2014 Winter Pine Marten Monitoring

 

 

Note:  Each year we receive more applications than we have open positions. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning November 11th and continue until the project is filled.

The project:

ASC is looking for a crew of adventurous volunteers to help us on our annual winter Pacific marten monitoring project in the Olympic National Forest (ONF). In partnership with ONF wildlife biologists we will be setting up motion-triggered wildlife cameras to monitor marten activity. We need help from capable backcountry skiers, hikers and snowshoers with an interest in science and conservation._6424249In January 2014 ASC adventure scientists will set up 20 motion-activated wildlife cameras in nine high-elevation drainages of the ONF.  Each of the cameras needs to be checked by teams every two to three weeks between January and April to replace data cards, batteries and refill bait stations.  If selected for this project, you will be asked to “adopt a drainage” and maintain two cameras in one drainage along with a partner.  Each volunteer pair will be required to check their adopted cameras once every 14-21 days.

To participate you must attend two training weekends organized by ASC.  The trainings will be held on January 18-19, 2014and Feb. 1-2, 2014 (the trainings begin at 8am Saturday and end at 5pm Sunday). Indoor accommodation is available Friday and Saturday nights.  During February and March you will check the cameras once every two to three weeks (three times after the training sessions).

You do not need any tracking experience to sign up, but applicants should have basic winter camping skills and the ability/desire to walk, ski or snowshoe long distances over rugged terrain in the snow.  This is a unique opportunity to contribute to a meaningful wildlife conservation project, learn winter wildlife tracking techniques and spend time in the mountains with other outdoor enthusiasts.

Why we need your help:

The Pacific marten is a species that has been historically present in the Olympics, but has only been anecdotally observed in recent years. Forest Service biologists want to know more about the current population of the species but they need on-the-ground help surveying the mountainous terrain of the Olympic Peninsula during the winter. “It is believed that if martens still exist in greater numbers on the Olympic Peninsula, then they may be doing so in higher, isolated pockets of habitat. Getting to these areas can be challenging, particularly during the winter months, which are the most ideal for carnivore surveys. Having volunteers vetted through ASC who are extremely fit and extremely motivated would greatly add to the likelihood for success of such an effort.”
– Betsy Howell, U.S. Forest Service Biologist

The data collected by this project will be used by ONF biologists to better understand marten activity in the forest and to develop management policy.  By joining this study you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to conservation as you hike, ski or snowshoe in the Olympics this winter.

Please Contact ASC  with questions about the project or its volunteer responsibilities.

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