Outings & Events

What’s going on!

There are many ways to experience Shrub-Steppe.

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy holds a variety of events and activities to increase opportunities for kids and adults to learn about the unique natural environment of the shrub-steppe and connect people to these lands. We work with a variety of partners including other non-profit organizations, schools, and local, state, and federal agencies to engage the community with our work and build support for our conservation work. 


Community events – live and virtual – aim to help our community engage with our shrub-steppe in educational and inspiring ways.


The Images of the Shrub-Steppe art exhibit is open for submissions! This multi-media show, hosted at the beautiful Boxx Gallery in Tieton, gets better every year. The show celebrates and showcases art inspired by the landscapes and life of our local shrub-steppe.


The prospectus and submission instructions are available here.

A Spanish version is available here. / Un versión en Español esta aquí.


Submissions are due by July 8, 2022!

You can now pay your “Images of the Shrub-Steppe” entry fee online!

The exhibit will be on display August 5 – 28.

2021 Jurors Award: ‘Perhaps’
by Abbie Birmingham


Our guided Community Walks, on a variety of natural themes, are a great way for families to engage with the shrub-steppe and learn CCC trails. New walks are announced each month.


What: Wildflower Walk & Happy Hour in Tieton
When (unique start time): Friday, May 6, 3:30 pm walk. Reconvene at 5:45pm in Tieton
Where: Snow Mountain Ranch, followed by Tieton Nomad.


Wildflowers are here! Join us for a guided afternoon jaunt through the many blooming zones of Snow Mountain Ranch. We’ll reconvene at Tieton Nomad for a happy hour of drinks and snacks. Please bring water and sun protection.



Winter Talks explore biology relevant to protecting, restoring, and living in our shrub-steppe ecosystem. Below are recorded talks from our 2022 series.


What: ‘The Odd Life of an Underground Owl: Tracking Imperiled Western Burrowing Owls’


This talk was recorded on January 18, 2022.


Dr. Courtney Conway will dig into the unique underground lives of the Western burrowing owl. In addition to sharing data describing the species’ population declines over the past 60 years, Conway will share what we do and don’t know about the life history of an imperiled bird. Conway’s recent research, which involves attaching tracking devices to over 300 owls, reveals previously unknown behavior and migratory patterns that could prove valuable in making conservation decisions to protect the owl’s breeding and wintering sites.


Speaker Bio
Courtney Conway is Professor of Wildlife Sciences with the University of Idaho and the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Idaho Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit. His research focuses on wildlife management, conservation biology, behavioral ecology, and life history evolution. He has won numerous awards for teaching as well as research and service excellence


What: ‘Who’s Afraid of the … Light?: A Natural History of Darkness’

This talk was recorded on Tuesday, February 8.



Humans have been using light to ward off darkness for thousands of years. In our modern world of cheap electricity and LEDs, light is ubiquitous and true darkness is hard to find. Astronomers have battled the spread of light pollution for over a century, yet emerging research shows that too much artificial light at night does more than just erase the stars. Natural darkness is also important for nocturnal ecosystems and our own health. In this presentation, Zach will discuss the causes of light pollution, how scientists are measuring its impact on the natural world, and what we can do about it.


Speaker Bio

Zach Schierl grew up under the dark skies of Flagstaff, AZ, the world’s first International Dark Sky City. He currently teaches astronomy and geology at Yakima Valley College and previously worked as an Education Specialist and Park Ranger for the National Park Service, developing and leading astronomy and dark sky stewardship programs around the west. Zach has a B.A. in Geology and Astronomy from Whitman College, and an M.S. in Geology from Western Washington University.


What: Panel Talk on ‘Better Living with Fire: Building Community and Landscape Resilience to Wildfire’

When: Tuesday, March 1, 7pm to 8:30pm.

Where: Online (Zoom): Register here.


Wildfire increasingly impacts our lives in the Yakima Valley and central Washington. While fire has always been a part of the ecosystem in this part of the world, we are facing smokier summers, increased burn severity, and more pressure to change how we manage forest, fires, and communities in the face of a changing climate. While we cannot and should not eliminate fire from our land, we can work to have better fire outcomes.


Members of the Washington Prescribed Fire Council will provide an overview of “how we got here” and describe the federal, state, and local strategies for better living with fire.


Ryan Anderson (Executive Director with Washington Resource Conservation & Development Council) will be joined by Reese Lolley (Board Member with Washington Prescribed Fire Council, and former Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Restoration and Fire program) and Kara Karboski (Fire, Landscapes, and Community Coordinator with Washington Resource Conservation & Development Council)