BITTERROOT BIRDING AND NATURE TRAIL What is the Bitterroot “Trail”? The Trail will be a network of about 25 great places to see birds and other wildlife- -from Lost Trail to Lolo Pass. Made possible by a matching grant from: With thanks to • Bitter Root Resource and Conservation Development Area--fiscal agent • Travel Montana--contributor of grant matching funds • Many in-kind partners like the Bitterroot and Lolo National Forests..the list is growing! Pilot Project of the Montana Birding and Nature Trail A multi-partner nature tourism project Bruce Lyon photo Montana Birding & Nature Trail Steering Committee • American Bird Conservancy • Bitter Root RC&D Area • Blackfoot Challenge • Bureau of Land Management • Bureau of Reclamation • Montana Arts Council • Montana Audubon • Montana Department of Commerce • Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks Continued…. Montana Birding & Nature Trail Steering Committee • Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation • Montana Department of Transportation • Montana Governor's Office • Montana Heritage Preservation & Development Commission • Montana Historical Society • Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission • Montana Outfitters and Guides • Montana Partners in Flight • Montana State University Extension • Montana Tourism Recreation Initiative • Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance • Continued… Montana Birding & Nature Trail Steering Committee • National Forest Foundation • National Park Service • Trail of the Great Bear • Travel Montana • Tourism Advisory Council • University of Montana - Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research • University of Montana – Avian Science Center - Division of Biological Sciences • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers • USDA Forest Service--Northern Region, Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests • US Fish and Wildlife Service Bitterroot Trail Proposed Theme -- Discover the Nature of Lewis & Clark Lewis’s Woodpecker • Named for Meriwether Lewis An unusual woodpecker that flycatches and migrates Clark’s Nutcracker • Named for William Clark The bird with a superior memory A Trail that blends Nature and Culture…. • Bitterroot history connected to its landscape and wildlife--known longest by the people before Lewis and Clark- Take a look: Bitterroot Natural Treasures Great Gray Owl Largest owl in North America Take a Look: Bitterroot Natural Treasures Red-naped Sapsucker --so that’s who drilled those holes in a line in the aspen.. Kristi Dubois photo Black-backed woodpecker • Bird of the burned forests Bitterroot Natural Treasures • American Bittern Elusive bird stalking in the wetlands Kristi Dubois photo Marsh Wren Sings 200 songs, can you? Kristi Dubois photo More than Birds… Painted Turtles A favorite of children and the young at heart Kristi Dubois photo Bighorn Sheep FWP file photo And More Charismatic Critters.. • Elk summer in the mountains and spend the winter within valley view. FWP file photo Who’s watching? Mountain lion FWP file photo Bitterroot Natural Treasures • Sunsets and Sunrises over the mountains • Dark skies at night Kristi Dubois photo Planning the Trail--What could a site look like? • A Hike to the Top of a Peak-- • Home to Golden Eagles, Rosy Finches, and Butterflies.. Or along the river corridor It’s Your Trail • Shaped by the people who know and care about the Bitterroot--You! We can build upon a successful model • Birding Trails are spreading across the country and proving their worth. Montana Wildlife Viewing Guide- -our starting point • Familiarity of binocular sign How Will We Mark This Trail? • Highway signs bearing the logo of the trail will direct visitors to sites. What are the tangible Products? • A full-color, fold- out brochure with maps and directions to the sites. On the Internet: http://biology.umt.edu/landbird/birdtrail/ Who Will Take Our Trail? • 511,000 non- residents & 341,000 residents actively participated in wildlife watching in Montana in 2001. Birdwatchers • Birdwatching grew Change in number of Americans who participate in birding by 232 % from 1983 100 (In millions) to 2001. 80 70.3 Number of People • In 2001 USFWS 60 54.1 40 survey, 70 million 20 21.2 people considered 0 1982-83 1994-95 2000-01 themselves bird- Years Source: NSRE 2001 watchers. Visitors to Montana… • Wildlife viewing is the number ONE reason people visit Montana • One of the top activities is visiting state & national parks What about Montanans? • Wildlife viewing is the third most popular outdoor recreation activity among Montana households--52 percent of the state’s population participates. Montanans Love Birds • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey in 2001 found that 44% of Montana residents watched birds. • On average, 22% of the nation, 46 million watched birds and they spent $32 billion in 2001 and supported more than 836,000 3rd grader jobs. What are the Benefits ? • Economic • Conservation • Education • Social Economic Benefits • Economic benefit of wildlife watching in Montana is about $207 million per year. Economic Benefits: What can we expect? Birders on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail spend an average of $78 per day in communities. Think of the potential for Bitterroot towns like Darby! Eat and Watch Wildlife • For example… • Broad Axe Restaurant Stay and Watch Wildlife • Watch bighorn sheep from your room! • Broad Axe Cabins, East Fork Bitterroot Conservation Benefits • People conserve what they know, understand and care for Conservation Benefits • 61% say their travel experience is better when the destination preserves natural, historic, and cultural sites and attractions. Mt Jumbo Open Space Education Benefits Sites will cultivate understanding of natural processes such as fire & flooding Social Benefits •Builds pride in the Place we call home. •Strengthens family and Community relationships Let’s Make It Happen… • Sustainable economies • Conserve nature • Build relationships Making it Happen --the right way! • Community involvement so we make the best decisions about sites and locations 2004 Trail Calendar • March: Community Meetings • March-April: Nominate sites • May: Review nominations • June-August: Evaluate sites in field • September: Draft Trail for review • October-November: Design and layout brochure and website Next step? • We need YOUR ideas and participation Nominate a Site • Birding And Nature • Sites from Lolo to Lost Trail Pass • Public and private lands--with permission Become a Trail Sponsor • Please consider supporting the Trail with a tax-deductible donation-- matched 1:1 by the National Forest Foundation For More Information • Visit the Montana Birding & Nature Trail Website: http://biology.umt.edu/landbird/birdtrail • Contact the coordinator: Deborah Richie Oberbillig 721-6609 email@example.com Thanks for Coming!
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