Conservation Column Sep 2015: New Rules Adopted to Protect Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat

Debbie Schlenoff                                541.685.0610                             dschlenoff (at)

The Greater Sage-Grouse has been a subject of intense debate in Salem during the last few months. On July 27 of this year, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission (OFWC) and the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) adopted new, more restrictive rules to mitigate impacts by solar, wind, and mining projects in the sage-grouse habitat of Oregon. The new rules are an attempt by the state to head off a possible endangered species listing for the bird by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The listing, scheduled to be decided in September, would impose new regulations in the 11 states that contain Greater Sage-Grouse habitat. As one of these states, Oregon would face new federal regulations on development and ranching, particularly in central and eastern Oregon where 90% of the Oregon sage-grouse population resides.

Audubon Adventures: Classrooms Seek Sponsors

Audubon Adventures combines the best of all worlds for participating teachers and their students for the 2015–2016 school year—the new materials are available as printed newsletters with exciting online components. This award-winning environmental educational program introduces students to the fundamental principles by which the natural world functions. This year’s topics focus on protecting Earth’s natural resources:


LCAS Seeks New Audubon Adventure Coordinator

Audubon Adventures is National Audubon Society’s (NAS) award-winning environmental education program. Audubon Adventures was designed by the environmental experts at NAS and boasts top-quality educational materials. Through our Adopt-a-Classroom Program, Lane County Audubon offers teachers in grades 3–5 an opportunity to participate at no cost to their schools.

LCAS is looking for someone who can link the participating teachers with the generous sponsors of this program. If you have a computer and a little time, this might be the volunteer opportunity you’ve been looking for! It takes flexibility, organization, and a sense of timing to make things work well for the teachers and sponsors.

Webmaster Volunteer Position Open

Join the LCAS team of volunteers! We are currently seeking a Webmaster Committee Chair. Help us maintain and develop the Lane County Audubon Society website. Primary responsibilities include updating the website with current information and software, performing routine data backups, monitoring and reporting on web analytics, and providing suggestions for improved layout and functionality. All skill levels are welcome, although familiarity with basic HTML and CSS, Drupal CMS, and Google Analytics will be especially helpful. Develop your web skills with Lane Audubon!

Bon Voyage to Vaux’s Swifts at Agate Hall

LCAS will hold its annual fall Swift Event outside Agate Hall at sunset on September 18 and 25. The Vaux’s Swifts use the chimney to roost for the night as they gather prior to migration. We may see several thousand birds entering the chimney! It’s fun to observe the swifts before they fly off to Central and South America for the winter.

Friday, September 18, 2015 - 7:30pm
Chimney outside Agate Hall on UO Campus (Agate St & E 18th Ave)


The Third Saturday Bird Walk for September will take place at the Royal Avenue part of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area to take advantage of the late fall migration for shorebirds. The guest leader will be local birder, photographer, and world traveler John Sullivan, who is keen to discover which shorebirds are there and whether they’re adults or young born this year.

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 8:00am
South Eugene High School parking lot (corner of 19th and Patterson)

September Program Meeting: The Great Gray Owl of California, Oregon, and Washington with Harry Fuller

Harry Fuller, an Oregon birder, leads trips and teaches classes throughout the Pacific Northwest and California. He is president of the board of Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO).  He teaches bird classes at Pt. Reyes Field Institute, Ashland Nature Center, and other venues, and he leads birding trips for KBO, Golden Gate Audubon (San Francisco), and Partnership for International Birding. Harry is the author of two books—Freeway Birding: San Francisco to Seattle and, with coauthor Peter Thiemann, Great Gray Owl in California, Oregon and Washington. Great Gray Owl was published last May and is also the topic of September’s Program Meeting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 7:30pm
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St.