male and female house finch in the snow
Dear Friends,

Season's Greetings from Montana Audubon!

As you settle in with your coffee or tea to watch your winter bird feeder, and hopefully stay warm, take a few moments to read about what we're up to.

We have new initiatives, new team members, wildlife grants, citizen science opportunities, kiddos outdoors, and prep for the upcoming Montana legislative session. You name it - we've got it!

However, much work lies ahead, such as advocating for Recovering America's Wildlife Act in 2023.

Consider giving a 100% tax-deductible year-end donation to Montana Audubon to support this important work!

We are thankful for you and wish you a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

Yours in Conservation,

Larry Berrin
Executive Director

P.S. Donate $100 or more and receive our new Wildlife Guide, or our popular Bird Guide. Give $200 or more and get both!
Congress Delivers Lump of Coal
Despite our efforts and those of many across the country, US legislators delivered a lump of coal to conservation this week by excluding Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA) from federal omnibus legislation. Therefore, we regroup to advocate for this bill with our partners in 2023. RAWA would provide Montana with $27 million per year in funding for wildlife and habitat conservation. Montana Audubon leads the Montana Coalition for Recovering America’s Wildlife (MTRAWA.org), a partnership of organizations in the Treasure State who support RAWA and therefore advocate for our treasured wildlife.

Read our Executive Director Larry Berrin's recent opinion piece in the Missoulian, which had urged Congress to act now on RAWA.
Congrats Christian and Kristin
We congratulate Christian Meny as the newly promoted Director of Conservation Ranching and we welcome Kristin Sewak back as Director of Development and Communications. Please feel free to reach out to these new management team members to get to know them!
About Christian

An avid outdoorsman, Christian grew up in wooded Pennsylvania. After moving to Montana in 2006, he contributed to the Statewide Management Plan for Common Loons and the USGS grizzly bear DNA project in the Cabinet/Yaak ecosystem. He also spent ten years with the IMBCR (Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions) and has experience with the World Wildlife Fund Sustainable Ranching Initiative (WWF-SRI), WWF Ranch Systems and Viability Planning Network program (WWF-RSVP), and Montana’s very own MPG Ranch. His ability to connect people to the land will be indispensable as Montana Audubon works toward connecting land owners and wildlife through Audubon Conservation Ranching.

About Kristin

Kristin was born and raised in the ruffed grouse state of Pennsylvania – amidst the old Appalachian Mountains between Albert Gallatin’s Friendship Hill and John James Audubon’s Mill Grove. Long before moving to Montana in 2014 to serve as ED of Montana Watershed Coordination Council, she served two years in AmeriCorps and founded a conservation nonprofit. Kristin holds a BS in Ecology from Pitt and an MS in Organizational Leadership from Geneva College, as well as a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive). She also co-authored Mycelial Mayhem: Growing Mushrooms for Fun, Profit and Companion Planting, New Society Publishers, British Columbia. Kristin lives in Wolf Creek with her 15-year-old son Sage and has two grown kids, son Aedan (20) and daughter Cassidy (19). She is grateful to be living and working in the wonderfully wild state of Montana for such a great cause!

Preparing for the Montana Legislative Session
The 68th Montana Legislature convenes January 2nd, launching many conservation organizations into a frenzy of bill tracking, research, testimony and lobbying on bills that affect Montana’s wildlife, habitat, and critical environmental laws. 

Montana Audubon will lead efforts to protect our non-game wildlife and important habitats, working to overcome challenges to the Greater Sage-grouse conservation program, conservation easements, public lands, and the Habitat Montana program, as well as advocate for clean energy and climate change solutions.

During the session, we will bring you the information you need to make your voice heard. We will host a handful of citizen lobby days (usually one per month) and will maintain an active “Action Alert Network” to deliver weekly updates on legislative priorities and how you can help.

You can support Montana Audubon’s legislative work in three primary ways:
  • Donate - Choose “Public Policy” on our online form
  • Stay tuned to our email and social media action alerts
  • Reach out to spend a day at the Capitol with us

And, don’t forget, you can do all three!

Contact:
Amy Seaman
Director of Policy and Science
Conservation Ranching Here to Stay
Thanks to the overwhelming initial success and boundless opportunities of Audubon Conservation Ranching (ACR), Montana Audubon is pleased to announce that we have established the permanent Conservation Ranching department internally. Christian Meny, who has managed the program since November 2021, has been promoted to assume leadership in the department as Director of Conservation Ranching.
Wildlife Grant App Deadline Extended to 1/31
For more than 25 years, Montana Audubon has awarded grants to organizations in support of research and education projects directed toward wildlife habitat conservation. Funds are awarded from earnings generated by the Audubon Wildlife Fund of Montana, a permanent endowment.



Grant applications are due January 31, 2023.
REMINDER...Rosy Finches Need You!
Do you feed birds during the cold winter months or know of a friend or family member who does? If so, Montana Audubon invites you to contribute to a large Rosy-Finch study spanning eight Western states!

Rosy-Finches breed around cliffs and snowfields in our highest elevations during the summer and are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Before devising effective conservation strategies for these remarkable, hardy little birds, we first need to better understand their populations. 

This is where you come in! Once again, we are partnering with Sageland Collaborative on the survey. We are looking for volunteer participants who will watch a feeder as little as 20 minutes, once a month, December to April, and report observations of Rosy-Finches.

To participate, contact our Avian Specialist Bo Crees (bcrees@mtaudubon.org) or Volunteer Coordinator Cassidy Dinkel (cassidy@mtaudubon.org).
Winter at Montana Audubon Center
As the array of fall color faded to a sea of white, a new landscape appeared, one in which visitors can easily see what’s scurrying around Center grounds. A mud pit is now impenetrable and once green hills are now white. A plowed snow mound is a new mountain, perfect for climbing. A once watery obstacle - Shallow Mill Pond - is suddenly a work of magic and wonder. 

Fledglings Preschool and Flyers Kindergarten are exploring the changes of our winter landscape.  These seasonal transformations are one of the best parts of outdoor programming, bringing new excitement, opportunities, and discoveries. Participants are taking advantage of our winter wonderland through birding, tracking, Ecology and free time to explore. 

 To join the fun, check out our Center website. Upcoming programs include: 
  • Nature Nuts, toddler and family program every Tuesday 
  • Homeschool Science
  • Afterschool in Nature 
SAVE THE DATE!
June 9 - 11, 2023
Heritage Inn, Great Falls