Tag: Klamath Bird Observatory

Recently published paper describes meaningful ecological units (i.e., Management Domains) for collaborative conservation in the Klamath Region

NAJ***SCIENCE BRIEF AND NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***

August 14, 2015 – For Immediate Release

Contact: John Alexander, jda[AT]klamathbird.org, 541-890-7067

Patterns of plant, amphibian, mammal, and bird distribution have been used to identify ecological boundaries in the Klamath Region of southern Oregon and northern California, one of the most biophysically complex areas in North America. These patterns are described in a paper, recently published in the Natural Areas Journal, written by collaborators from the National Park Service, US Geological Survey, Klamath Bird Observatory, and other organizations. “This paper represents our first collaborative effort to link biogeography with protected areas management in the Klamath Region,” says the papers lead author, Daniel Sarr (formerly with the National Park Service and now working with the US Geological Survey). John Alexander, Klamath Bird Observatory’s Executive Director and a co-author on the paper added, “In the Klamath Region, natural resource managers are challenged with managing the complex array of environments that characterize the area. In this paper, we describe patterns that help delineate meaningful ecological units, or Management Domains, that are intended to advance collaborative natural resource management in the Region.”

The distributions of species described in the paper illustrate conceptual and spatial domains for natural areas management that provide an eco-regional framework for collaborative conservation. The paper describes a Maritime Management Domain in the western portion of the Region that is similar to other coastal areas. To the east, a Great Basin Domain that is similar to other Great Basin environments is also described. While conservation management approaches that have been tested in other areas of the west coast and Great Basin may be effectively applied in these two Domains, a third Eastern Klamath Management Domain, at the core of the Klamath Region, is more unique and presents novel management challenges. This third Domain has higher species richness and endemism than other environments in the western United States that are climatically similar, such as the southwest. Because the area is so unique, management approaches that have been successful in other areas may not be as easily applied in the Eastern Klamath Management Domain. Lead author Daniel Sarr explains further, “Because of its exceptional spatial complexity, it has not always been clear how management concepts and approaches developed in other areas of the West can best be used in the Klamath Region.”

 

However, the species that characterize the Eastern Klamath Domain may be the key to the conservation and management of natural areas in the Klamath Region. The Klamath Region will likely serve as an important refugia for a number of at-risk species that may become more threatened by climate change. Therefore management intended to help the Region’s unique array of native species persist into an uncertain future is becoming a priority. This paper presents an improved understanding of how such species are distributed across the region which, in combination with knowledge about the species’ habitat needs, can help inform design of the novel management approaches that may be needed in the Klamath Region.

Dr. Sarr concluded the following about these research results, “This new paper represents ongoing efforts to identify spatially explicit management domains and serves as a step forward. The work will undoubtedly be refined through ongoing observational science efforts being conducted by the Klamath Bird Observatory, National Park Service, and other regional partners.”

To access a copy of this new publication, Comparing Ecoregional Classifications for Natural Areas Management in the Klamath Region, USA in the Natural Areas Journal contact John Alexander (jda[AT]klamathbird.org, 541-890-7067) or click here.  Click here to view a PDF of this Science Brief and News Release.

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About Klamath Bird Observatory

Klamath Bird Observatory, based in Ashland, Oregon, advances bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships. Klamath Bird Observatory is fueled by partner-driven science programs. We use birds as indicators of the healthy and resilient ecosystems on which we all depend. Our science involves three integrated aspects: 1) long-term monitoring, 2) theoretical research, and 3) applied ecology. We bring our results to bear through science delivery involving partnership driven engagement in conservation planning, informing the critical decisions being made today that will have lasting influences on the health of our natural resources well into the future.

Klamath Bird Observatory’s award-winning model was developed in the ruggedly beautiful and wildlife-rich Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion. We now apply this model more broadly throughout the Pacific Northwest. Plus, our intensive professional education and international capacity building programs expand our influence into Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

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KBO Director interviewed for Rufous Hummingbird article featured in the Taos News

Rufus Hummingbird (c) Jim Livaudais 2002

Excepts from an interview with KBO Executive Director John Alexander were quoted in an article written by Meg Scherch Peterson and published in the Taos News. The article brings attention to the conservation challenges facing this miraculous migratory hummingbird.

Alexander describes the Rufous Hummingbird as “an indicator of habitat features that are important for the hardwood understory of the forest.” He talks about the species’ population declines and its preferred breeding habitat that is often associated with wildfire.  In the article Alexander relates KBO science to post-wildfire management – “The science suggests we allow the forest to evolve naturally through successional stages. In the past, we’ve often bypassed these stages.”  Alexander expresses concerns about best available science not being used to inform management.

Click here to read this Taos News article about Rufous Hummingbirds.

Study results represent the first published documentation of El Niño’s influence on the survival of a resident tropical landbird and suggest that mature, un-fragmented forests may offer refuge in a changing climate

Oecologia July 2015

*** SCIENCE BRIEF AND NEWS RELEASE ***

*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***

June 23, 2015

Contact: Jared Wolfe, jdw[AT]klamathbird.org, 262-443-6866

Habitat alteration due to forest clearing and climate change threaten wildlife populations across the globe. To better understand the interacting effects of habitat degradation and climate on bird populations, researchers from the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW), Klamath Bird Observatory, and Costa Rica Bird Observatories spent 12 years studying the White-collared Manakin, a fruit-eating tropical bird, in mature and young forests along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. During the study, several El Niño and La Niña events—cycles of warm and cold ocean temperatures that influence air temperature and precipitation—resulted in very marked dry and wet annual conditions that allowed researchers to measure differences in manakin survival relative to climatic shifts. Results were recently published as the cover article in the journal Oecologia July 2015 edition.

In young tropical forests, researchers found dramatic decreases in manakins’ survival during dry weather associated with El Niño. Researchers believe that, due to a sparser canopy and their fragmented nature, the young forests were more susceptible to understory drying that reduced fruit production. Conversely, manakins’ survival rates were higher during wet years associated with La Niña events in these young forests where increased moisture and sun exposure likely led to an abundance of fruit resources. In mature forests, researchers observed very stable manakin survival rates regardless of climatic shifts, suggesting a relatively constant abundance of fruit resources.

“The complex structure of mature forest is thought to serve as a climatic refuge, buffering fruiting plants from climatic changes resulting in stable manakin survival,” says Jared Wolfe, a postdoctoral researcher with PSW and Klamath Bird Observatory and the study’s lead author. “Climatic refuges, such as mature tropical forests, may be important for many resident tropical bird species faced with the decreasing availability of mature forests coupled with increases in the severity of El Niño-associated dryness.”

These study results represent the first published documentation of El Niño’s influence on the survival of a resident tropical landbird. Researchers believe that variation in manakin survival between forest types provides insight into the sensitivity of certain species to habitat alteration. “From a management perspective, understanding how climatic events affect biodiversity is critical for the development of science-based conservation strategies,” says Pablo Elizondo, the Costa Rica Bird Observatories’ executive director and co-author of the study.

This publication represents an ongoing collaboration between Klamath Bird Observatory, the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station and International Programs, and the Costa Rica Bird Observatories.

To view the Oecologia paper click here.

Click here to view a pdf of this science brief and news release.

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SCIENCE BRIEF – High ranking priority conservation areas concentrated in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion

Areas where the density-based Zonation analysis produced high rankings were concentrated in the southwest of the study area in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion.

A new paper published in the journal Conservation Biology presents results from a novel conservation planning approach.  This approach uses detailed data that predict the density of bird species across landscapes, as opposed to probability of occurrence models more typically used in conservation planning.  These density-based models are better suited for identifying the highest priority conservation areas.  The models were used to identify priority conservation areas in the Pacific Northwest.  The results show a concentration of high ranking conservation areas in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion.  The Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion is recognized as an area of great biological diversity and as an important area for avian diversity.  This new paper further demonstrates that the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion stands out as an important area for conservation focus.

This newly released Conservation Biology paper, titled Improving Effectiveness of Systematic Conservation Planning with Density Data represents collaboration among scientists from Klamath Bird Observatory, American Bird Conservancy, and Point Blue Conservation Science and was made possible with funding from the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative and data contributed from many Avian Knowledge Network partners.

Collaborative Partnerships and Data Sharing Result in Novel Approach for Better Conservation Planning

*** SCIENCE BRIEF AND NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***

June 17, 2015

Contact: John Alexander, jda [AT] klamathbird.org, 541-201-0866 x1#

A recent study published in the journal Conservation Biology makes a strong case for a new approach to conservation planning that uses much more robust data sets in order to better protect birds, plants, and animals. The concept is fairly simple, but won’t work unless scientists can agree to share data across studies.

“Right now, we primarily only use presence and absence data for species when conservation planning for large landscapes. Much of this is due to the cost and time of collecting more comprehensive data,” said the study’s lead author, Sam Veloz, climate adaptation group leader at Point Blue Conservation Science. “We can do a much better job of conservation planning if we include data on individual species richness, not just whether they are present.”

To illustrate this point, a research collaboration including authors from Point Blue, American Bird Conservancy, and Klamath Bird Observatory encouraged partners to make their detailed bird observation data accessible through the Avian Knowledge Network.  Members of the Oregon/Washington Partners in Flight bird conservation community rallied to the call and over 900,000 new bird observations from 23 different studies were contributed to the Avian Knowledge Network through the Avian Knowledge Northwest node.  These data were then combined with bird data from the California Avian Data Center and used to develop both presence/absence species distribution models and density models covering coastal Northern California, Oregon and Washington for 26 species of land birds representing four different habitat types.  These models are freely available as part of the Pacific Northwest Climate Change Avian Vulnerability Tool available at Avian Knowledge Northwest.

To demonstrate the value of this large and detailed dataset, the Point Blue, American Bird Conservancy, and Klamath Bird Observatory researchers mapped conservation priority areas based on both the presence/absence and density models and compared the estimated population size protected in priority areas mapped using each method. “As expected, we found that the prioritizations based on count data protected more individuals of each species than the prioritizations based on presence/absence data in the areas of highest conservation priority,” Veloz said.

Veloz sees the main challenge is getting scientists from across the conservation spectrum to share their high-quality count data of individual species, no matter the study size, so planners can have as broad a dataset as possible when drawing up conservation plans. “This study shows the value of researchers sharing their data. We can combine and recycle data from multiple studies, and re-use it to answer larger conservation questions,” Veloz said. “If we all worked together to share data, we could better prioritize and protect important habitat.”

This study was funded by the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

To access this paper click here:

ConBi Paper

Full citation: Veloz, S., Salas, L., Altman, B., Alexander, J., Jongsomjit, D., Elliott, N., Ballard, G. 2015. Improving effectiveness of systematic conservation planning with density data. Conservation Biology. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12499/abstract.

This news release adapted from Point Blue Conservation Science June 10, 2015 Press Release.

Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network to Host Oak Woodland Restoration Field Day

<img class="size-full wp-image-2850" src="http://klamathbird.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Acorn-Woodpecker-c-2015-Livaudais-72dpi-3xX.jpg" alt="Acorn Woodpecker (c) 2015 Jim Livaudais" width="216" height="288" title=" Acorn Woodpecker
(c) 2015 Jim Livaudais” />

*** PRESS RELEASE — For Immediate Release ***

On June 27, 2015 the Klamath Siskiyou Oak Network (KSON) will host an Oak Woodland Restoration Field Day, designed to provide an opportunity for landowners and land managers to learn about oak restoration on their lands. This half-day event will be held at several properties in the Colestin Valley between Ashland and Yreka, where a large-scale private lands oak conservation partnership program has been underway for the past decade. A series of presentations by restoration professionals, agency managers, wildlife biologists, and private landowners will highlight current oak restoration and management approaches, the habitat value of oaks for birds and other native wildlife, and how landowners can access technical resources and funding for restoration.

The KSON partnership conserves oak habitats on private and public lands in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California. KSON partners include non-governmental organizations, local state and federal agencies, Native American tribes, and private citizens. The Oak Woodland Restoration Field Day represents an important part of KSON’S goal to promote oak conservation and restoration by providing opportunities for practitioners and community members to engage on issues affecting threatened oak habitats. KSON members from Lomakatsi Restoration Project, Klamath Bird Observatory, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Forest Service will be present to offer their unique perspectives on oak restoration. This event will be an excellent opportunity for landowners and managers to meet others who share an interest in habitat conservation and restoration of oak savannas and woodlands, and to discuss the best ways to preserve these precious natural resources into the future.

The Field Day is free, but space is limited and registration is required. This event is planned for 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, and participants will need to provide their own lunch. For more information, including registration and carpool information from Ashland or Yreka, or for more information about KSON, please contact KSON Coordinator Kate Halstead at 541-201-0866 ext 7#, or at keh@klamathbird.org.

INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kate Halstead, Biologist & KSON Coordinator
Klamath Bird Observatory
keh@klamathbird.org
541-201-0866, ext 7#

Click here to view pdf of this press release.

Click here to view event flyer.

Click here to download print quality image of Acorn Woodpecker (c) 2015 Jim Livaudais.

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KBO’s 2015 Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award Goes to Sandy Jilton

*** NEWS RELEASE — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***

June 1, 2015

Contact: Marcella Rose Sciotto, admin@klamathbird.org, 541-201-0866

Klamath Bird Observatory is proud to announce that Sandy Jilton is the first recipient of our new
Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award.

Sandy Jilton receiving award from KBO's Marcella Sciotto

This award has been established to recognize individuals who demonstrate outstanding service as volunteers helping Klamath Bird Observatory fulfill its mission to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships. Sandy Jilton is being recognized as the recipient of the Bullock’s Rose Oriole for her efforts to help make the Klamath Bird Observatory’s 2nd annual Mountain Bird Festival a success.

The Mountain Bird Festival is a community education event designed to foster the stewardship ethic needed to ensure thriving landscapes for humans and wildlife. This Festival represents a significant volunteer effort with nearly 50 community members chipping in over 1,200 volunteer hours to help put the event on. These volunteers help Klamath Bird Observatory staff with field trips, registration, vendors, planning, and much more.

Klamath Bird Observatory recognizes Sandy Jilton with the first Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award

for her volunteer work that was essential to the success of this year’s Festival. Sandy worked tirelessly

to coordinate our food and drink vendors. She spent hours to find the right vendors who best

represented our region’s food and beverage culture. She then worked with them to ensure their

participation benefitted their businesses while also helping us to meet the conservation oriented goals

of the Festival. In addition to this core aspect of her volunteer role, Sandy was always eager to help out

in any way that she could. Her endless enthusiasm, good cheer, and skillful execution made her a

delight to work with.

Over the past two years bird enthusiasts from all over the U.S. have flocked to Ashland, Oregon for

Klamath Bird Observatory’s award winning Mountain Bird Festival. The Festival is designed to raise funds

for bird conservation while celebrating the role citizens play in conservation as well as the glory of the

birds and wildlife of southern Oregon and northern California. The Festival offers more than 35 field

trips that explore portions of the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains, as well as the Klamath Basin, Shasta

Valley, the Klamath River, the Rogue watershed, and birding hotspots in and around Ashland and

Medford. Each year, more than 120 participants, many of which traveling from out of the area, come to

see some of southern Oregon’s unique bird species, and to contribute to bird conservation. In addition

to these contributions, participants spend an estimated $70,000 on lodging, meals, entertainment, and

more, demonstrating that birding means business and that the Mountain Bird Festival offers significant

economic benefits to our region.

By name, Klamath Bird Observatory’s new Bullock’s Rose Oriole Volunteer Award honors Stephanie

Bullock, the Festival’s 1st Volunteer Coordinator, and Marcella Rose Sciotto, the Mountain Bird Festival

Coordinator, who has made this Festival a successful volunteer-driven event.

Click here to read Talent’s News & Review profile and article on Sandy and her accomplishments.

 

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2015 Mountain Bird Festival May 29-31

2015 Mountain Bird Festival: Citizens and Science Elevating Bird Conservation

OfficialArtwork_2014MountainBirdFestival_GaryBloomfield

The 2014 Mountain Bird Festival was a huge success.  All attendees served as bird conservationists by helping raise over $10,000 in support of local and national conservation efforts and the science that drives that conservation. Participants flocked from all over the U.S. to bird the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California. 171 bird species were seen by festival participants, including mountain and pacific northwest specialties such as White-headed Woodpecker, Spotted Owl, Calliope Hummingbird, Mountain Bluebird, and of course, the Great Gray Owl. Additionally, over 90 species of wildflowers were seen in bloom, as well as 21 species of dragonflies and damselflies seen zipping through the region’s diverse habitats. All data from field trips were entered into eBird Northwest, which contributes to our understanding of bird distribution and habitat use. All festival attendees purchased a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (a.k.a. the Duck Stamp) with their registration, contributing to wetland restoration and conservation throughout the United States; attendees also purchased a Conservation Science Stamp, supporting Klamath Bird Observatory‘s worldwide efforts to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships.

This 2015 Conservation Science Stamp will feature the stunning White-headed Woodpecker!

The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival will offer guided bird walks, fine art galleries, local wine, microbrew, and food vendors, and a feel-good community atmosphere.  This year’s keynote speaker will be Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s International eBird project leader, Brian Sullivan. Brian will show us how eBird and its state of the art technologies are revolutionizing birding, making this popular recreation a powerful conservation science activity.

Festival registration includes half-day or full-day field trips offered on both Saturday and Sunday.

Festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy all that is offered by the town of Ashland, Oregon. See a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, stroll through town to visit a variety of shops and galleries, get a massage, or enjoy a meal at one of Ashland’s many restaurants that feature local foods. We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival.

The Klamath Bird Observatory is grateful for your support and dedication.  Don’t forget to tell your friends about this great opportunity to see wonderful birds and contribute to their conservation while at it!

2015 Mountain Bird Festival Registration Opens February 11

OfficialArtwork_2014MountainBirdFestival_GaryBloomfield

*** PRESS RELEASE***

The award winning Mountain Bird Festival is back, celebrating the natural wonders of southern Oregon and northern California. The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival will be held in Ashland, Oregon from May 29th-31st. Registration for the Festival will be available on the Klamath Bird Observatory website at www.klamathbird.org. The Mountain Bird Festival offers guided bird walks, a keynote presentation, fine art galleries, local wine, microbrew, and food vendors, and a feel-good community atmosphere. Registration includes half-day or full-day field trips offered on both Saturday and Sunday.

The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival combines a celebration of the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion’s spectacular mountain birds and the stewardship ethic needed to ensure thriving landscapes for humans and wildlife. Every citizen who participates in the Festival helps to advance bird and habitat conservation in multiple ways. They contribute to habitat protection through the purchase of a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (a.k.a. the Duck Stamp), thereby supporting one of the most successful conservation programs in the United States. Festival attendees also purchase a Conservation Science Stamp with proceeds supporting Klamath Bird Observatory’s regional science and education programs aimed at achieving sustainable natural resource management. Additionally, every Festival goer serves as a citizen scientist contributing field trip bird sightings to eBird Northwest, a rapidly growing database that advances our knowledge about birds and their habitats.

This year’s Mountain Bird Festival features a keynote presentation by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s International eBird project leader, Brian Sullivan. Brian will show us how eBird and its state of the art technologies are revolutionizing birding, making this popular recreation a powerful conservation science activity.

The Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, an absolute must-see for birders and naturalists. The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival offers guided bird walks to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes of the region. Field trips will target highly sought after mountain birds of the Cascade, Siskiyou, and Klamath Mountains, as well as Klamath Basin specialties. Target birds include Mountain Quail, nesting Sandhill Cranes, dancing Western and Clark’s Grebes, Black Terns, Great Gray Owls, Calliope Hummingbirds, and the bird that will be featured on this year’s Conservation Science Stamp, the White-headed Woodpecker.

The Mountain Bird Festival has received national awards for becoming one of our nation’s leading conservation events. Please join us for the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival and become part of our efforts to elevate bird conservation.

Click here to view a a copy of the press release announcing the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival.

2013 State of the Birds Report: Bird Populations Depend on Private Lands

A new national report released today by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and contributed to by local science-based non-profit Klamath Bird Observatory, highlights the considerable extent to which native bird populations in the United States depend on private lands. Significantly, the 2013 State of the Birds Report on Private Lands also demonstrates that conservation action on private lands is not just for the birds; landowners and the general public benefit from conservation actions that result in cleaner air and water and more resilient and productive landscapes.

 

Throughout our nation, some two million ranchers and farmers and about 10 million woodland owners look after 1.43 billion acres, or roughly 60% of the land area of the United States. These private lands support more than 300 forest-breeding bird species, and several grassland birds have more than 90% of their distribution on private lands. Waterfowl also depend heavily on private lands. Innovative conservation partnerships are changing the face of private lands conservation as private landowners see real benefits and neighbors follow suit through so-called “contagious conservation.” 

In our own backyard, Klamath Bird Observatory is partnering with Lomakatsi Restoration Project, US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and private landowners, and using birds to guide restoration on 2,000 acres of private oak woodlands in southern Oregon and northern California. This unique collaboration—the Central Umpqua-Mid Klamath Oak Conservation Project—received the 2012 Department of Interior Partners in Conservation Award and is restoring one of the West Coast’s most imperiled and biologically rich habitats, benefiting Oak Titmouse, Acorn Woodpecker, and Black-throated Gray Warbler. (To learn more about oaks ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest, download Klamath Bird Observatory and American Bird Conservancy’s Land Manager’s Guide to Bird Habitat and Populations in Oak Ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the supplemental guide that features species accounts.)

 

Klamath Bird Observatory advances bird and habitat conservation in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion and beyond, and has contributed to the high-profile annual State of the Birds reports since the initial report in 2009. Klamath Bird Observatory believes that bird conservation is relevant to every American because the same landscapes that support diverse and abundant bird communities also provide vital services to humans.

 

John Alexander and Jaime Stephens from Klamath Bird Observatory, and Marko Bey from Lomakatsi Restoration Project, will discuss the 2013 State of the Birds Report on Private Lands on Jefferson Public Radio’s news and information program Jefferson Exchange on Wednesday, July 10th from 9:00am until 10:00am. Tune-in to learn more about what birds tell us about the state of the environment; how these local organizations are working with private landowners to provide benefits for landowners, wildlife, and society; and how America’s famous land ethic—articulated by Aldo Leopold—is being realized.

Access this Press Release in PDF Format by clicking here.  To listen to the Jefferson Exchange interview with John Alexander, Jaime Stephens, and Marko Bey by clicking here.

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541-201-0866
PO Box 758
Ashland, Oregon 97520

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