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David Douglas naturalist exhibit leaving MAC Aug. 25

NATURE – An exhibition featuring the pioneering naturalist who collected and catalogued Northwest flora and fauna is approaching the end of its run at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane.

David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work will close Aug. 25 so it can be shipped to the Washington State Historical Museum in Tacoma.

Douglas, a Scottish naturalist, traveled the Columbia River and interior Northwest (1825-1833), identifying and collecting more than 200 species of plants, animals, and birds previously unknown to science. Native species such as the Douglas fir bear his name.

The locally curated exhibit features rare botanical books and artwork, species mounts, original plant specimens that Douglas collected and pressed on loan from The Herbarium and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (London, England). 

Families with children can become explorer/naturalists themselves with the exhibit's interactive features.

Guest curators, Jack and Claire Nisbet contributed to a companion website with selections from Douglas’s journals and letters.

Jack Nisbet’s illustrated books, “The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest,” and “David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work,” are available at the Museum Store. 

The MAC is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Local naturalist-historian Nisbet to lead wildflower walk, talk

FLORA – Jack Nisbet, local writer/historian, will lead a nifty “clinic” on wildflowers on Wednesday, starting with 4 p.m. stroll through the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture exhibit, “In the Footsteps of David Douglas.”

At 5 p.m., he’ll lead the group on a hike in the Iller Creek portion of Spokane County's Dishman Hills Conservation Area to study the same monkshood, rein orchid, thimbleberry and yew trees that botanist Douglas – namesake of the Douglas fir — collected in our area in 1826.

Nisbet knows the topic after authoring the book “The Collector: David Douglass and the Natural History of the Northwest.”

Cost: $10. Space limited. Pre-register, 466-2823.

Walk and learn: Nisbet, Gifford lead hike on South Hill bluff Wednesday

TRAILS — After a good turnout last week, author Jack Nisbet and forester Guy Gifford will be leading another walk this week on Spokane’s South Hill bluff trails to explain the value of volunteer efforts and a $50,000 grant to improve the health and fire resistance of the forest below High Drive.

More than 23 miles of trails on the bluffs are prized by local walkers and mountain bikers, but much of the beauty could be snuffed out if a fire erupts before the forest is thinned, said Diana Roberts of the Friends of the Bluffs.

Nisbet, a popular educator, naturalist and South Hill resident, will join Gifford for a two-mile educational walk on Wednesday (Aug. 29) starting at 6:30 p.m. at 57th and Hatch Street.

Bring water and a thirst to learn about urban forestry and trails.

Info: 477-2167

Nisbet to talk about naturalist David Douglas and Turnbull Refuge

NATURE — Spokane author and naturalist Jack Nisbet will present a program, “David Douglas in the Shrub Steppe,” 7:30 p.m., Aug. 21 at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge headquarters south of Cheney.

Seating is limited. Sign-up in advance with Louise Oleary of the Friends of Turnbull, 235-4531, or looeezoleary@netscape.net.

A $5 donation is suggested.

Among Nisbet’s books is “The Collector,” which details Douglas’ role in documenting flora and fauna in the Columbia Basin around 1826.

Douglas fir? This is the man.

Nisbet is curating a museum exhibit,  David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work, set open Sept. 22 in Spokane at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

Nisbet, friends lead trek up Scotchman Peak

HIKING — The Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness will continue their summer group hiking series this weekend by inviting the public to sign up and join naturalist, author and teacher Jack Nisbet on a rugged 7-mile round trip trek to the summit of Scotchman Peak.

Nisbet will give a short talk Saturday morning at the trailhead northeast of Lake Pend Oreille on “thinking like a naturalist” and then lead a hike up Scotchman Peak with opportunities to practice the described skills.

Expect awesome views from the top, but you'll earn them. The group rates this all-day hike as strenuous. Pre-regster and plan on bringing lunch, snacks and plenty of water.

Contact: Lauren Mitchell    trails@scotchmanpeaks.org   

Scotchman friends honor shutterbugs on hikes

HIKING — The annual summer series of group hikes organized by the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness will is giving participants something to focus on besides exploring potential wilderness areas in the Cabinet Mountains northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.
 
Each volunteer-led hike has its own photo contest. The winning photographer will receive an item of their choice from the group's merchandise selection of nifty hats, bandannas or t-shirts. Each hike's winning photo will be entered into a season ending grand prize selected by popular vote.
 
The second of 15 hikes the group is offering this summer is June 18.
 
Three cooperative trail work projects coordinated with the Forest Service are scheduled.

In addition, the friends group is offering two hiking workshops with author, naturalist and historian Jack Nisbet.

The group hikes are geared to exposing the public to the rugged and scenic 88,000-acre roadless area the group is proposing for wilderness designation. The area straddles the Idaho-Montana border northeast of Clark Fork, Idaho, and ranges into Montana.

Next hike:  June 18, 'Practice Mountain'

Distance, 4 miles round trip. Elevation gain 800 feet.

An easy-to-moderate  hike begins along closed forest roads up Fatman Mountain and transitions to off-trail near the top for an easy scramble to the peak and views of the Clark Fork river valley as well as the Star Peak/Billiard Table ridge. A gentle descent brings hikers to an incredible view of Clayton Peak, Sawtooth Mountain and the east fork of Blue Creek.

Contact: Holly Clements    hclements26@yahoo.com 208-290-3420, or sandy@scotchmanpeaks.org     208-290-1281.

David Thompson detailed in Nisbet talk

ADVENTURE — Historian and author Jack Nisbet of Spokane will give a slide presentation on “David Thompson among the Kalispel” this month in the cultural heart of the tribe's reservation.

Although the Lewis and Clark Expedition had garnered much of the publicity a few years earlier, the English-born fur agent and explorer had extensive dealings with tribes in this region in the 1809-1812 period Nisbet will cover.
 
The two-hour program will start Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. at the Camas Wellness Center, 1821 N. LeClerc Road in Usk. Admission is free, with a non-perishable food bank donation requested. Pre-register by calling (509) 447-2401 or emailing cmack@wsu.edu.
 
Nisbet will trace Thompson’s journeys, try to understand his relationship with Kalispel people and look at the tribe’s influence on his large maps of our region.
 
Nisbet, a teacher and naturalist, has authored several works that explore the human and natural history of the region, including two books on Thompson and his recent book, “The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest.”