Great Falls Chapter SCI Sponsors a Cooperative Wildlife Student Internship with The Judith-Musselshell Ranger District and University of Providence
David Kemp, Wildlife Biologist for the Judith-Musselshell Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest approached the Great Falls Chapter SCI about funding a Cooperative Wildlife Student Internship using a student studying Biology at the University of Providence. We voted to move ahead with this challenging internship opportunity for a local collegiate-level aspiring wildlife professional. In cooperation with the Judith-Musselshell Ranger District of the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, an upper-level wildlife ecology undergraduate student spent the summer acquiring hands-on practical experience in the fields of wildlife biology and wildlife habitat management across Central Montana. The primary focus of the internship was to initiate work on the Spring Coulee bighorn sheep habitat improvement project in the Little Belt Mountains near Dry Wolf Creek, with the goal of improving habitat on National Forest lands for bighorn sheep. The intern, Tucker Zuhoski, now a senior at UP, spent weeks surveying for bighorn sheep, learning their habitat, and preparing the project for implementation. Work to improve sheep habitat began on August 10, 2020 and will proceed through the Fall.
Additionally, Mr. Zuhoski surveyed for harlequin ducks in the wild Badger-Two Medicine area of the Rocky Mountain Front, maintained riparian habitat improvements for moose in the Little Belts, maintained wildlife water developments in the Little Belts, Big Snowies, and Little Snowy Mountains where public land surface water is scarce, participated in a state-wide bat population survey, monitored big game migration corridors on the Rocky Mountain Front (see photo), and sprayed weeds to maintain wild turkey and mule deer habitat in the Little Belts.
David Kemp stated the following about Tucker Zuhoski “He has been working hard, showing up on time, and has met all of my expectations.” Mr. Zuhoski hopes to use this summer experience as part of a graduate school application and resume to advance his wildlife education.
Jim Hinde is the lucky winner of the of the raffle. If you recall last year Jim was the winner of the Shockey Moose Hunt. He is one lucky guy!
Terry Ehrhardt and Rick Vukasin from the Great Falls Chapter BOD were on hand to give Jim the $1000 he chose over the Tikka T3 Rifle.
In a surprise move, Jim then handed Terry back $500 to go toward the Bighorn Sheep reintroduction. THANK YOU JIM!
The money from this raffle is going toward a project the Great Falls Chapter SCI is working on, in partnership with Montana FWP to raise money to reintroduce Bighorn Sheep from the Missouri Breaks to the Little Belt Mountains.
Terry and Patty Ehrhardt, and Scott Anderson from the Great Falls Chapter SCI Board Member presented a check to Jim Porter, for flags at the Highland Cemetery on July 23, 2020.
Great Falls Chapter SCI and Scheels partnered in a Safe/Gun Raffle at the Annual Great Falls SCI Banquet, March 14, 2020 and together raised $1,500 toward new flags.
Six years ago, the Raise the Flag for the Holidays Committee was formed with the sole purpose of installing new lighted flag poles so flags can be flown 24 hours a day over the veterans buried at Highland Cemetery. In 2019, Jim Porter, Life Member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans and Marine Corp League approached Scheel’s and the Great Falls Chapter SCI about funding two new flag poles. This year Jim asked if we would be willing to donate money to provide flags. They need new flags about every six months, depending on the weather.
Jim Porter wrote “The fighting never stopped when the sun went down, and the veterans that are buried at Highland Cemetery deserve to have the flag flying over them at all times. “
We would like to thank all active and retired individuals who have served in the armed forces for their years of service in this great country of the United States of America.
We would also like to thank Jim Porter for bringing this project to our attention and Scheels for partnering with us at the banquet.
30 students from both East and North Junior High Schools traveled in a yellow school bus to Holter Lake for an all-day fishing trip. The two-day Exploratory Activity started at East Middle School on June 4th where students engaged in the making of a variety of lures with the assistance of three teachers, Ryan Kakalecik , Jenn Volkmar, Pat Volkmar and volunteer time from North Forty and Fred from the fly shop. On Wednesday, June 5, the weather was perfect and the students headed to Holter Lake. Everyone had a great time and a total of 20 trout and one sucker were caught.
Pat and Jenn Volkmar started the Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs Club a couple of years ago to offer students exposure to fishing. Great Falls Chapter SCI has sponsored the program for the past 4 years. Jenn said “We are thankful for the financial assistance offered through the Great Falls Chapter SCI as well as the volunteer time that was donated by our experts.”
Opportunities like this allow for middle school students who have not had much outdoor experience to try out lure making and fishing for the first time.