Have YOU Seen Me?
Beginning this spring, MDF and the Helena National Forest are launching a new citizen-science project called Have You Seen Me. This project is designed to encourage Forest users to report species sightings. There will be identification posters, reporting cards, and a take-home field guide to many of HNF’s common wildlife and some of the uncommon species. These materials will be available at all campgrounds, trailheads, and District offices (Helena, Townsend, Lincoln).
Reporting is easy! Fill out and mail back the postcard or e-mail the information to the gmail account on the card. Better yet, if you have a smart phone, download the iNaturalist app from either iTunes or the Android Store. You will need to create a free on-line profile for iNaturalist and look for the Helena National Forest EOL Project to join. Then, when you are able to snap a photo of the species, you can report it directly to iNaturalist and we will collect the data. One big advantage to us is that all photos taken with your smartphone are georeferenced, meaning you don’t have to know where you are, but the location is saved as part of the image file. For more information on how to set up an iNaturalist account, please click here.
We are hoping that you spend time outdoors and can help with this project. We aren’t doing a media blitz about this new program this year, but are starting the project and seeing what response we get. We will be evaluating the program in the fall and discussing the pros and cons of the reporting methods. Please join up, make observations, and let us know what you think.
Thank you for being involved!