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The Saga of Washington's Fish and Wildlife

with Ken Bevis

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Ken Bevis

Wildlife biologist Ken Bevis, who is also a singer/songwriter, provided an entertaining evening of stories, photos, songs and science, aiming for a closer understanding of some of Washington’s fish and wildlife... sometimes from the viewpoint of the critters themselves! This family-friendly program was fun for all ages!

Calliope Hummingbird
Calliope hummingbird photo by Ken Bevis

"Now think about this, hummingbirds, these little teeny, amazing creatures, they migrate up the Cascades in the lowlands. So in the springtime, they are in the lowlands where the flowers are. Anybody ever notice how there are fewer of them later in the summer? Where do they go? They go up. Then how do they get back south? They fly! ....and they migrate down to Mexico... How can that be?"

Click here for the Hummingbird song (3.1 MB)

Ken's silhouette in front of a flycatcher slide from his slide show.   

Ken made connections between various parts of the web of life, e.g. "Dead salmon feed the ecosystem." 

Black Bear photo by Tom Munson
"So I was trying to think what it would be like to be a Black Bear..." 

Ken Bevis plays his guitar.  Ken plays his guitar and sings.
Salvelinus Confluentus (Bull Trout)

Billy Chinook
"The salmon of the Pacific Northwest is an epic tale..."

Ken encouraged the audience to teach others about nature, 
and to be involved with organizations that support the web of life in the natural world.

Ken singing and playing guitar.

Ken's song about Snowy Owls:
"Gorgeous white feathers
And sly yellow eyes
Pure as the snow
Are you really wise?
Hey snowy..."

“Wild animals are fascinating. I find it extremely interesting to consider their world,” says Bevis. “They undoubtedly have perceptions and realities that we can never know, but we can imagine. Mixing biology, music and pictures can take us to that place, and hopefully help us appreciate them more. 

Thank you very much, Ken Bevis, for sharing your talent and your passion for wildlife with us, providing an incredibly interesting and unique Highland Wonders presentation! We appreciate you interweaving your musical abilities with your biology expertise to help increase our understanding of the fish and wildlife living in Washington State.

Ken Bevis at Lost Lake.
Photo taken at Lost Lake by Teri Pieper
Ken Bevis holding a radio-tagged Bull Trout
(Photo by Eric Anderson of WDFW)

Species featured in the "Saga of Washington's Fish and Wildlife" presentation include: sandhill crane, bull trout, chinook salmon, hummingbirds, black bear, and more...

 Ken Bevis is the Stewardship Biologist for the Washington Department of Natural Resource's (DNR) Small Forest Landowner office.  Ken is a lifelong hiker, hunter, fisherman, skier, bird watcher and avid naturalist. He has lived in eastern Washington since 1986, and has held a variety of positions in Natural Resource management in this region.  He has worked all across the eastern slope of the Cascades, and has experienced most corners of the beautiful Evergreen state through work and play. 

He attributes his fascination with wild creatures and places back to his native Virginia; playing in the woods, camping with scouts and family and hunting with uncles.  He attended Virginia Tech from 1975-79 and received a BS in Forestry and Wildlife, with additional studies in Communication.  He worked 5 Colorado summers with the US Forest Service as a forestry technician, performing timber stand inventory and trail maintenance, while wintering in Steamboat Springs in the ski industry.  He attended Colorado State University and earned his Teaching Certificate in 1989 upon deciding skiing would be a tough way to pay the bills.  He moved to Washington State to participate in a spotted owl study in 1986.  Once in Washington, he fell in love with the place, and stayed, living on the east side of the Cascades ever since.  He worked for the Wenatchee National Forest performing wildlife surveys and timber sale support starting in 1987, which led to attendance at graduate school.
Ken earned a Masters of Science in Biology from Central Washington University in Ellensburg in 1994, with a unique study of Cavity Nesting Birds in three forest types near Cle Elum.  He compared densities of cavity excavating birds and numbers of dead trees in forest stands, while investigating characteristics of trees selected by these birds.  These results were presented and published at the 1997 Dead Wood Symposium. 

After completing graduate school, Bevis was hired by the Yakama Indian Nation as a Wildlife Biologist in support of the timber management program on the 1 million acre Yakama Reservation.  In this work he supervised up to 18 tribal technicians and participated in Interdisciplinary planning Teams for on Reservation timber sales.  In this challenging environment he was known for collaborating and generating good relationships with Bureau of Indian Affairs Forestry staff.  He developed and supervised radio telemetry research on flying squirrel den site selection and studied spotted owl diets using owl pellets. 

Ken then moved to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Habitat Biologist (WDFW), where for 10 years he served as the Timber Fish and Wildlife Biologist, and then Forest and Fish Biologist, for Yakima and Kittitas Counties.  He worked closely with DNR forest practices foresters and industrial forest landowners on issues related to timber harvests.  These included establishing stream buffers, locating spotted owl habitat, and particularly near and dear to his heart, identification and protection of Wildlife Trees.  He assisted WDFW, DNR and the Washington Contract Loggers with forest habitat trainings, gave numerous programs to clubs and schools, and built a reputation as a dynamic and entertaining speaker. 

He migrated from the forests to anadromous fish recovery between 2008-early 2013, working in Salmon Recovery efforts in North Central Washington, as WDFW’s Watershed Steward. This work involved coordinating with many interests on restoration projects on rivers such as the Methow, Entiat and Wenatchee.  He helped create the Cascade Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group which was awarded “Organization of the Year” by WDFW in 2012.

Ken is the Stewardship Wildlife Biologist for DNR's Small Forest Landowner office (SFLO), with statewide responsibilities. He helps landowners with 10 or more acres to develop wildlife habitats through on-site visits, teaching workshops, and helping develop Stewardship plans for their lands. Information about the SFLO and the opportunities for technical assistance and possible cost-share programs is available at‎ and from Ken at the presentation. Ken is also a photographer and a singer-songwriter who specializes in songs about wild places and animals.  He is married to the talented photographer, Teri Pieper.

The job of Stewardship Biologist is a natural fit for Bevis, who enjoys meeting and working with landowners and professionals all across the great state of Washington.