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 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


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2018 Events and activities for AHWF

We are able to do what we do because of your generosity. Here is the listing of 2018 events we have arranged so to date.  If you can lend a hand we appreciate your contribution. 
Jan 13 – library presentation “nocturnal neighbors” 2pm
Feb 10 – library presentation “waterfowl”  2pm
Mar 10 - library presentation “oh rats”2 pm
Breadboost online fundraising challenge – cancelled
Know the neighbors presentation at Sandpoint - March 8
Osprey event at Panida Theater – March 16 (2 showings)
April 14 – library presentation “What Bugs You” 2pm
April 16 – bring in aluminum cans to be recycled
April 22 – Earthday celebration @ farmin park 12pm
Open house/volunteer orientation – to be announced
May = Spring Highway clean up
May 3 – IdahoGives at evansbrotherscoffee 8am and ipa 430pm
May 5 – Know the Neighbors activities at the Bonner County Museum 11am?
May 11 – ‘wild babies’ presentation at PAS 11am
May 12 – library presentation “indicator species”2pm
May 18 – bingo fundraiser at Clark Fork Center 6pm
June 24  – 7B Sundayat Schweitzer Resort
July 4 – Independence Day celebration at Clark Fork 
Sept 12 – Fundraiser at IPA with Odell Brewing Company 430-7
Sept 15 (tba) – 3rd annual Comedy Night & Silent Auction530/6pm
Sept –Fall Highway clean up
Oct – 3rd annual Scarecrow Contest
Nov – Giving Tuesday
Dec – Christmas Booth at the craft fair

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

check out our informative video on YouTube.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wildlife Emergency Services blog: Duckling reunion

Wildlife Emergency Services blog: Duckling reunion: By Deanna Barth, WES San Benito I received a call from a Ridgemark community resident around 6pm tonight. Her husband had res...