January 2003

Upper Kananaskis Lake - Click to Learn More

 

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The Western Naturalist
Ward Cameron Enterprises' Online Newsletter
January 2003 - (Volume 2 - Issue 1)
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In this issue:

Welcome
In the News
Nature Forecast
Wildlife Safari
Marketing Magic
Special Promotion

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Welcome
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Welcome to The Western Naturalist, Ward Cameron Enterprises'  online newsletter. This newsletter is brought to you by MountainNature.com, the Field Guide for the Next Millennium. It is intended to keep you up to date This newsletter is in addition to the Rocky Mountain Nature Forecast for which you are already subscribed. Each issue has a unique promotion that we encourage you to take advantage of. We welcome all feedback and suggestions. While the Nature Forecast will come to you monthly, this enlarged publication will be sent on a quarterly basis with occasional updates in between.

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In the News
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MountainNature.com Founder Heads to Washington, D.C.

On February 5, MountainNature.com founder and resident cybernaturalist, Ward Cameron, will board a flight to Washington, D.C. to present two sessions at the internationally recognized 2003 Educational Travel Conference. More than 400 delegates from around the world will gather in Washington to learn the latest trends and issues in the growing educational travel industry. Ward will be co-presenting a session on how to operate and manage non-profit websites as well as a session on ways to create sold out programs. Presenting with Ward on the non-profit website program will be the webmaster for the Smithsonian Institution. This shows that the magic being created with MountainNature.com is gaining momentum. There is something special going on here. Why not visit us again today?

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Nature Forecast
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Welcome to the United Nations International Year of Fresh Water. During the winter months, while the water is stored in frozen and snowy masses, the local wildlife population struggles to deal with the daily challenges of finding food, reducing energy loss and avoiding predators. This is a difficult time for mountain wildlife.

The Wonder of Water

The year 2003 has been designated as the Year of Fresh Water and Canada is taking a leading role in bringing the issues and challenges of freshwater ecosystems to the forefront. On January 22, we will celebrate the official launch of the Wonder of Water, a two year education and stewardship initiative that is attracting partners from across the country. With the current issues of changing climate and extended drought, the challenges of maintaining quality fresh water supplies and healthy ecosystems becomes more and more difficult.

The Wonder of Water will help to make Canadians aware of our fresh water resources. Surprisingly, most Canadians do no even know where the water in their tap originates, let alone where it goes once they are finished using it. Over the next two years, the Wonder of Water will help to make all Canadians aware of this fragile resource and our role in ensuring a lasting future for fresh and clean water in Canada. Check out the website at www.WonderofWater.ca.

Low Snowfall Means Hardships For Mice

When the snow covers the ground, we often forget about the smaller creatures that seem to vanish beneath the snowpack - that is until they sneak make their way into our nice warm dens and make themselves at home.  During the winter, mice don't disappear and they don't hibernate. They stay active beneath the winter snowpack. Small animals lose heat more readily than do large animals, and mice can't survive for long if exposed to the full force of winter. During most winters, snow forms a blanket of protective warmth. Beneath the snow, the winter stays a constant temperature that hovers just below the freezing mark.

Beneath that snowpack, mice and voles build tunnels and pathways that allow them to travel easily. When there is not sufficient snowpack to build these tunnels, there can be dramatic winter die-off of mice and vole populations. Martens and other weasels also use the natural hollows beneath the snowpack to stay warm.

The SCREW Factor

Winter is more than just snow. The local wildlife must deal with the five main challenges of winter: snow, cold, radiation, energy and wind. Together they are known as the SCREW factor. Every animal in the mountains must have some way of dealing with all five of these factors. Snow and cold limit the availability and access to winter food sources. Radiation relates to the amount of heat lost through radiation. Energy is simply how much food energy is taken in as compared to how much is expended. Finally, wind has the ability to draw a great deal of heat from the body and results in a higher level of energy drain.

Every single animal has either developed physiological or behavioural strategies for dealing with the challenges of winter. Moose, for instance have long legs that enable them to easily travel through deep snow. They can also lower their body temperature in winter, therefore reducing the amount of food they need to take in. Unfortunately for mule deer, they have neither of these physiological advantages. They must resort to behavioural changes. Since even a small amount of snow can make travel difficult for deer, they tend to yard up, to gather in groups and play follow the leader. Trailing behind one another helps to reduce the energy cost of moving from one area to another.

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Join Us On A Wildlife Safari
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Join an expert naturalist in an exploration of the secret world of wildlife. In addition to searching for wildlife, our presentation shows you trees that have been climbed by bears (leaving permanent scars), active nests of eagles and ospreys, and fields frequented by elk and wolves. Our portable museum combines field observation with fossils, artifacts, guide books, and telescopes to provide a truly unique learning experience.

The magic of this workshop is its compelling mix of possibility mixed with tangible experiences. Expert guides take you behind the scenes, highlghting current trends in research. Through the work of researchers and biologists, we are finding better ways to coexist with the local wildlife?

This is no ordinary tour! While we cannot guarantee you'll see wildlife, you WILL see more than just fabulous views. This tour can be customized to meet your needs. Why not combine a half-day wildlife safari with a guided nature hike? Ward Cameron Enterprises is dedicated to bringing the wildlife to you. Learn more at http://www.WardCameron.com/guiding

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Marketing Magic ― Get involved in the decisions that affect your industry
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Every industry has challenges and difficult issues that must be dealt with. One of the best things that any business person or employee can do to help shape their career, and to contribute to the growth in their chosen field, is to get involved with the decisions that affect your industry. How often have you complained about government rules or organizational waste? Why not use 2003 as your year to stop complaining and to begin taking action. Look around you. There are a myriad of ways that you can get involved in the decision making process. Join a professional association, attend a conference (even better, present at a conference), sit on a panel, write a letter, or even build a strategic alliance. The time is right, so just do it!

Why bother? Nobody else cares more about your particular area of expertise than you do. Nobody else will fight as hard as you will to protect your product or your message. Nobody else knows your subject as well as you do. So why aren't you the one making the decisions?

It can sometimes seem overwhelming at first. I'm just a small, one-person operation. Or maybe you're just a new employee at a very large company. You can still help to change things. Look around for ways that you can help. It doesn't have to be within your organization, but it could be within your community or your industry. Is there a local tourism panel you could participate in? Are there local events that need volunteer organizers? There IS ALWAYS a way to get involved.

Now here's the cool part. Once you get involved, you'll find that you meet new contacts in your community and your industry. You develop new skills and new political acumen. You find your ability to influence will grow in direct proportion to the amount that you contribute. I've learned this through experience. As a one-man operation, I have found that the more I get involved with helping others to achieve their goals, the more I am able to achieve my own. It's a simple formula - you reap what you sow - so get sowing!

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SPECIAL PROMOTION
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Discover New Ways To Take Your Message To A Much Wider Audience

Ward Cameron is the author of three books on western Canada and the cybernaturalist behind MountainNature.com. Let him show you new and innovative ways to take your interpretive message and bring it to a wider audience. By thinking big and getting creative, you can find new markets and outlets for your interpretive messages. Ward will give you ingenious ways to have your message explode through park boundaries (or museum walls) to visit your message on the world. After all, itís all about sharing the stories. Book your presentation today at http://www.WardCameron.com/speaking

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All material copyright Ward Cameron 2003