Journal archives for March 2021

March 18, 2021


Any list of conservationists would be incomplete. Here is some information about four people who have urged a closer relationship with the land, and the plants and animals were share it with: Aldo Leopold, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Doug Tallamy, Richard Louv and Barry Lopez.

We are facing an extinction crisis. Do we know which of the species in the county are imperiled? Should we know which ones are so that we can take steps to protect them?

Aldo Leopold’s “On a Monument to the Pigeon” is regarded by many as the most poignant essay ever written about extinction:
“We have erected a monument to commemorate the funeral of a species. It symbolizes our sorrow…For one species to mourn the death of another is a new thing under the sun.”
Why Aldo Leopold’s “On a Monument to the Pigeon” is worth re-reading today
“A meaningful attempt to ‘foresee and forestall’ human-caused extinctions would take another 26 years after Leopold wrote those words and 59 years after the pigeon’s extinction. With passage of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 our country finally pledged to identify species that were being threatened with extinction by our actions and implement conservation programs to recover them to a secure status. We can take pride in being the first nation to make such a pledge, but our commitment to endangered species seems, like the memory of the Passenger Pigeon, to have faded…”

Leopold is considered by many to be the father of wildlife ecology and the United States’ wilderness system ( Among his best known works is “A Sand County Almanac” ( In it he articulated the idea of a ‘land ethic’ ( “Ethics direct all members of a community to treat one another with respect for the mutual benefit of all. A land ethic expands the definition of ‘community’ to include not only humans, but all of the other parts of the Earth, as well: soils, waters, plants, and animals, or what Leopold called ‘the land.’ In Leopold’s vision of a land ethic, the relationships between people and land are intertwined: care for people cannot be separated from care for the land. A land ethic is a moral code of conduct that grows out of these interconnected caring relationships.”


Robin Wall Kimmerer is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. One reviewer of her book wrote: “Robin Wall Kimmerer opens a sense of wonder and humility for the intelligence in all kinds of life we are used to naming and imagining as inanimate.”

“Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants“

The “Practicing Biocultural Restoration” webinar underlines the importance of incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge in landscape level planning:


Doug Tallamy, a Professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, has been a leader in promoting the critical need to plant natives.

His Bio:

His work has evolved into the Homegrown National Park initiative:
Homegrown National Park™ is a term coined by Doug and is the key to our call-to-action:
“Our National Parks, no matter how grand in scale are too small and separated from one another to preserve species to the levels needed. Thus, the concept for Homegrown National Park, a bottom-up call-to-action to restore habitat where we live and work, and to a lesser extent where we farm and graze, extending national parks to our yards and communities.”

Nature's Final Mandate

His work was the basis for the National Wildlife Federation’s Plant Finder database, which suggests native plants by zip code, and then ranks them based on bioavailability:

Selected Books:

Bringing Nature Home

The Living Landscape

Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard

Selected YouTube Videos:

A Presentation by Doug Tallamy – Nature’s Best Hope (National Wildlife Federation)

Doug Tallamy: Restoring Nature's Relationships:

EcoBeneficial Interview: Dr. Doug Tallamy In His Garden on the Importance of Native Plants

EcoBeneficial Interview: ‘Hometown Habitat” with Catherine Zimmerman


Richard Louv has been prolific advocate and author for connecting people to nature.

He helped found the “Children & Nature Network”

Selected articles:

Making Contact With Richard Louv: How Animals Save And Heal Us

Our Need for Nature in the Time of COVID

Selected books:

“Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder“

“The Nature Principle (Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age)“

“Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives—and Save Theirs“

Selected interviews:

Nature Revisited: Episode 31: Richard Louv - Our Wild Calling

Outside Podcast: Richard Louv Wants You to Bond with Wild Animals


Recently, Barry Lopez, a leading voice passed away. He explored the relationship between human cultures and nature. In a tribute to his life, High Country News republished an article he wrote titled: “We are shaped by the sound of wind, the slant of sunlight” ( Here’s one great quote from the article: “If you're intimate with a place, a place with whose history you're familiar, and you establish an ethical conversation with it, the implication that follows is this: The place knows you're there. It feels you. You will not be forgotten, cut off; abandoned.” And NPR rebroadcast an interview with him titled: “Remembering Nature Writer Barry Lopez”:


If nothing else, the CNCBC highlights the fact that people all over the world are interested in documenting, preserving, and restoring biodiversity. One simple step that everyone can take is to find out what plants and animals are living on their own properties. iNaturalist and Seek provide the tools to do that.

Posted on March 18, 2021 17:35 by geogehrig geogehrig | 0 comments | Leave a comment

BioBlitzes / Biodiversity

The City Nature Challenges (CNCs), like the City Nature Challenge: Bonner County (CNCBC), are examples of BioBlitzes. What are BioBlitzes? They are systematic observations on nature (flora and fauna) in a particular area over a specified period of time. They can be informal and individual, more formal as part of a larger group, or done by professionals. Since the professionals (like wildlife biologists, who typically use them to document and monitor populations of species) have finite staff and budgets, lay people (citizens) can add capacity to their efforts by collecting this information, which can then be used for larger scientific studies…they can be part of a citizen science project.

But, a big benefit is that “citizens” (of all ages) get a chance to (re)connect to the landscape on which they live, work and play. BioBlitzes can help (re)introduce people to the species that have coevolved in the bioregion together over millennia. And, it can help them understand which species are struggling, or are now missing altogether.

Here are the first two paragraphs in “Decoding Animal Language: Front Row Seats To A ‘Wild’ Play” (
“If the world of decoding animal language is new to you, you’re in for a treat. Decoding animal language is a bit like pulling back the curtain onto a universal play. The actors may change, but just like the changing cast of Hamilton in New York vs Chicago vs San Francisco, the play is the same. Once you learn the parts played by the animals in your backyard, you’ll be able to recognize the lines anywhere in the world you travel.

“The feats that even the newest students of animal language are capable of border on the miraculous. To the uninitiated, the wisdom found in animal insights can seem like ESP, clairvoyance or some sort of shamanism; and to be honest, it is kind of neat when someone thinks you have superhuman powers! In reality, however, it just boils down to better observation. We encourage you to dive in right now by drawing back the curtain on one of the greatest dramas of all time. By honing a few simple observation skills, animals can tell us that there is a snake wriggling through the tallest grass on the ‘back 40,’ or that there is a cat coming down a far hedgerow or about the owl perched in the evergreen in the city park.”

The ”universal play” has been unfolding over eons, and almost all of that time without humans. Plants and animals have been co-evolving, depending on the intricate web of life. And, of all of the organisms, only humans have had the ability to technologically evolve; to spread across the landscape and alter entire ecosystems. In a sense, we’ve achieved a form of escape velocity: we are no longer dependent on the immediate natural resources for daily survival. We have largely freed ourselves of the web. And, in the course of doing so, many have lost an appreciation that there even is a web.

In urban areas, where the CNCs began -and where most of them are now- the web has largely been destroyed. So, even if one looked and noticed, there are hardly any animal languages even being spoken to decode. Many organisms simply cannot survive. A lot have been pushed out; pushed off of the best habitat and no longer have the food and shelter resources to survive, much less thrive. Over time, their populations decrease, some becoming threatened, then threatened to the point of extinction.

In a way, a CNC shouldn’t be about just documenting the Wild things (as opposed to domesticated or cultivated organisms) that have been able to hang on as their native ranges have shrunk. It should be about rediscovering our innate naturalist ability to notice the wild things that are no longer among us. That’s what the CNCBC Facebook Page has tried to do:
-to help discover the actors in our “universal play”;
-to (re)introduce the flora and fauna in the county, and to highlight those that are struggling;
-to encourage people to stay engaged over the course of the changing seasons, to watch the “scene changes” and the “actors” come and go off the “stage”;
-to decide, individually, and collectively, whether to adopt a land ethic that supports biodiversity, and to value the ecosystem services it provides.

There are big and small things that we can do to preserve and restore this incredibly beautiful landscape.

The CNC is just one weekend, and really not the best time of year, given our northern location (4/30-5/3). Hopefully it will inspire people:
-to continue to make observations throughout the year, using apps like Nature’s Notebook;
-to develop into skilled citizen scientists so that we can, if we want, help make collective decisions about development, and how we recreate on public lands.

In David Orr’s “Verbicide” book he wrote that the American child can identify 1000 corporate logos, but can't ID 10 plants and animals native to his or her hometown. That probably applies to lots of adults, too. Let’s see if we can use the CNCBC, and maybe other BioBlitzes in the summer and fall, to become more “biodiversity literate”.


Here are some good resources to learn more about BioBlitzes:

What is a bioblitz?

Why is biodiversity so important?

(Backyard) Citizen Scientist Rebecca Ray

Observing nature in your backyard is not dull but radically significant


NatGeo has got some great resources:

BIOBLITZ Counting Species Through Citizen Science

-NG BioBlitz Series: Exploring Biodiversity with Youth Outside, Inside, and Virtually

-NG BioBlitz Series: Observation Techniques and Species Exploration Using the Seek App


Finally, here’s a great, more scientific video produced by the Conservation Biology Institute:
Using community science to predict extinctions and monitor threatened species

Posted on March 18, 2021 05:09 by geogehrig geogehrig | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 17, 2021

iNaturalist + Seek -> BioBlitz/Biodiversity -> Conservationists -> Conservation Organizations -> Citizen Science

This Journal entry will give you information on the iNaturalist app, and on its “little brother” Seek. Subsequent entries will be about:
-BioBlitzes (of which the City Nature Challenges are prime examples), and on biodiversity (the City Nature Challenges are designed to document the biodiversity in a designated area).
-Conservationists that are working to preserve biodiversity.
-Conservation organizations that focus on preserving biodiversity.
-Citizen (or Community) Science, of which BoBlitzes are but one example.



The City Nature Challenge website has great resources on how to use the iNaturalist app. Here's a link to the site:


Getting Started


Bioblitz Guide

Video Tutorial
Adding an Observation on a Mobile Device

Teacher's Guide for iNaturalist's+guide

Using iNaturalist with Students

In particular, the Education Toolkit has a wealth of age-appropriate resources:
Welcome to the City Nature Challenge Education Toolkit! Here you can find classroom activities, field investigations, media and guides to prepare students, nature center visitors, homeschools and more for the CNC. Find tips for bringing kids outside, learn how students can contribute to the CNC through iNaturalist or another observation platform, and see how CNC can fit into your curriculum or education programs.

Step 1: Get Ready to Bring Kids Outside
Read this educator guide for tips for facilitating, managing, and supporting student outdoor learning and exploration in schoolyards, nearby park, or other green space.

Step 2: Learn How to Use iNaturalist
Take a tour through iNaturalist, the website we will use in the U.S. to document observations. Learn how to best use this technology with students. This can be used in any formal or informal education setting.

Step 3: Integrate into your Curriculum / Education Program
View our “Educator Basecamp,” recommended progressions for short classroom and field activities for formal and informal settings. Progressions include activities, media, and other tools for the CNC, for a variety of ages and experience levels. See how they help to meet science standards and educational goals.

Educator Basecamp Resources

Ages 5–8
-Activity 1: Get to Know Nature
-Activity 2: CMNH Nature in the City: Nature Detectives Resource Packet
-Activity 3: Looking at Lawns
-Activity 4: Journey North Teacher Guide - Building Inquiry into Instruction

Ages 8–11
-Activity 1: Encyclopedia of Life: Classification of Plants and Animals
-Activity 2: Get to Know Nature
-Activity 3: Looking at Lawns
-Activity 4: Encyclopedia of Life: Species Cards

Ages 11–14
-Activity 1: National Geographic: Introducing Biodiversity and BioBlitz
-Activity 2: Encyclopedia of Life Bioblitz Skillbuilders
-Activity 3: Field Guide to the Biodiversity of your Schoolyard
-Activity 4: National Geographic: Analyzing Bioblitz Data

Ages 14–18
-Activity 1: The Crowd and The Cloud
-Activity 2: Encyclopedia of Life: Citizen Science + Open Science Guided Presentation
-Activity 3: Encyclopedia of Life: Introduction to iNaturalist
-Activity 4: Encyclopedia of Life: iNaturalist Data Exploration

Higher Education
-Activity 1: Let’s Prepare!
-Activity 2: Encyclopedia of Life Biodiversity and Open Science: Introduction to iNaturalist
-Activity 3: Encyclopedia of Life Biodiversity and Open Science: City Nature Challenge Data Exploration

General Public
-Activity 1: Introduction to Biodiversity and Citizen Science Videos
-Activity 2: National Geographic: Backyard BioBlitz
-Activity 3: National Geographic Mission: Explore
-Activity 4: Encyclopedia of Life Introduction to iNaturalist
-Activity 5: EOL Species Cards


Here are some other great iNaturalist resources:

An Introduction to iNaturalist

(Backyard) Citizen Scientist Rebecca Ray

Complete Scientific Research In Your Own Back Yard With iNaturalist!

How to use iNaturalist

Academy Breakfast Club, Ep. 3: Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Alison Young on Citizen Science

City Nature Challenge 2020

iNaturalist App Uses Image Recognition Tech to Identify ...

Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s iNaturalist Training Manual

Using iNaturalist - New York Botanical Garden



Here are some good links on how to use Seek:

Connect with Nature Using iNaturalist and Seek

Connect with Nature Using Seek and iNaturalist!

Exploring Nature With Kids: Virtual Learning with iNaturalist & Seek

Seek by iNaturalist

Seek by iNaturalist | Nature Nation | Blog | Nature | PBS


Finally, here are some tips for taking good photos:

  1. Get closer!
    -Make sure to get close enough to get small details, such as veins on a leaf or markings on a bug. However, make sure you maintain a safe distance and respect wildlife when observing!

  2. Shoot multiple angles and images.
    -Take time to capture more than one photo of what you are observing. Taking multiple images at different angles, or different parts of the species will help identifiers make a conformation. For example, take photos of both the flower and the leaves on a flowering plant.

  3. Take photos that are sharp and in focus.
    -Make sure you take your time when taking photos, to prevent them from being blurry and out of focus. Clear pictures will help identifiers when making a conformation.

How to Post Observations in iNaturalist

How to Take Camera Phone Pictures

How to Use iNaturalist's Photo and Sound Uploader

Take Your iNaturalist Photos to the Next Level

Tips for taking identifiable photos in iNaturalist

Posted on March 17, 2021 06:17 by geogehrig geogehrig | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 22, 2021

Training Opportunities

The City Nature Challenge: Bonner County (CNCBC) will be here before you know it! Flyers have been distributed to a number of places throughout the county. Lots of great training sources are available on this page, and the Facebook Page (in the About Section).

In addition to those, here is a list of upcoming Zoom trainings that will be recorded, then available via links once they are online:
1) The CNC organizer down in Boise, Kristin Gnojewski, will be offering online iNaturalist training to the Boise area on 4/7/21 (Intro to iNaturalist and the City Nature Challenge), and 4/14/21 (Intro to the City Nature Challenge and to Adding Identifications in iNaturalist).
2) The Pend Oreille Chapter of the Idaho Master Naturalists will offer trainings on 4/7/21 (The City Nature Challenge and iNaturalist Basics) and 4/14/21 (Adding Identifications to iNaturalist).
3) The Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society will have a Zoom program titled: “City Nature Challenge 2021: Bonner County” on 4/24/21.
4) Dr. Jim Ekins of IDAH2O is scheduled to come up and do a demonstration at the WaterLife Discovery Center (2100 Lakeshore Dr., Sandpoint) on 4/30 at 10AM. We should get to ID some macros!
5) The CNC organizer over in Red Lodge, MT, Courtney Long, is planning to record an insect collecting training as well. TBA.
6) Finally, here is a link to the FAQs document that has a lot of great information:


Reminder, the City Nature Challenge is a international BioBlitz which, this year, will have almost 400 locations participating. Here is a link to see them all:

The official organizers will be tallying the results in three categories: Most Observations, Most Species, and Most Participants, with the totals available on 5/10/21.

The organizers of the Bonner County, Boise and Red Lodge are having a mini competition to see who can get the most participants per population in the challenge area. The winning challenge will get a trophy which is being designed by an artist in Red Lodge. It will be kept for an entire year until the CNC 2022.

Stay tuned for more information about the trophy, and about prizes that will be awarded to participants of the CNCBC.

Posted on March 22, 2021 19:56 by geogehrig geogehrig | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Citizen Science

What…is…Citizen Science?

"Science is our most reliable system of gaining new knowledge, and citizen science is the public involvement in the inquiry and discovery of new scientific knowledge.

"Community science, participatory research, DIY science, crowdsourcing, and public engagement in scientific research, among others, are also terms used to describe this movement. Citizen science is the most widely used term to describe this process of public involvement in scientific research. A citizen science project can involve one person or millions of people collaborating toward a common goal."

Here's a good overview page with video description:

Here is a list of the “Top 20 Citizen Science Projects of 2020”:

BioBlitzes are an example of citizen, or community, science. And the CNCBC using the iNaturalist app is the most well-known BioBlitz. As you can see from the link above: iNaturalist was the 4th most joined project, had the 2nd most contributions, and was the 14th most bookmarked of all Citizen Science Projects.

*Make sure to download iNaturalist’s easy to use companion app Seek. Younger children (well it’s great for any age) can use it to help ID flora and fauna. Actually, it’s great to practice with Seek first because it helps you learn how close you need to be to get a good ID.

Here are the primary organizations involved with citizen science: supports your research by providing tools and resources that allow you to customize your scientific procedure - all in one location on the internet. As your partner in research, provides tools for the entire research process including: creating new projects, managing project members, building custom data sheets, analyzing collected data, and gathering participant feedback.

-- is an official government website designed to accelerate the use of crowdsourcing and citizen science across the U.S. government. The site provides a portal to three key assets for federal practitioners: a searchable catalog of federally supported citizen science projects, a toolkit to assist with designing and maintaining projects, and a gateway to a federal community of practice to share best practices.


Citizen Science Alliance (CSA)
The CSA is a collaboration of scientists, software developers and educators who collectively develop, manage and utilize internet-based citizen science projects in order to further science itself, and the public understanding of both science and of the scientific process. These projects use the time, abilities and energies of a distributed community of citizen scientists who are our collaborators. Our projects live within the ‘Zooniverse’, the home of Citizen Science on the web: the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. Each is inspired by a science team who provide the initial ideas, the reassurance that what we’re doing can make a real contribution and an audience who are willing to use the end result. We are working with a wide variety of partners, from classicists to climate scientists and ecologists to planetary scientists. View all projects:


Citizen Science Association (CSA)
The Citizen Science Association is a member-driven organization that connects people from a wide range of experiences around one shared purpose: advancing knowledge through research and monitoring done by, for, and with members of the public. Citizen science – the most recognizable term for this practice – is expanding the reach, relevance, and impact of science in almost every area of inquiry; in the field and online; through local and global efforts. With increased attention to citizen science, CSA brings depth to how citizen science is understood both as public engagement and as research, and shines a light on the integrity and complexity of the practice.
-Citizen Science: Theory & Practice (journal):


SciStarter is a globally acclaimed, online citizen science hub where more than 3,000 projects, searchable by location, topic, age level, etc., have been registered by individual project leaders or imported through partnerships with federal governments, NGOs, and universities. As a research affiliate of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at the Arizona State University, and a popular citizen science portal, SciStarter hosts an active community of close to 100,000 registered citizen scientists and millions of additional site visitors. Hundreds of citizen science projects use SciStarter's NSF-supported APIs to help citizen scientists earn credit for their participation in their SciStarter dashboard, across projects and platforms. These features enable SciStarter's partners (libraries, schools, museums, Girl Scouts and more) to catalyze customized citizen science pathways and track and support the progress of their communities through SciStarter. SciStarter also supports researchers in managing projects, including best practices for engaging participant partners.

-Also from SciStarter:
The Library & Community Guide to Citizen Science
Libraries are quickly becoming hubs for citizen science. Your library may already be involved in citizen science programming. If so, bravo! For countless others, citizen science is still a bit of a mystery. We created this guide to help you navigate the rapidly changing landscape, access resources, learn about projects and programs and explore a myriad of opportunities to support your plans to bring citizen science to your library or community-based organization (CBO).


A vibrant community. Zooniverse gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to participate in real research with over 50 active online citizen science projects. Work with 1.6 million registered users around the world to contribute to research projects led by hundreds of researchers.


Scientific American also has a pretty comprehensive list of citizen science projects:

Posted on March 22, 2021 00:22 by geogehrig geogehrig | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 21, 2021

Conservation Organizations

To give you an idea of the international, national, tribal, state and local efforts to protect biodiversity, here is a list prominent organizations dealing with the issue:


Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of the components of biological diversity, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
See Aichi Biodiversity Targets:
See Global Biodiversity Outlook:


Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
Biodiversity and nature’s benefits to people underpin almost every aspect of human development and are key to the success of the new Sustainable Development Goals. They help to produce food, clean water, regulate climate and even control disease. Yet they are being depleted and degraded faster than at any other point in human history. IPBES is unique – harnessing the best expertise from across all scientific disciplines and knowledge communities – to provide policy-relevant knowledge and to catalyze the implementation of knowledge-based policies at all levels in government, the private sector and civil society.


International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
IUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organizations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 Member organizations and the input of more than 17,000 experts. This diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. The IUCN compiles a Red List of Threatened Species:


National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
NRCS works with landowners, land operators, and others through conservation planning and assistance to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals for productive lands and healthy ecosystems. NRCS uses science-based technology, tools, and applications to support sound natural resources conservation. NRCS experts from many disciplines work together and with others to ensure effective conservation practices. See Natural Resources Conservation Service - Idaho:


Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA)
The PCA is a collaborative partnership among 12 U.S. Federal Agency Members (the Federal Committee) and nearly 400 Non-Federal Cooperators (the Non-Federal Cooperators Committee). PCA Members and Cooperators work collaboratively to solve the problems of native plant conservation and native habitat restoration, ensuring the sustainability of ecosystems in the United States. The depth and strength of PCA is in the scientific expertise, networking, and the ability to pool resources to protect, conserve, and restore our national plant heritage for generations to come.


U.S. Dept. of Interior: National Park Service (NPS)
See Upper Columbia Basin Network:
See National Park Service / Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, The River Mile Network:


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the premier government agency dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. We are the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is the conservation and management of these important natural resources for the American public.
The Service's origins date back to 1871 when Congress established the U.S. Fish Commission to study the decrease in the nation’s food fishes and recommend ways to reverse that decline. (More on our history below.) Today, we are a diverse and largely decentralized organization, employing about 8,000 dedicated professionals working out of facilities across the country, including a headquarters office in Falls Church, Virginia, and eight regional offices representing the 12 Unified Interior Regions.
See Endangered Species Act:



Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG)
See Panhandle Region:


Idaho Office of Species Conservation





Coeur d’Alene



Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)
Launched globally in 2005, the Alliance for Zero Extinction was established to identify, effectively conserve and safeguard the most important sites for preventing global species extinctions.


American Heritage Wildlife Foundation
American Heritage Wildlife Foundation works towards the preservation of all wildlife through rehabilitation and community education. This takes place because of thousands of volunteer hours. We are working to create the first Inland Pacific Northwest Nature Center. Required federal and state permits have been acquired allowing the use of animal artifacts as tracing devices. We anticipate the grand opening of the Nature walk - guided pathway on Earth Day 2020.


Audubon Society
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation.
-See Idaho Audubon, Coeur d’Alene Chapter:


Center for Biodiversity and Conservation of the American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History created the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC) in 1993 to contribute its extensive scientific and educational resources to the conservation of the great variety of life in all its forms and the essential interactions among them—our planet’s biodiversity.


California Academy of Sciences
A CNC organizer and developer of the iNaturalist app.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
A CNC organizer.


Children & Nature Network
We believe that the well-being of children and the wild places we love are inextricably linked. And while research tells us that regular time outdoors is essential for children’s healthy development, today’s kids are less connected to nature than ever before. We also know that longstanding systems of injustice have impacted the design and distribution of green spaces, and call for new policies informed by people who have been impacted by racism and systems of inequity. We are committed to strengthening efforts to advance equity in access to nature. We support and mobilize leaders, educators, activists, practitioners and parents working to turn the trend of an indoor childhood back out to the benefits of nature–and to increase safe and equitable access to the natural world for all.


Conservation International
For over thirty years, Conservation International has worked to spotlight and secure the critical benefits that nature provides to humanity. Combining fieldwork with innovations in science, policy and finance, we’ve helped protect more than 6 million square kilometers (2.3 million square miles) of land and sea across more than 70 countries. See Biodiversity Hotspots:


Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.
Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is the premier U.S.-based national conservation organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of imperiled species and their habitats in North America.


Duck Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited is the world's leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation.


Earth Island Institute
For more than 30 years Earth Island Institute has been a hub for grassroots campaigns dedicated to conserving, preserving, and restoring the ecosystems on which civilization depends.


Ecological Society of America (ESA)
A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to: promote ecological science by improving communication among ecologists; raise the public’s level of awareness of the importance of ecological science; increase the resources available for the conduct of ecological science; and ensure the appropriate use of ecological science in environmental decision making by enhancing communication between the ecological community and policy-makers.


Encyclopedia of Life
Join a global effort to document all 1.9 million named species of animals, plants and other forms of life on Earth.


E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation
The E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s mission is to foster a knowing stewardship of our world through biodiversity research and education initiatives that promote and inform worldwide preservation of our biological heritage. We believe that by enhancing our public understanding of biodiversity, we can foster a culture of stewardship in which people are inspired to conserve and protect the natural world. See the Half Earth Project:


Fauna & Flora International (FFI)
As the world's oldest international wildlife conservation organization, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been safeguarding threatened species and ecosystems worldwide for well over a century.


Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness
Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness is committed to connecting the people of North Idaho and Northwest Montana with their wild backyard. Situated near the Idaho-Montana border, Scotchman Peaks is the highest point in Bonner County, Idaho, at 7,009 feet. The Friends’ mission is to make sure this rugged land is saved for our children and grandchildren.


Idaho Conservation League
The Idaho Conservation League is Idaho’s leading voice for conservation. With offices in Boise, Ketchum, and Sandpoint, we work hard and smart to protect the air you breathe, the water you drink and the wild places you and your family love.


The IDAH2O Master Water Steward program launched in 2010 and has 400 certified volunteers. Participants attend an 8-hour workshop that combines classroom instruction and hands-on fieldwork. Once a volunteer becomes a certified IDAH2O Master Water Steward, they adopt a stream location to monitor regularly. Monitoring includes habitat, biological, chemical and physical assessments.


Integral Ecology Research Center (IERC)
A non-profit organization dedicated to the research and conservation of wildlife and their ecosystems. Founded in 2004, IERC has conducted and continues research on several sensitive wildlife species, with the ultimate goal of providing knowledge and understanding towards the conservation of these species and their habitats. Our projects cover many different habitats, from alpine settings to old-growth coastal forests to deserts and tropical jungles.


Izaak Walton League (IWL)
To conserve, restore, and promote the sustainable use and enjoyment of our natural resources, including soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife.


Kaniksu Land Trust (KLT)
Kaniksu Land Trust is trying something new: proving the relevance of nature and conservation to the broader community by creating authentic opportunities to connect with the land. Nature is a powerful force for addressing concerns related to health, education, and community. By applying a community-driven model to its conservation work, KLT is able to address community challenges while encouraging a strong conservation ethic. Join us to support healthy, vibrant communities in north Idaho and northwest Montana, while ensuring the viability of our shared landscape into the future.


Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society (KNPS)
Mission: to foster an understanding and appreciation of native flora and its habitats in the panhandle area of North Idaho, to advocate the conservation of this rich natural heritage for future generations, to encourage the responsible use of native plants in landscaping and restoration, to educate youth and the general public in the value of the native flora and their habitats.


Master Naturalists
-Master Naturalist Programs by State
-Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs
The Alliance of Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs is a national network of natural resource education and service programs which provides leadership, information, and resources to support the establishment and expansion of its member programs.
-See Pend Oreille Chapter of the Idaho Master Naturalists
The Pend Oreille chapter has an energetic core of members from across the Idaho Panhandle (three counties). Most are retired and enjoy the volunteer activities, in particular, volunteering at and developing Idaho Fish and Game’s Waterlife Discovery Center. Members volunteer with many local environmental non-profits in the beautiful Idaho Panhandle.


National Wildlife Federation (NWF)
America's largest and most trusted conservation organization, works across the country to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. We've been on the front lines for wildlife since 1936, fighting for the conservation values that are woven into the fabric of our nation's collective heritage. See Garden for Wildlife:, and Community Wildlife Habitat:
-Garden for Wildlife:
-Community Wildlife Habitat:


We are a nonprofit organization made up of passionate biodiversity scientists who want to apply the best information to decision-making. Change is made one decision at a time. And every good decision starts with good information. We want to make it possible—and easy—for people to use accurate, current scientific information as the basis for their conservation decisions and subsequent actions. The NatureServe Network empowers people to sustain biodiversity by making sure everyone has access to the knowledge they need to be better stewards of our shared lands and waters. We serve as an authoritative source of comprehensive, decision-quality biodiversity data.


Native Plant Societies
-Native Plant Societies by State
-North American Native Plant Society
Committed to preserving native plant habitat in wild areas and restoring indigenous flora to developed areas.
-See Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society (KNPS)
Mission: to foster an understanding and appreciation of native flora and its habitats in the panhandle area of North Idaho, to advocate the conservation of this rich natural heritage for future generations, to encourage the responsible use of native plants in landscaping and restoration, to educate youth and the general public in the value of the native flora and their habitats.


Nature Conservancy
Founded in the U.S. through grassroots action in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and over 400 scientists, we impact conservation in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners. Our mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Our vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.
See Nature Conservancy – Idaho:


Ocean Conservancy
Works to protect the ocean from today’s global challenges.


Orianne Society
A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of reptiles, amphibians and the ecosystems they inhabit.


Panthera is the only organization in the world that is devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems.


Selkirk Alliance for Science
We are an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit alliance of scientist and nonscientist volunteers who advocate an increased understanding of the nature, value, and integrity of science to benefit our communities. Our members have expertise in applying and teaching earth, life, and physical sciences. The communities we call home are located in northeast Washington and northern Idaho.


Selkirk Conservation Alliance
Our Mission is to engage the public in southern Selkirk resource and land management issues through cooperation, scientific inquiry, education, and economic diversification.


Sierra Club
The most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone’s right to a healthy world.


Society for Conservation Biology (SCB)
Serves as the premier international membership society for professionals, students and non-profits dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving biodiversity. Publishes the Conservation Biology Journal and Conservation Magazine.


Society for Ecological Restoration (SER)
For more than three decades, the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) has given voice to the field of ecological restoration and provided leadership in all aspects of its development. We are a dynamic global network of more than 3,000 members who foster the exchange of knowledge and expertise among ecological restoration practitioners and scientists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds.


Stroud Water Research Center
Stroud™ Water Research Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration.


Student Conservation Association (SCA)
America’s conservation corps. Our members protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces in all 50 states.


Trout Unlimited
To conserve, protect and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
See Trout Unlimited, Panhandle Chapter:


Xerces Society
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. As a science-based organization, we both conduct our own research and rely upon the most up-to-date information to guide our conservation work. Our key program areas are: pollinator conservation, endangered species conservation, and reducing pesticide use and impacts.


Waterkeeper Alliance
Strengthens and grows a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water.
-See Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper:


WILD Foundation
We are the people helping to keep Earth wild. If you believe in the importance of protecting Earth’s wild and irreplaceable nature then you’ve come to the right place. The WILD Foundation has been building new, innovative solutions for wilderness from the ground up since 1974. Solutions that revolutionize opportunities for the entire conservation sector.


Wilderness Society
Uniting people to protect America’s wild places.
See Idaho Wilderness Society:


Wildlife Conservation Network
WCN protects endangered wildlife by supporting conservationists who ensure wildlife and people coexist and thrive.


World Wildlife Fund
For 60 years, WWF has worked to help people and nature thrive. As the world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in nearly 100 countries. At every level, we collaborate with people around the world to develop and deliver innovative solutions that protect communities, wildlife, and the places in which they live.

Posted on March 21, 2021 03:54 by geogehrig geogehrig | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 15, 2021

About the City Nature Challenge 2021: Bonner County (CNCBC): April 30–May 9, 2021

This is the inaugural year for Bonner County to participate in The City Nature Challenge (CNC). The CNC is an ongoing project, using the iNaturalist app, to document urban biodiversity and engage city residents in the nature around them. The project is framed as a competition between cities to see which can make the most observations, identify the most species, or have the most participants. The program was started in 2016 by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles and the California Academy of Sciences as a competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It has grown into an international competition:
2017: 16 U.S. cities
2018: 68 cities around the world
2019: 150 cities around the world
2020: 244 cities around the world
2021: 359 cities around the world

Each city challenge gets to define its own boundaries / project areas. And, as you can see from this year’s list, most of the challenges are in metropolitan areas:

But, as more and more people get involved, the projects have begun to expand into more rural areas (while keeping the umbrella name “City” challenge).

Before this year, no city in Idaho has participated. This year, both Boise and Bonner County are participating. Here are the iNaturalist Project pages for each where you can see the boundaries:

Boise Area:

Bonner County:

The 2021 City Nature Challenge will take place from April 30–May 9, 2021. The first four days, April 30–May 3, are the days that observations will be collected (aka the BioBlitz), and the last six days, May 4–May 9, are when those observations will be identified and verified. Participants can also continue to upload observations during this six-day period as long as the sightings took place during April 30–May 3. Then, on May 10, the results will be announced. The competition part of the CNC involves seeing which challenge can get the most: 1) Total Observations, 2) Total Species, and 3) Total People.

In addition to the “competition” between all the CNCs, a friendly regional competition will take place between Boise and Bonner County…and with the CNC in Red Lodge, MT (Carbon County). Here is their Project page:

Where can you go to make observations?

While most City Nature Challenges are in urban areas, the City Nature Challenge: Bonner County (CNCBC) will encompass the entire county. And observations can be made anywhere nature exists, including your own backyard. Your home is a complex ecosystem and contributor to the larger landscape. Be sure to spend lots of time in your yard and/or neighborhood exploring the diversity of plants, birds, insects, mammals, and other wildlife coming through at all hours. You might meet some neighbors you never knew you had!

Participation is easy. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Download the free iNaturalist app to your device.
  2. Visit and set up an account (you must be at least 13 years old).
  3. Sign in then take photos of wild plants or animals anywhere in the map area (Bonner County) between April 30th and May 3rd.
  4. Upload your photos to iNaturalist.
  5. Learn more as your photos are identified by the iNaturalist community.

Why should you participate?

There is nature all around us, even in our cities. Knowing what species are here, and where they are, helps us study and protect them. But the ONLY way to effectively do that is by working together (scientists, land managers, community members, etc.) to find and document nature in our area.


The following organizations have partnered together to help encourage the documentation of the flora and fauna in Bonner County:
East Bonner County Library District, Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. IDAH2O, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society, Kalispel Tribe, Kaniksu Land Trust, Pend Oreille Chapter of the Idaho Master Naturalists, Selkirk Alliance for Science, and the University of Idaho – Sandpoint Organic Ag Center.

Each partner will publicize the CNCBC to their own members.

Here is a link to the CNCBC Facebook Event:

Here is the link to the CNCBC Facebook Page:

Note about the names/abbreviations:
The "scientific" name of the county challenge is: City Nature Challenge 2021: Bonner County, ID (that naming convention is mandated by the official organizers). The "common" name is City Nature Challenge: Bonner County. And the easier to remember abbreviation is CNCBC.

Posted on March 15, 2021 14:07 by geogehrig geogehrig | 0 comments | Leave a comment