This year the Audubon Wenas campout will have a new look when you arrive. The road coming into Wenas is better than it has been in many years. Last fall DNR made significant road improvements both getting to and through the campground. They are planning a timber harvest this fall on upper Hog Ranch Road. As a result, they have raised the roadbed (Hog Ranch Road) throughout the entire camping area. If you have camped anywhere on the right side of the road, you will no longer be able to access that area. There is a ditch of considerable size that prevents any driving to the right of the main road. However, there is still ample access along the left side of the road and should accommodate your vehicles getting off the road to where you want to camp. You are able to camp anywhere to the left of the main road. This is still a dispersed campground and you can camp anywhere left of the road. Remember to make sure your vehicle is parked out of the way of other campers looking to camp along the internal dirt roads. Because of the changes to the road, our evening campfire program will move to the left side of the road as will the flower board, sign-up sheets, and field trip information. Follow the campout signs and once you arrive, you can look to any of the camps sporting pink flamingos for assistance or questions.
We are excited that the campout will continue for its 56th year! While some things may have changed for our campout, we still have a great outing planned. We will still have a great range of field trips for the three days, including the Marcha de la Muerte, also known as the “Death March” and a driving trip up into the higher elevations (Manastash Ridge), both of which have not occurred for several years. We will continue to have a multitude of birding trips, plus Field Sketching, and the youth ice-cream social. We are looking forward to the Flower Board, Hardy Canyon and the flower field trips returning this year after a one-year hiatus. Look for the Wenas Little Free Library and help yourself to a variety of books and magazines about birds and nature. Feel free to bring books to donate to the library as well. We have two excellent speakers lined up for the Saturday and Sunday evenings programs. Jeff Kozma, Timber, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Yakama Nation Fisheries, will speak on Saturday evening. He’ll tell us about the life history (nesting habitat, nesting success, foraging, etc.) of the White-headed Woodpecker, Wenas’ signature species, and how to report seeing any of the more than 100 WHWOs banded in the Wenas area since 2011. On Sunday we will have, Kaeli Swift, Corvid Expert, as a speaker. Kaeli will discuss some general aspects of crows that contribute to our affinity (and sometimes hatred) of them, with an emphasis on crow habits, including play, tool use, communal roosting and funerals. Kaeli, a graduate of Willamette University, and a PhD from University of Washington, is currently studying the foraging and food storage behaviors of Canada Jays in Denali National Park.
There will be some challenges this year, but we are flexible and we will adapt. The organizing committee very excited for the exciting, full schedule we have planned for this year. We hope to see you there on Memorial Day weekend.
Your Wenas Audubon Campout Committee