Last Stand: Mountain Caribou and the Inland Rainforest

David Moskowitz/submitted photos Caribou lock antlers. David MoskowitzMoskowitz and a small team have been tracking down these rare creatures and documenting the stunning world they call home. He will be making a presentation at the Tonasket Community Cultural Center.

David Moskowitz/submitted photos
Caribou lock antlers. David MoskowitzMoskowitz and a small team have been tracking down these rare creatures and documenting the stunning world they call home. He will be making a presentation at the Tonasket Community Cultural Center.

An OHA Highland Wonders Event

Submitted by Julie Ashmore & David Moskowitz

TONASKET – On Friday, Feb. 3 David Moskowitz – expert wildlife tracker, photographer and author – returns to Highland Wonders, bringing an evening of photos and stories exploring the world endangered mountain caribou and the last great inland temperate rainforest left on the planet.

Moskowitz and a small team of adventurers have been tracking down these rare creatures and documenting the stunning world they call home. Learn about the many challenges facing these beautiful creatures and globally unique ecosystem and the shifting focus of conservation efforts in face of 21st century challenges.

Fewer than 15 caribou remain in the herd that crosses back and forth between the United States and Canada in the Pacific Northwest.

Fewer than 15 caribou remain in the herd that crosses back and forth between the United States and Canada in the Pacific Northwest.

Fewer than 15 caribou remain in the herd that crosses back and forth between the United States and Canada in the Pacific Northwest, while the entire population of this endangered population of caribou is now less then 1,500 across their entire range, which stretches north into central British Columbia. As their habitat is steadily altered and destroyed by human activity, herds across the entire range continue to decline despite a variety of conservation efforts. In the upcoming presentation, community members will learn about why this is, and what it has to teach us about carrying for our planet’s natural heritage on both local and global scales.

Moskowitz will make his presentation on Friday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Cultural Center of Tonasket located at 411 S. Western Ave. (Dinner benefiting the Community Cultural Center at 5:15 p.m., followed by the presentation with tea, coffee and desserts.) The presentation is free; dinner is $8 for CCC members and $9 for non-members; desserts by donation (benefit for the CCC).

Moskowitz has spoken in OHA’s Highland Wonders educational series twice in the past, first with “The Squirrel World of the Pacific Northwest” (January 2014), and then “The Hidden Lives of Northwest Wildlife” (January 2015) – each time drawing a large audience, with requests to bring him back. Author of Wolves in the Land of Salmon and Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, David also works as a biologist, photographer, and outdoor educator. He has contributed his technical expertise to a wide variety of wildlife studies regionally and in the Canadian and U.S. Rocky Mountains, focusing on using tracking and other non-invasive methods to study wildlife ecology and promote conservation. He helped establish the Cascade Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project, a citizen science effort to search for and monitor rare and sensitive wildlife in the Cascades and other Northwest wildlands.

His extensive experience as an outdoor educator includes training mountaineering instructors for Outward Bound, leading wilderness expeditions throughout the western United States and in Alaska, teaching natural history seminars, and serving as the lead instructor for wildlife tracking programs at Wilderness Awareness School. David holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and outdoor education from Prescott College. David is a certified Track and Sign Specialist through Cybertracker Conservation, as well as an evaluator for this rigorous professional certification program. Community members can contact Moskowitz directly to inquire about his photography, classes and workshops or about hosting an evaluation in our region.

This educational event is provided by OHA, and hosted at the CCC. OHA is a non-profit organization that works to educate the public on watershed issues. The Highland Wonders educational series features the natural history of the Okanogan Highlands and surrounding areas. OHA’s Education Program is designed to build the community’s capacity for environmental stewardship by increasing understanding of local natural history through a variety of free public learning opportunities.

More info about this and other upcoming events: www.okanoganhighlands.org/education/hw

Questions? julie@okanoganhighlands.org or 509-476-2432.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.