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Wednesday, May 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Scotchman Peaks friends group honored by Wildlife Society

A pair of Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness pause for lunch on Scotchman Peak above Lake Pend Oreille in Bonner County, Idaho. Senator Jim Risch of Idaho introduced legislation to designate the area as Wilderness in 2016.  (Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness)
A pair of Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness pause for lunch on Scotchman Peak above Lake Pend Oreille in Bonner County, Idaho. Senator Jim Risch of Idaho introduced legislation to designate the area as Wilderness in 2016. (Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness)

WILDERNESS -- The Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness have a goal of securing protected status for a choice 88,000 acres of mountains and valleys straddling the Montana-Idaho border northeast of Lake Pend Oreille.

Meantime, the group has been doing an incredible amount of good, such as building trails, controlling weeds, educating the public about flora and fauna and much, much more.

Recognition for their efforts most recently comes from the Idaho Chapter of the Wildlife Society. The group awarded FSPW a Special Recognition Award recently to recognize the Sandpoint-based friends group's contribution to the Multi-species Baseline Initiative project (MBI).  This project involved setting up winter monitoring stations to collect data on rare forest carnivores (wolverine, fisher, etc.). 

"We want to say a HUGE thank you to more than 200 volunteers who assisted with this project," said Phil Hough, FSPW executive director, who traveled to Boise to receive the award.

Below is a brief snippet from the nomination letter:

"Perhaps the Friends biggest citizen science achievement is their partnership with the Idaho Fish and Game-led Multi-species Baseline Initiative (MBI).  The Friends recruited, trained, and organized over 200 volunteers to run forest carnivore bait station sin the West Cabinet Mountains.  This contribution resulted in $303,821 of in-kind matching dollars, 12% of the entire project budget.  These matching dollars contributed to securing $1,293,297 federal dollars which funded baseline data at over 2,00 sites across the Idaho Panhandle and adjoining mountain ranges.  The Friends efforts contributed to detecting a relatively numerous fisher population in the West Cabinets and to many a local Sandpoint resident learning what the heck a fisher is!  This winter the Friends continue their wildlife stewardship efforts by assisting with the multi-state wolverine survey field effort."

"The Friends play a vital role in the communities of the northern Idaho Panhandle.  They foster a very active social scene that enables thousands of people to learn and contribute to local wildlife conservation efforts.  If you attend one of the Friends numerous events you may find yourself drinking a glass of wine one evening, snow tracking a marten the next day, and be surprised to have some Friends for life!"



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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