Couple honored for conservation work

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Bruce Tanehill, left, and Gael Bissell, far right, presented Mary Sloan and Gary Sloan with the Flathead Audubon’s Conservation Achievement Recognition Award.

The Flathead Audubon Society recently honored local conservationists Mary and Gary Sloan with a Conservation Achievement Recognition Award.

Throughout their teaching careers, they inspired countless Whitefish students by introducing them to the wonders of nature. Together they have enjoyed a long history of volunteer projects for Flathead Audubon, the Native Plant Society, Montana Loon Society, Montana Wilderness Association, Flathead Forestry Project and the U.S. Forest Service. They have led native plant walks, monitored loons, conducted multi-year fire success research and mentored new hunters.

In the early 1990s they volunteered with Flathead Audubon to map and inventory old grow forest stands on the Murphy Lake Ranger District. In addition, they have worked closely over the years with the Talley Lake Ranger District to monitor forests and wildlife. The Flathead National Forest presented them with the Danny On Award in the mid-1990’s.

Mary and Gary are the brains and brawn behind the native flower herbarium at the Whitefish Community Library where more than 100 Montana plants were pressed, described and displayed. The adventuresome explorers regularly add new specimens to the herbarium.

For more information, visit the Flathead Audubon website: www.flatheadaudubon.org

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