Thanks to the Braun Family (Tyler, Sarah, Haven & Serenity) who purchased new 4×4 posts and reinstalled the welcome sign along the Coal Creek walking path, originally made as a Boy Scout Eagle Project.
Thanks to Shane Christensen for spreading gravel around the rehabilitation facilities, parking area, repairing the broken bridge, and providing maintenance and repairs around the Information Destination restrooms and picnic area at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park.
Thanks to Ben Herring of and his crew as they work after hours to bring together the two halves of a 20’ x 40’ modular office building which will serve as our first phase visitor’s center for the Cedar Canyon Nature Park.
We need many more volunteers as we continue to develop the Cedar Canyon Nature Park and remodel our first phase visitor’s center. If you would like to volunteer your time and talent please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 435-586-4693. We are looking for eager people with a variety of skills to help us.
We want to extend our thanks to Nicole Shafer, Alyson Tarrant and Dr. Jacqualine Grant for volunteering their time as board members and helping to make so much progress possible in the development of the Cedar Canyon Nature Park these past few years.
Thank you Dr. Jacqualine Grant for providing such an interesting and informative lecture before the music began on Friday August 31 about Monarch butterflies, pollinators and the plants they need to survive and help our environment. Her knowledge and passion made for a great presentation and got us all excited to help the environment, each in our own way.
Thank you Tom Bennett, singer, songwriter & one man band to who provided a delightful evening of original music at our 3rd Campfire Concert in the Canyon on August 31. Jennifer Alger, Patrick Shannon and Susan Tyner for setup and cleanup for these programs and the Youth Volunteer Corp (YVC) for offering free face painting to the youth that attended the concert.
Our sincere appreciation goes out to Kenny Russel, Paul “Pablo” Schwartz and Tom Bennett; singers and songwriters that provided their time and talent to entertain us at our first three campfire concerts this year.
For those that have missed out any of these great opportunities, join us for our last Campfire Concert of the 2018 season on Friday, September 28th. Meet two of our newest Wildlife Ambassadors as Martin Tyner introduces Piper and Belle at 7 PM and enjoy Mountaintop Sound’s duo, Steven Swift and April McPherson as they entertain us with their Roots Blues style music at 7:30 PM
Yet again we were inundated by so many kind gifts from our Amazon Wishlist! We are very grateful to all of you who have donated items to help the critters! Added thanks to all of you who also have chosen SWF as your charity at Amazon Smile!
Rehabilitation Flight Chamber – Weathering Yard
We want to thank Simeon Amankwa from Boy Scout Troup 345 for building this flight chamber – weathering yard as part of an upgrade for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation rehabilitation facilities in Enoch. On July 21 & July 28 Simeon worked alongside 18 other scouts, church and community members who came together to help with this Eagle Scout Project.
We want to recognize and thank Sunroc Corporation for their donation of lumber and hardware for this project and also recognize and thank C-A-L Ranch Store for their donation of chicken wire and hardware for this project. Moms and sisters provided lunch for the volunteers and with teamwork this project was completed with just 2 days hard work.
Thank you so much.
Cedar Canyon Nature Park Trail Maintenance
We want to thank Boy Scouts and their leaders from the Cedar West Stake for pulling weeds along our trail between our two parking areas on July 21.
Thank you for your service! We appreciate you.
Video editing, YouTube Posts and Social Media Updates
We want to thank DG, our Volunteer Webgeek for all of her hard work to bring you updates on our wildlife rehabilitation and to promote educational awareness about wildlife and the environment we share with them. She understands the value of education which over time, will save more lives than all of our rehabilitation efforts.
Thank you DG, for editing our videos and sharing them with the world to benefit the critters. We truly appreciate your dedication and service.
We want to send a BIG THANK YOU to Frances Keller who recently created a Fundraiser for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation on Facebook in Honor of Her Birthday Celebration. She not only raised $130 in contributions on Facebook, she also sent us a personal check for $130 to match her contributor’s funds dollar for dollar and sent her heartfelt thanks.
We and all of the Wild Critters in Southern Utah would like to send Frances Keller our most sincere Happy Birthday Wish and to let her know that we are extremely grateful for her kindness.
St. George Findlay Subaru Grand-Opening of their new showroom is Friday July 27th at 10 AM!
We would like to invite everyone in southern Utah to come to the grand opening and show your support to Findlay St. George Dealership we love and who has been so good to us!
We thrilled to announce that the Southwest Wildlife Foundation has again been named as local charity by Findlay Subaru for the Subaru Share the Love Event!
Thank you to Findlay Subaru of St. George for so many years of helping us help critter!
Martin provided a free bird of prey program for the Chrysalis group this week and their way of saying thank you was to volunteer their time and service for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation.
Now it’s our turn to thank the 21 volunteers from Chrysalis who spent 2 hours working hard to make the Cedar Canyon Nature Park a beautiful place for the rest of us to enjoy. After pulling all the weeds around our parking pad and trail head they pulled weeds around the restrooms and our campfire program area. They also spread more wood chips around our picnic benches, swept the sidewalk and bridge and moved several heavy pieces of sheetrock from our utility room behind the restrooms to a storage shed on the north side of the creek.
We were excited that we had a new tenant in one of our rehab sheds today at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park. It was a beautiful three foot long great basin rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes are reasonably common here in southern Utah. In the process of getting our volunteers started on their service project Susan instructed them to be very careful and watch where you place your feet and hands as we do have the occasional rattlesnake on the park property.
Rattlesnakes are beautiful peaceful reptiles that help to control the rodent population and as long as they are not harassed or stepped on they are not a threat to humans. To our great surprise when Susan walked into one of the rehab sheds to pick up some tools, she found this beautiful creature sleeping in the corner which gave her a great opportunity to allow some of the volunteers to see a rattlesnake up close and personal (but not too close.)
For more information about rattlesnakes here are some great educational links:
Our Thanks to Steven Franzen for sharing this story with us and giving us permission to share with everyone!
The Master and The Apprentice
A middle-aged falconers journey thus far
When I was very young, my family and I would take several trips a year from our home in southern Wisconsin to visit family in the northeast corner of Iowa. The ride was around 3 hours or so. At the age of eight, I began to notice large birds perched on the tops of the telephone poles along the highways we traveled. And after convincing my mother to purchase a “bird book”, I was able to make an effort to begin identifying these creatures, and perhaps, learn a thing or two about them!
I spent countless hours reading my “bird book”. And after only a few days, I had considered myself the world’s foremost expert on everything with wings! And my expert opinion concluded that only two species of birds existed between home and Iowa…. the red-tailed Hawk, and the American Kestrel. It was clear to me that I must conduct field studies to support my opinion! And so I began the arduous task of counting the red-tails and kestrels that I would see from the backseat of a Toyota Camry!
The journey had begun
In late November of 2011, I was fortunate enough to purchase a second home in southern Utah. Although I was residing in Las Vegas at the time, the “Utah house” was a short and picturesque two hour drive! Ok, perhaps the Interstate 15 between Las vegas and St. George is not so “pretty”. However, when you look at it from a falconers perspective, it’s a paradise! And so going to Utah became a recurring adventure most every weekend! In January of the following year, I received a wedding gift from the previous owners of the Utah house. I tore into the package like I was eight years-old again on a Christmas morning ! When it was all said and done, I found myself holding a paperback book. And on the cover of this book, was a man who I had never seen before.
The cover photo was incredible! However, it was not so much the photo itself that caught my attention, but more so what he was doing when this photo was taken. Over the years, my burning desire to be a falconer had to be kept in check as a result of “life circumstances”. I read the book in it’s entirety that night! And after doing so, my lifelong desire to be a falconer began to burn hotter than ever before!! I realized that now was the time to act on that dream. And if I did not, I would certainly succumb to a nuclear meltdown!
On a warm and breezy January afternoon in Las Vegas, Nevada, I found myself placing a phone call to a man named Martin Tyner. Needless to say, I was extremely nervous! What does a want-to-be falconry apprentice say to a master class falconer of over 40 years? Fortunately, I had convinced myself to just keep it simple. About three seconds later, he answered the phone. I introduced myself by name and explained to him that I am seriously interested in becoming an apprentice falconer. Although it is unlikely, I imagined him thinking to himself.. “Oh man, another one??”. In reality, he was extremely kind and accommodating. And after a 20 minute conversation, he extended an invitation to meet him in person the next time I was in Utah.
Less than a week later, I was on my way to Cedar City, Utah. And although the directions provided to me by Martin were simple to follow, I did manage to get lost… twice! Of course, I made no mention of my cartographical handicap to him! When I finally arrived at the Parowan Gap, I noticed a tan Subaru Forester with aftermarket labeling that read “Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah”. My heart started to race, I may have even started to perspire more than usual! Nevertheless, I parked, stepped out of my vehicle, circled around to the back, and found myself face to face with the master!
I spent the next eighteen months visiting Martin as often as I could without becoming a nuisance! Additionally, I read and studied anything and everything I could find about falconry and the general biology of the falconry birds themselves. I spent the falconry season of 2012-2013 “shadowing” another master class falconer in Las Vegas. This same master class would eventually become my sponsor during my apprenticeship. As much as I wanted Martin to be my sponsor, I was not a permanent resident of Utah, and therefore could not obtain a Utah falconry permit.
In June of 2013, after completing all the necessary steps, I was issued an apprentice falconry permit through the state of Nevada. After 37 years, this was a long time coming! I called Martin in a fit of excitement! And even though he was proud of me, I was quickly put in my place with these words… “That’s great! Now the hard part begins”
In October of 2013, I successfully trapped my first falconry bird just south of Beryl Junction, Utah. After securing the hawk, I immediately called Martin to inform him of my victory! He instructed me to bring the hawk to his home where he would check the bird over and assist me with installing the anklets and jesses. I arrived at Martin’s home after what seemed like an eternity! I handed Martin my “prize”, and after a thorough inspection, he declared the hawk to be healthy and fit!
A short while later, I set course for home in Las Vegas with my new friend “Andy”, a passage (juvenile) male red-tailed hawk!
Six years ago, my relationship with Martin and Susan Tyner was strictly “falconry professional”, for lack of a better term. However, in that time, I have gotten to know them quite well. And they have gotten to know me as well. In March of 2014, I went through a divorce. And although it was very amicable on paper, it absolutely destroyed me from the inside out. I found my mind entering some very dark places. The depression was consuming me faster than a peregrine in a stoop! And unless I found someone and/or something to hold onto, well…. I don’t think I need to go any further on that subject. I managed to find some rational thought, and determined that, in addition to time, the following key points would help me heal…
Martin and Susan, falconry (and my other feathered friends), and my profession.
The intent of this short story is not meant to be about me. And I am not a “writer” by any means. However, I felt it necessary to share my story of how I met Martin and Susan and the incredibly positive impact they have had on me! At any given time, you the reader, will find yourself on this website reading, donating, or simply appreciating the tireless work that this foundation puts forth!
What you will not read about (perhaps until now), is how the two focal points of this foundation, through falconry and genuine friendship, helped a man on the verge of complete self destruction… recover.
Healer of Angels? There is no doubt!
Healers of people? Perhaps so!
My name is Steven T. Franzen. I am 41 years-old and reside in New River, Arizona. I am a professional air traffic control specialist, a general class falconer, and friend to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation of Utah.
Thank you Findlay Subaru St. George and Subaru of America for your Share the Love Donation to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation! An Amazing Check for $8,848. will help with rehabilitation, education and the Cedar Canyon Nature Park!
Great article about Findlay Subaru of St George Share the Love check presentation to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation last Friday March 27th!