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Bird research

Join Montana Audubon for a tour of the research and citizen science outreach they completed during the recent survey season. The talk is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Montana WILD.

Join HAS, MLC for a night of moon gazing

Join The Helena Astronomical Society and the Montana Learning Center at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in celebration of this year's International Observe the Moon Night. This annual event is sponsored by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, the Lunar and Planetary Institute and local astronomy clubs worldwide to encourage observation of Earth's Moon.

The local event will be held at the Montana Learning Center located at 7653 Canyon Ferry Road. We will be able to observe the moon at first quarter, a great time to view the moon through a telescope. Half of the visible moon will be in daylight, the other half in darkness. The line separating the two halves -- the terminator -- is razor sharp.

In addition, we will also be able to see Jupiter, its four Galilean moons and possibly the Great Red Spot. Saturn, its glorious rings and several of its moons will also be in prime viewing. Feel free to bring your own binoculars, spotting scopes or telescopes and we'll help you observe with your own gear.

Don't forget to dress warmly, including hat and gloves. MLC's Blue Cabin is available as a warming house and if our weather turns cloudy we will have a presentation about the moon in the Blue Cabin instead.

Bird research survey explored

Join Montana Audubon’s Amy Seaman and Caroline Provost for a tour of the research and citizen science outreach they completed during the recent summer's survey season.

The talk is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, at Montana WILD, 2668 Broadwater Ave.

Sites include waterfalls throughout western Montana, the Madison and Missouri Rivers, Ninepipe NWR and colonial waterbird habitats.

Learn how each of these projects relate to the specific watershed and geography where they occur, and how your local watershed may shape the bird species you see around you.

Hiking adventures and misadventures

Helena Outdoor Club members recount their hiking adventures and misadventures 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 at Montana WILD.

Learn from their good and “not so good” experiences. Also, they will review the 10 Hiking Essentials.

Sponsored by Helena Outdoor Club and open to all ages.

WHIP grant application period opens

The annual application period is open for the Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program, a grant funding program administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The purpose of WHIP is to accomplish large-scale restoration of private and publicly owned high-priority wildlife habitats through noxious weed management.

Grant awards are based on eligibility and competitive ranking. To qualify for funding, projects must: enhance ecologically important wildlife habitat through control or management of noxious weeds that directly threaten habitat functions; use a landscape scale approach; have a reasonable probability of treatment effectiveness; and include a minimum 25 percent non-federal cash match.

Apply online. Application forms must be submitted electronically and can be found at https://fundingmt.org using the online WebGrants system. Applicants new to WebGrants must register first before accessing the application forms.

WHIP applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Nov. 18, 2019, to be considered for funding in 2020. For additional program information, visit the FWP website at http://fwp.mt.gov or search for “Montana Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program.”

If you have questions about applying for a WHIP grant or accessing the application forms, contact Kim Antonick, WHIP Coordinator, at kim.antonick@mt.gov or 406-444-7291.

Flock Together for Conservation

Montana Audubon invites you to “Flock Together for Conservation” at Giant Springs State Park in Great Falls, Oct. 5th. The public is welcome to attend this fun, free, and family-friendly educational event to celebrate the Land and Water Conservation Fund: a bipartisan conservation program begun in 1964 that has protected millions of acres of habitat, watersheds and recreational opportunities across the nation.

The event will offer free guided bird walks around the Giant Springs area from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Live music will follow featuring the Missoula-based Lochwood Bluegrass Band. Martha Williams, Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, will give a brief address on the history and significance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund from a Montana perspective. Food and beverages will be served afterward at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and its impact on Montana over the decades: thousands of acres of habitat have been protected across the state via the program, in addition to the establishment of state parks, fishing access sites, local playgrounds and more. Funding from the program has aided National Parks, National Forests and Wildlife Refuges in Montana. Giant Springs State Park, the most visited unit in Montana’s state park system, was established with significant funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

To learn more about the event, please visit www.mtaudubon.org or call 406.443.3949

 

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