“It’s hard work, and you do scrape poop,” admits Linda Tossing, chuckling, “but I learn something new every time I go out.” As a volunteer at the World Bird Sanctuary for more than 11 years, Linda has been involved in field studies, animal management and program presentations. She especially enjoys taking raptors to community events and schools and supervising bird banding operations. She has helped expand the organization’s banding program from only one net at one location to six locations with 10 nets each and says she’s always thrilled and surprised that, “So many volunteers are willing to be up and at the sanctuary by quarter after 4 in the morning!”
Linda says that she gives her time because, “The sanctuary is really dedicated to its mission, and it does a great job getting the public involved with birds and conservation. You can do as much as you want to do, and you have great support from the staff — they’re very appreciative of volunteers. If you have a passion for birds and conservation, the sanctuary can really take you far.”
Parrots, pot bellied pigs, goats, rats on leashes—Tamie Yegge, Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center manager, has met all sorts of fun and unusual pets at her facility. Unfortunately, she’s had to turn them all away. Pets are not allowed at Powder Valley.
“It’s not that the Department is against pets,” says Yegge, who has a dog, a guinea pig, and a rat of her own, “it’s just that they can disrupt the flow of wildlife, and the primary mission of certain Conservation facilities is nature study.” Pets can harass or harm wildlife and destroy habitat. She adds that not everyone is comfortable sharing trails with pets, and noise and droppings can also be problems.
The Wildlife Code does allow for pets and hunting dogs at some conservation areas, but not at nature centers. To learn more about rules and regulations pertaining to conservation areas, consult the Wildlife Code and contact area managers directly.
“The laws are written for very specific reasons,” stresses Yegge. “Many of us have pets, too, and they’re wonderful. Unfortunately, they don’t always mix with wildlife, and they can be disruptive to some of our visitors’ nature experience.“
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler