ASC's most recent citizen science excursion took us far into the Elk Horn Mountain Range in the Helena National Forrest. We partnered with 12 veterans from the Fort Harrison VA to search for signs of the elusive lynx and contribute to an important body of research to understand the biodiversity present in the Helena National Forrest. We spend two days deep in the woods searching for the big cat's distinctive tracks, for tufts of fur caught on tree bark, and for the holy grail of tracking...a sighting of a lynx.
We spent Friday teaching the veterans how to identify evidence of lynx and where they are most likely to be found. On Saturday we put our training to the test and headed out to the Ontario Mine area to see what we could find. We came upon a lynx kill, which was pretty exciting and lets us know that they are in the area.
We discovered much more than we were looking for including moose tracks, what we believe is a mountain lion kill of a snow shoe hare, and possible wolf scat which would be stellar for the area. It was a successful weekend for all, including the veterans who now have a new skill and reason to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. We can't wait to get back out there to do some more investigating!