‘For the Birds’ Bighorn Audubon purchases property in the Powder Horn
October 2020; Sheridan Wyoming is a wonderful place to live not only for people but also for our feathered friends. Our wetlands, rivers and grasslands provide a place for birds and other wildlife to thrive year-round. One very special place, The Powder Horn, which is surrounded by Little Goose Creek, is a mecca for birds. Wetlands blanket the property, providing not only a layer of beauty for people to enjoy but also is critical to the survival for many of the birds in the region. In fact, wetlands like these provide vital habitat for up to 70% of Wyoming’s birds. Wetlands come alive in spring and fall and provide food and shelter for many of our travel weary birds during migration as well as a place to raise their young during the summer months (breeding and nesting).
That is why Bighorn Audubon is excited to announce that we are a proud new landowner of a piece of these very special and important wetlands within the Powder Horn. Jackie Canterbury, President of Bighorn Audubon said: “This purchase in the Powder Horn is so exciting, and it certainly is a dream come true. We have always wanted to own a piece of land that would help conserve birds, and provide us with a sense of giving back to our community.”
The journey began when Bighorn Audubon was asked about interest in a small but biologically significant piece of wetland within the Powder Horn. As the conversations progressed, it was clear that the conservation of the wetland aligned with the conservation vision of Audubon, especially when we heard the call of a Wilson’s Snipe that breeds there.
So, what will Audubon do with the property? “Our goal is to develop a plan in coordination with the Powder Horn to landscape with native plant species; thus improving already critical habitat. Birds have co-evolved with native plants and need them; over 90% of terrestrial birds in North America rely on insects for their young. Many of the plants we plant in our yards are non-native, and do not supply the necessary resources for birds, which shows the importance of native landscaping as a key tool in maintaining our bird populations” said Jenny Williams, Conservation Chair for Bighorn Audubon.
Bighorn Audubon was able to purchase a wetland in the Powder Horn because of a generous donation as well as the kindness and generosity of many other people throughout the process. “When we made the purchase offer, we were told that the owners, Don and Mary Miech, were Audubon members who fell in love with the wetland and its’ birds. Don grew up in Sheridan and has many fond memories of the area. Marie Lowe with Century 21 BHJ Realty donated generously to Audubon from the proceeds of the sale, and Steve Johnson, President of the Powder Horn Homeowner’s Association, provided guidance and support during this process. Given everyone’s love for the area and spirit for conservation, it all came together so that Bighorn Audubon can provide a wetland-haven for our birds” says Canterbury.