Monday, June 6, 2011

Sharp Minds and Warm Hearts

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting 12 students from Whitman College who are spending a month in Wallowa County studying the concept of "resilience" as it applies to communities and natural resources. 

Communication trailer with satellite link and solar panels

Student tents along the river
The students spent the week in field trips with local residents. They learned about fisheries and Nez Perce history from Joe McCormack. Mike and I spent a day hiking and visiting with the students, sharing information on rangeland ecology and how our small family ranch works. At the end of the week they took a horseback ride to the Snake River with Mary and Nora Hawkins (Del Sol Adventures) and learned about outfitting and recreation in Wallowa County.
Studying plants up spring draw

 Field sketch

It was wonderful to have the company and conversation and to take time to think big-picture and reflect on the changes in our community. The students are collecting their observations and at the end of the month will create a Wallowa County Almanac. I hope we can get together again while they are in the County and I can't wait to read what they write and see their drawings in the Almanac.
Found a rattlesnake on the river hike

Mike answers questions above the cut-bank

Best way to end the day, music and campfire
    From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef