NRCC Newsletter March 2021

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NRCC Newsletter

March 2021
The Artist's Field Guide to Yellowstone, edited by NRCC's Artist-in-Residence Katie Shepherd Christiansen, hits bookshelves in April!

"Equal parts sensible field guide and elegant art book, The Artist's Field Guide to Yellowstone enriches the reader’s understanding and appreciation of this world-renowned place through imaginative, engaging, and informative depictions of the iconic Yellowstone ecosystem."

Coming soon: We’ll be holding a virtual event with Katie and contributors to the book this spring in conjunction with our Virtual 2021 Jackson Hole Wildlife Symposium. Stay tuned for more information!

Published by Trinity University Press.


NRCC Research Associate Dr. Taza Schaming received the 2020 Wildlife Acoustics Scientific Product Grant for her project titled "Combining acoustic monitoring and dynamic occupancy modeling to evaluate Clark’s nutcracker occupancy in whitebark pine habitats of Washington’s Cascades."

"Whitebark pine is declining, and evidence suggests this decline is leading to a downward trend in local nutcracker populations, which would in-turn decrease whitebark pine regeneration, because these trees depend on nutcrackers to disperse their wingless seeds. Our overall goal is to understand environmental drivers of Clark's nutcracker space use, by examining which habitat characteristics influence nutcracker occurrence. We envision this as a long-term citizen science project, which will be expanded to test additional hypotheses... and to [examine] other regions."

Dr. Schaming and her team plan to deploy a number of acoustic monitors during the latter half of 2021 and hope to expand the project's volunteer base by early 2022. If you'd like to participate in impactful citizen science, visit The Nutcracker Ecosystem Project.

Congratulations, Taza!

Photo credit: Taza Schaming


NRCC Research Associate Matt Barnes played a significant role in the passage of Proposition 114 this past November, which requires Colorado to reintroduce wolves to the state. As a leader in the Colorado Wolf Coalition, Matt undertook expeditions to examine potential wolf and grizzly migration routes from the Upper Green River in northwestern Wyoming and across the Red Desert to northwestern Colorado.

"Wolf restoration is also an ongoing conversation of clashing views of humans in a more than human world, wildness and domesticity, and shining a light on part of our collective shadow. I firmly believe that this is the essence of the restoration movement in the American West, and that a new  era of stewardship and coexistence requires not that we leave traditional land users behind but that we find ways to bring them along–e.g., by promoting eco-centric thought in the ranching world."

Keep up the great work, Matt!

Photo Credits: Matthew Barnes
Calling all NRCC Research Associates: Help solve a mystery!

Matt recently visited the two southernmost locations at which grizzlies have been sighted: Limestone Mountain at the southern end of the Wind River Range and just north of Viva Naughton Reservoir at the southern end of the Wyoming Range. He wasn't able to find any tracks or evidence that the grizzlies had indeed been there. If you have any information on the whereabouts of the bears, please reach out to

Photo Credit: Matt Barnes
In the spirit of
springtime, a few words to ponder by
Mountain Journal's Poet-in-Residence, Lois Red Elk-Reed.

Silent Life Letting Go
Lois Red Elk

Frozen creek beds shift,
fall apart
little by little
ice and snow
lives to become
trickling water
for the beginning
reach of hair like wood
living deep
under the trunk
of glowing tree buds.
Clouds off the river,
a steam, like breath
for sun releasing
mud into frogs.
Earth stretching
after winter sleep
for grizzlies
exhaling old breath..
of hibernation.
Sun warming air
for geese reaching
for flight and
wings leaving
Silent life letting go,
for the arc
of a new sun.

Photo Credit: Penny Hegyi/NRCC
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