Sacajawea Audubon Society features Ben Deeble and his program on Greater Sage Grouse, an iconic species of the West's sagebrush landscapes, at the Audubon meeting November 14th. Established by the National Wildlife Federation as a citizen science program, Adopt-a-Lek has been training volunteers to survey sage-grouse breeding leks and habitat across eleven western states. The program came to Montana in 2000. In 2012 Montana Audubon will assume administration of the program in this state. Volunteers gather data for use by scientists in determining the distribution of the Greater Sage Grouse, changes in sage-grouse populations, and the effectiveness of conservation efforts.
Ben Deeble, formerly the Sage Steppe Coordinator for the Northern Rockies & Prairies Regional Center of the National Wildlife Federation, was based at the NRPRC office in Missoula for over a decade. Now under contract with Montana Audubon, Ben is continuing the Adopt-a-Lek project. He has a Master of Science degree. His specialty is shrub-steppe birds and habitats. Previously, he worked for the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department, the Idaho Fish and Game Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Sacajawea Audubon Society meets the second Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m., at the Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf Street (off of South 19th), Bozeman. Audubon invites the public to attend its meetings and participate in its field trips.