Winter Meet Weekend of Jan 24
Rooms range from about $64-110 a night depending on the original cost of the room; we get a 20% discount from the rack rate. The Inn does not take American Express. If you have more than four people in your party, seriously consider renting one of the few “cottages”, which includes a separate bedroom and full kitchen.
Mr. John Szabo will be our Saturday night speaker, continuing our current meet speaker theme of Merlins: Are They Awesome or What?!*
(*emphasis added, not the actual title of his presentation.)
Unfortunately, due to past irresponsibility, there is a dog fee of $10 per dog per night. To avoid the pet fee, keep your dogs outside at all times. Please request a pet-friendly room, as they do keep some rooms completely pet-free for allergy reasons.
There is no bird fee, but since many of the rooms have new carpet, we are reminded to please put down tarps and generally be extra-mindful of slices/mutes.
All cancellations will incur a $20 fee. After January 19th, you will still be charged for either part of your room costs (typically one night) or all, at the Inn’s sole discretion. After the 22nd, all room charges will be payable in full. There are no exceptions due to weather / pass closures.
Dinner on Saturday
7pm in the back room of Time Out Pizza in Ephrata.
WFA will be buying 4-5 large pizzas and several pitchers of soda. Please RSVP to your director with number of people and pizza preference to make sure your favorite is one of the ones WFA pays for!
If you don’t want pizza, they also have a full salad bar, pasta options, and particularly good Italian sodas available for purchase.
Friday night’s informal meetup is at Don’s restaurant (4.5 star rating on Yelp) just down the street from the inn. Good food, limited bar service, not rowdy.
Per feedback received from members, we are also considering having vendor tables available; if you are interested, please contact the VP.
Official Information on the Recent Cases of Avian Flu in WA
There’s been a lot of discussion about a recent case of Avian Influenza that was reported in waterfowl at Wiser Lake in Whatcom County, which is very near the Canadian border. While the avian influenza virus (aka ”bird flu”) has recently been problematic with the poultry industry in British Columbia, the strains identified in Whatcom County are not the same as the one identified in BC (HPAI H5N2). More research is underway.
Unfortunately, the way these cases came to light was tragic. Many of you may know Dan Pike, who also lives very near the border. One of Dan’s falcons caught a duck and then he fed that duck to a few of his other birds. All four of his falcons that ate the duck died within a few days and were sent off to be tested for cause of death. The first two falcons that died came back positive for a highly pathogenic strain of the virus (HPAI H5N8); the results on the other two falcons are still pending. His other raptors, which have not shown signs of influenza, have been confined to his property and are being closely monitored. It is unknown whether this strain of influenza can also infect humans; because of this Dan and his wife are also being monitored.
On behalf of myself, his friends, and his falconer brothers and sisters: our hearts go out to Dan and his wife for the loss of their birds. You are in our thoughts and we are there for you. - Brad Felger
Effective immediately, those of us that live in the northwest corner of Washington State should NOT feed ducks caught this season to our raptors until more is known. Freezing the ducks does NOT kill this particular virus.
- There is a Town Meeting being held in Lynden this Thursday to discuss avian influenza and what backyard poultry breeders, etc. can do to protect their birds. (http://agr.wa.gov/News/2014/14-25.aspx)
- The USDA has released a bulletin containing all information known so far. It is highly recommended that you read it. (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/2014/SA_WA_avian_influenza.pdf)
- The USGS has also released a document. (http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/wildlife_health_bulletins/WHB_2014-05_H5N8.pdf)
- There’s more information on the WDFW site. (http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/avian_flu/index.html)
Passwords and More Member Info Coming Soon
We are in the process of rebuilding our online Community as the last few steps in recovering from the destruction of this site by hackers over a year ago.
Members will receive an email containing a username and one-time-use password. Once logged in, members will be able to access their membership information and profile, including being able to change email addresses and perform other maintenance, such as renewing online. You will also have access to updated and enhanced information such as trapping and hunting how-tos in Washington and five other states: when to apply or go, who to call, how to apply, what paperwork to fill out, what procedures to follow, and how much it will cost. You will be able to pre-pay for banquet tickets and other upcoming events for your convenience, view candidate bios, access past issues of the Mewsletter, and much more.
Thank you for your patience with this lengthy rebuilding process. We lost over ten years of accumulated features and work when we were forced offline, but we are finally nearly where we were -- and with updated safeguards and consistent monitoring and backup to ensure it doesn't happen again.
During the rest of 2014 you will see a flurry of housekeeping happening; we are establishing routine maintenance procedures to handle repetitive issues such as membership renewal, new member onboarding (which has been painfully awkward at times until now!), member profile updates, recordkeeping, and a whole lot of other due diligence so that our 100% volunteer Board and Directors no longer have to spend valuable and limited time hassling with simple, routine, recurring maintenance tasks which are annoying but oh-so-critical to keeping our machine functioning. If you don't keep it oiled, it'll break down - so watch this space for updates on new features and functions for Members Only.