only one in the panhandle to assist these mega-charismatic mega fauna species.       
Education & Public Outreach         
Due to the quantity of wildlife cases, the number of phone calls and the busy hectic schedule of the primary lead volunteer, she was able to arrange or participate in only a handful of activities. The limited time also prevented regular posting on our social media sites, as many of you know we are only able to access dial-up internet at our facility.      We provide updates on our , ,   , . We invite our supporters to write about their experiences with and score this nonprofit on                               &                
Our website provides a wealth of information about all our native neighbors, the various AHWF fundraising programs, wild animal photographs, volunteer and board member forms, and links to our illustrated children’s books. We also have created ‘hubs’ on the hubpages site which offers a variety of information on North Idaho topics. If you enjoy posting and tweeting and pinning and blogging PLEASE give us a call and we will be ever appreciative if you could take over as our s ocial media coordinator – it is a paid part time position!
Our ability to provide educational demonstrations was somewhat limited this year due to scheduling difficulties and lack of time from volunteers. We did provide a lecture at the North Idaho Animal Hospital and the Panhandle Animal Shelter. The topic was relating to wildlife babies and what to do if you find one.
We were invited to set up at the Majestic Landscaping and Garden Center grand opening event. Many wonderful volunteers painted faces and spoke about AHWF. We set up a table at the 7B Sunday event at Schweitzer Mountain, Independence Day celebration in Clark Fork, the Memorial Community Center in Hope, Pend Oreille Winery Sip n shop evening, and a table at the Christmas Craft Fair in the Bonner Mall. We also cleaned up our section of scenic highway 200 twice. We are very grateful to all the helpers for these events.
Additional exposure came from article in the Sandpoint Magazine summer issue. Advertisements were created for River Journal and Co-op magazines. We send out and post on our blog two annual newsletters – the native neighbor news. This publication details our activities. We have expanded our ability to introduce our nonprofit to the global community by expanding our reach through charity listing on several shopping/online sites as well as crowdfunding/donation sites. Locally: Yokes Market & Fred Meyers. Online: Amazon, Ebay, iGive, Good Shop/Good Search, Network for Good, Just Give, Welzoo, Good World, Razoo, Giving Grid, Love Animals & Go Fund Me. We are also investigating the sites:  global giving and generosity by indegogo. Each site for fundraising has their own level of ease and fees associated. Donation buttons are also linked to the facebook pages. We also are completing the project listing with justserve to gain volunteers. All these links are on our website. 
           
 



You can also check with your credit card company to find out if we are one of the recognized charities. For example through American Express the members give program supports recognized 501c3 nonprofits. 
We were saddened to see a local business close its doors after many years. Common Knowledge closed the summer of 2015. We had our series of books for children available with them. Five have been created:      Three (Logger’s Story, Logger Returns, Logger Makes New Friends) are enjoyable stores for younger children -perfect for bedtime stories and young readers. One is an activity book that everyone could find entertaining titled Fun time with Logger. It includes 54 activities such as crossword puzzles, word searches, dot to dot, wildlife trivia and color by number local birds. Adventures of a Wildlife Special Agent is the story written unlike most – it is a chose your own adventure book. The reader gets to decide which path the USFWS agent takes. Our hope is that readers young and old will enjoy the lessons taught by the story. We have been working to connect with a local artist to convert the entire Loggers Story series into a graphic novel (aka comic book).          They are still available at AHWF, Bonner Books, Vanderfords as well as online through the publisher Lulu     .             I believe they are also found through online book publishers – in the ebook formats: amazon’s kindle, barnes & nobles nook, kobu, apple’s ebook. The Sandpoint and Clark Fork Libraries have been given copies as well.  All proceeds go directly to AHWF; they provide a small amount of revenue for the cause of wildlife rehab and community education. An educational magazine that provides a portion of the subscription to help our cause is Bird Watchers Digest.
Funds  
We began the year with high hopes. A grant was being reviewed to allow us to construct a nature walk. We had sufficient funding to begin and complete our large aviary. A handful of public outreach events were scheduled – which allow not only education and awareness but also donation capacity. 
Our 2015 total expenses for the year were are $20,022. Despite being frugal, we still operate on a budget requiring a minimum $10,000 annually. The categories are Wildlife, Education & Outreach, and Administrative & General Operating.
Wildlife expenses were for food, medical supplies & attention, professional membership fees, fuel cost to deliver or retrieve wildlife, and enclosure building materials, Northern Lights electricity & Frontier phone. The mission of Education & Outreach costs included venue reservations, educational materials, & fuel reimbursement.  The total for this category is $9,740. This included the intern cost of $1,659. The cost to complete the large aviary was $7,500.    
We attended eight events and held one firewood raffle. This allowed our community to support us financially. We have several online platforms, shopping bars, and other programs which also provide a means to financially support our mission. The AHWF merchandise site on Café Press is a means to provide revenue as well as expand our reach into several different communities. Café Press offers items such as coffee mugs, teddy bears, a variety of tee shirt styles, tote bags, aprons and baby clothes. We also have the series of books written and illustrated by AHWF founders.  The total raised $2,387 
We are so grateful to Jackie, Judy, Sue, Jan, Darcy, Earthworks, Sharon, Donna, Monarch Market, Blue Lake RV, George, Scott, Mya, Kathleen, Tomas & Margaurite, Sandy, Deanna, Mary, Haden, Kara, Delorie, Jennifer, Jeannie, WW, Christine, Robert & Marilyn, Tammi, Melissa, Lois, Vance, Dave & Suzy, Susan, Jack & Diane, Alice, Sally, WCT. We also wish to thank those who gave supplies or readily traveled long distances, such as Priest River & Orofino to deliver the wild animals in need. Because of their contributions, we did not have to expend our financial resources. 2015 would not have been as successful without all of you! 
Each of these folks made regular pledges each month, joined the membership,   donated through online campaigns, or contributed significant amounts. They made the promise to present the present as a present for future generations. In 2016 … will you?
 The total revenue (including in-kind & labor) received to date an estimated $34,200 .
Future
First and foremost I will announce that we need more board members. Many of our current directors are retiring their volunteer positions due to health problems. We can have as many as seven members. Vacancies exist for all positions – basic Directors, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, and President. We must have a board of directors to remain compliant with all nonprofit regulatory agencies. Applications can be found online or call us directly. The obligation is a monthly meeting in whatever format (phone, email, in person) is chosen. The directors are the guiding force for the foundation. The tasks include reviewing the wildlife and financial information, planning and organizing outreach events.        
The immediate future promises sweets and fun. In 2016, we will offer a gourmet cheesecake and coffee fundraising event. Additionally, we will be bringing back the ‘wild Wednesday’ educational presentations. If you recall, in 2012/2013 AHWF offered monthly presentations on a variety of topics relating to our North Idaho environment and the inhabitants. These educational and entertaining evenings were well attended.  Keep posted on the dates by calling or checking our social media sites.            
At some point, before the Spring baby season begins, we need to replace our animal infirmary room floor. This room is our examination and intake room for new patients, a nursery for youngsters, as well as critical care unit for those with serious injuries. The floor is giving out from the heavy traffic. A crowdfunding site page has been established on GoFundMe. You can also submit a donation with the memo note for floor replacement. 
We will again pursue to hire interns to assist us during the busy Spring/Summer season – April/May through September. We hope to again find candidates that are willing to learn and be taught, able to live without cell phone or high speed internet and remain courteous despite long hours. Applications will be available on the website.  The 2015 interns completed an exit questionnaire. The results were 1) there is a great deal to learn and 2) the wish that the lead wildlife caregiver was more available. As you are aware, the lead caregiver has been affiliated with AHWF since day one, but has to supplement her income with several part time paying jobs. The quick solution would be to provide a cell phone with frontier phone service (they seem to be the most reliable of all the carriers for the Clark Fork region). The long term solution would be to raise sufficient funds and offer a seasonal part time position to allow side by side training.     
We will again join other Idaho Nonprofits for the IDAHOGIVES one day online day of giving. Each May all these charities come together in one place through Idaho Nonprofit Development Corporation to ask their communities to support their mission. Each year we have received generous support from those both near and far.
We applied for a grant to assist the creation of a meandering Nature Walk through the diverse habitat on the leased AHWF property. We did pass the first round of reviews but unfortunately did not make the final round. This could be a wonderful community service project for those able bodies willing to use rakes and shovels to level out the land, carry buckets of bark and mulch, pack wood beams to line the trail, paint signage, etc. Our hope for this trail is not only to offer hands on approach to outdoor education. Once completed, we would encourage school groups, seniors, and all others to schedule appointments and meet with one of our trained guides. We want everyone to get out and explore a sample of North Idaho wilderness in a safe and informative setting. We anticipated this type of educational opportunity could provide a stable means of revenue for AHWF. If you want to help us make this happen give us a call.          
We were not able to take advantage of the generous offer from the Bird of Prey NW founder. She offered to teach topics involving restraint, diagnosis of trauma & medical care for wing breaks so that we may improve our care of these valuable species. The time was simply not available. The mission of St. Maries based nonprofit is to provide education with and rehabilitation for injured raptors. Our newly completed 24 foot by 32 foot aviary will allow AHWF to offer our assistance to BoPNW and provide care for many of the raptor species in North Idaho.    
There will be two Scenic Highway 200 clean-up projects, traditionally April and October. We will also schedule two in-house clean-up projects – the spring spruce up and fall inventory days. With the exception of one year we have attended the annual celebration in Clark Fork on July 4th for the past 15 years. We have attended the December Craft Fair in the Bonner Mall for the past several years. This is wonderful time to introduce our important mission and offer unique gift options.
Future plans for American Heritage Wildlife Foundation is continuing to expand our ability to care for all North Idaho wildlife species. The state of Idaho has granted permission for AHWF to construct and then receive a large game mammal rehabilitation permit. This means that all the calls relating to orphaned bear cubs or cougars can be immediately responded to. Idaho Black Bear Rehab in the Boise area has offered to assist in any way they can.           
American Heritage Wildlife Foundation is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization and all donations may be tax deductible. We are also an Idaho Nonprofit Incorporation; this does not however provide financial relief in any form. We are a member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. AHWF holds permits from the USFWS migratory bird department and Idaho State Fish and Game. The one acre we lease is a certified wildlife habitat. We are 100 % volunteer.       

                                                                            completed 28 December 2015 by K. St. Clair – McGee