Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project

Conservation NorthwestWilderness Awareness School and Conservation Northwest are partners in the Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project, which is an ongoing study of wildlife in the mountains east of Snoqualmie Pass. The project has been running successfully since 2006.

animal trackIn this environmental stewardship project, teams of volunteers carry out snow tracking surveys throughout the Winter to search for and document the presence of wildlife in key areas along Interstate 90, including rare and sensitive forest carnivores such Marten, Lynx, and Wolverines. Along with snow tracking surveys, motion sensing cameras are also being maintained by volunteers to capture photos of wildlife in the area.

Information gained from these surveys may be invaluable in helping protect wildlands from imminent development and direct the future construction of wildlife crossings of the interstate.

one of our volunteer wildlife tracking teams - photo by Dave MoskowitzGearing up for winter citizen monitoring
In the Fall, we prepare for our next season of winter field work at Snoqualmie Pass.  Because we anticipate no significant changes to our field protocol or locations this winter, if you have participated in the project for 2 seasons or more attending a training this fall is not required. If this is your first or second season with the project, participation in a preseason training is required to ensure quality, consistency, and safety on the project. Volunteers are asked to commit to 3-4 days of field work over the course of the winter, early January to mid-March. Specific dates vary and are flexible depending on the team your sign up for at the training (or are assigned to if you do not attend a training this year).

VOLUNTEER TRAINING DATES 2013:
New & Returning Volunteer Training: TBA

Sign Up: To sign up for this winters field season please email Alison Huyett at alison [at] conservationnw [dot] org and indicate which training date you would like to attend.

We also encourage you to check out our on-going tracking courses, which provide valuable skills training and experience for potential volunteers and team leaders, in the company of other local naturalists and trackers.

Our most comprehensive an in-depth tracking training is provided by the Wildlife Tracking Intensive, which meets during 10 weekends from Sept. to June in some of the most exciting and diverse wildlife tracking locations in the Northwest.

one of our volunteer wildlife tracking teamsOther current Wilderness Awareness School tracking courses include the monthly Tracking Club. Visit our Wildlife Tracking Courses Page for links to additional course information, or call our office: 425.788.1301.

Winter 2010-2011 Field Report 
(Note: The complete report is available as a PDF download here).

Abstract: The winter program of the Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project (CWMP) uses trained volunteers to record the presence and movement of wildlife, through snow tracking surveys and remote camera instillations, in the vicinity of proposed wildlife crossing structures along Interstate-90 in the Washington Cascades between Snoqualmie Pass and Easton.

The third field season of the project continued to meet the project’s several goals including training volunteers in wildlife tracking and road ecology, and adding a third season of data on wildlife along Interstate 90. Data collected from this year mirrors findings from the previous season fairly closely. The transition to handheld computers for data collection was completed successfully. An increase in trailing activity was implemented with success.

Recommendations for next season include: Conservation Northwest take over management of volunteers from Wilderness Awareness School for the 2012-2013 season with strong training still provided by Wilderness Awareness School, and supplementary component be added to educate the recreational public to recognize and document wolverine track and sign in the back country.Download the full report in PDF format

Access all project reports here.