As we tip our solar panels down to their winter setting and start to think about winterizing the cabins, we stop to reflect on all the activity at Taylor this summer!
Like 2010, we experienced another wet and cool summer, resulting in the best berry season in memory. No bears were spotted on the property this summer, but deer and grouse remained abundant, sheep and elk were occasionally spotted in higher elevations and hummingbirds remained in residence at Taylor much longer than we expected.
Our research undergraduates, Andy Osler, Brian Howard, Crista O’Connor, Shaylee Martling
and Mikaela Campbell
, continued work on the studies they began late last spring. We also added a sixth to their number: Tess Gardner (Idaho State University, "How is primary productivity affected by disturbance in wilderness streams of central Idaho?". Our summer students departed in mid-August, but we've had many visitors since then. The McCall Outdoor Science School brought its annual group of graduate instructors-in-training to Taylor in late August while contractors made repairs to our stream antennas, and members of the National Marine Fisheries Service ) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration arrived for their annual salmonid electroshocking visit shortly afterwards. Colden Baxter, Idaho State University associate professor of ecology, brought his stream ecology class to Taylor for a research visit in late July, and Brian Kennedy
, University of Idaho fish ecologist, visited with the University of Idaho fish ecology 314 class in late September. We were also thrilled to host Taylor benefactors Jim and Janet DeVlieg Pope, Kim and Diane Brumble and Jim Morris. In all, it was an extraordinarily busy summer!
Our new short course program also continued throughout the season. Summer classes included:
- "Shrub-Steppe, Fire, and Bighorn Habitat Ecology" (Jim Peek, wildlife emeritus professor, University of Idaho, June 27-July 1)
- "Prehistory and History of the Wilderness Area" (Larry Kingsbury and Gayle Dixon, Payette National Forest, July 5-6), "Wilderness Ethics" (Ed Krumpe, conservation social sciences professor, University of Idaho, July 8-9)
- "Conservation Genetics" (Lisette Waits, wildlife professor, University of Idaho, July 11-12)
- "Building Cultural Bridges: Indigenous and Scientific Ways of Knowing" (Ed Galindo, director of the Natural Resources Tribal Cooperative at the University of Idaho Aquaculture Research Institute, and Cleve Davis, Sho-Ban Native American, University of Idaho, July 17)
- "Techniques for Observing, Quantifying and Handling the Wild Fish and Stream Habitats of Big Creek” (Brian Kennedy, University of Idaho, July 18-20).
- David Tank, forest ecology and biogeosciences assistant professor and director of the Stillinger Herbarium, University of Idaho, also returned for high-elevation plant sampling, and Pam Brunsfeld, manager, University of Idaho Stillinger Herbarium, visited twice this summer to sample plants and assist our students in their botanical surveys.
Our thanks to all the instructors who generously volunteered their knowledge and time to visit us.
We also did quite a bit of facility work and improvement over the season. The University of Idaho Logger Sports Club reprised last year’s trip, visiting Taylor September 2-5 to assist us in skidding logs and splitting our winter firewood. Some of our other projects included replacing flooring, moving a water pipe, repairing two bridges, replacing old appliances, adding new interpretive displays and planning improvements in user-accessibility to our electric system. We are also hoping to install live webcams in the upcoming months. Assistant manager Amber Lankford departed Taylor on August 24 to begin her graduate research at the University of Idaho. Although we were sad to see her go, we were glad to welcome back 2010 assistant manager Landon Moore, who will be volunteering at Taylor through the winter.
All told, it was another successful (and exhausting) summer at Taylor. Although visiting activity has begun to slow, we still have plenty to keep us busy through the winter and beyond!
Amie-June Brumble and Tyler Morrison
Taylor Wilderness Research Station Managers
October 6, 2011