Since 1970, the North Cascades Audubon Society has represented the interests and importance of wildlife, habitat and the environment in Whatcom County. Through scientific research, environmental education, stewardship and advocacy, NCAS provides a variety of services and opportunities for members and the public to engage with the natural world. To join NCAS please see our Membership page.
- NCAS supports local scientific research in order to add to the body of information about local wildlife and the environment.
- Since 1980, the NCAS Scholarship Program has provided grants for over 30 college students who have completed work on 31 different research projects in the fields of natural history and ecology. In partnership with the Western Washington University Biology and Environmental Science departments, student projects have included species-specific research, assessing impacts to local wildlife populations and habitat from human activities, water resources, and mapping projects. See recent recipients and more information on our Scholarship page.
- NCAS served as Whatcom County Coordinator for a 5 year, state-wide study of seabird mortality. NCAS implemented protocol for the study locally, including training of volunteers, establishment of survey sectors, scheduling and overseeing surveys and reporting of data.
- NCAS plays an active role in field monitoring the health of local wildlife populations and natural system.
Environmental education is associated with virtually every aspect of chapter activities. A principle focus of the chapter is to provide opportunities for members and the public to better understand and appreciate wildlife and natural systems.
- NCAS Feature Programs. Each month, chapter membership meetings feature a public program or lecture, often slide-illustrated. Presentations focus on natural history topics and environmental issues, particularly those which have a bearing locally ( e.g. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Birds and Birdwatching in NW Washington, Lake Whatcom Watershed Protection, Nest Box Building Seminar).
- Field Trips. NCAS conducts 25-30 field trips annually for birdwatching and nature appreciation. All trips are led by knowledgeable guides and are free and open to the public. Birdwatching trips are tailored for every age and level of experience. Many outings take place at some of the region’s premier natural areas.
The Avalanche, published 8 times per year, is the newsletter of the local chapter. Each issue contains articles and information about natural history and environmental topics, often locally oriented. The Avalanche features a wildlife sightings column, a calendar of upcoming natural history and environmental events and information of how members and citizens can become involved in conservation or advocacy efforts.
Conservation and Stewardship
NCAS is involved in numerous activities and projects which promote natural resource conservation and environmental stewardship.
- Deming Homestead Eagle Park
NCAS volunteers have helped maintain and monitor Whatcom County’s official Bald Eagle viewing park.
- City of Blaine, Marine Park
NCAS contributed signs designating critical avian habitat for waterfowl, shorebird and seabirds at Marine Park.
- Conservation Committee
NCAS maintains an active conservation committee with sub committees addressing wildlife and forestry issues.
- NCAS volunteers conduct bird surveys in the Cherry Point area as an ongoing measure of bird populations using the MESA protocol.
NCAS maintains a strong voice on matters concerning wildlife and the environment. NCAS has been an effective advocate – locally and nationally – for increasing protection for our diminishing wildlife and deteriorating environment.
Participation in Public Involvement Opportunities
- NCAS actively reviews and comments on activities related to wildlife and the environment. Through conservation committee action, membership participation and board resolution NCAS maintains a strong voice for these interests in local, state, regional and national decision making processes.
- NCAS has been a strong advocate for local and state shoreline protection, including the Cherry Point marine ecosystem in Whatcom County. NCAS has played a significant role in the development and implementation of state Growth Management laws in Whatcom County.