Don Arney (www.sei-ind.com), our helicopter pilot and volunteer extraordinaire, expertly touches down in an alpine bog. With the rotors whirring above our heads, we begin unloading our supplies in preparation for setting up a hair snagging station. When the rotors slow and come to a stop, we pause for a moment in awe of our surroundings. All around us, giant cliffs rise upwards through wisps of fog and water cascades downwards on its journey from sky to the sea. Our noses are filled with the smells of recently melted snow and newly growing vegetation. The melodic sound of the Hermit Thrush echoes across the rocky bowl announcing a new season. This rugged and raw habitat is prime late-spring Grizzly habitat. As the snowpack recedes, Grizzlies move to higher elevations in search of nutritious shoots of plants that emerge in bogs and avalanche shoots. We set up our hair snag station in the finest dining spot around where skunk cabbage shoots are springing up like bright green light bulbs. When our work is done, Don whisks us out of this magic place and on to another site. As we rise into the air, we wonder about the visitors we may have at our skunk cabbage restaurant. Will we find evidence of these powerful creatures from hair on our barbed wire fence? We look forward to finding out in a few days’ time when we return to check the site for hair samples.
Meanwhile…crew 2 was in a watershed down at sea level, access by our trusty speedboats. I explained in an earlier post how we were treated by a momma grizz and 3 cubs. Pls see the image below…
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