Monitoring season brings appreciation for small things

Sep 07, 2013
Here at the Land Trust we love monitoring season. It's a time we return to our lands each year to check in, be present, and notice the little things.

Here at the Land Trust we love monitoring season. It's a time when we visit our protected lands to really pay attention to the details.

Monitoring entails visiting the property, taking photos at established locations (photo points), and ensuring that the conservation values of the property are upheld. We monitor Land Trust owned Preserves every other year, and non Land Trust owned lands yearly.

Often we see changes dramatic changes, like the newly green, post-restoration, Camp Polk Meadow. Or, in some cases, we note things that have remained blissfully consistent--like the song of a male western tanager heard at the same spot for the last eight years at the Metolius Preserve.

Amanda Egertson, stewardship director, reflects on her experiences while monitoring:

"Monitoring is a great excuse to get out and wander around the woods, streams, and meadows and be present. It's not just about checking the health of our preserves - it's also a great opportunity to pay attention to the condition of the plants and to keep my ears open to bird calls. There's a canyon wren that's always calling out from across Whychus Canyon Preserve and a grouse that always drums when I walk through a wooded thicket near Lake Creek. I pay attention to the little things that are the heart of why we do what we do. They're things we don't usually take the time to notice on our many other trips to the field when we're working on a specific project or meeting with someone. Because of this, I relish my monitoring days all the more."