Mount Rainier’s wildlife ecologist retires

After 25 years of service with the National Park Service, including the last six at Mount Rainier National Park, Mason Reid has retired. Reid worked as the park’s wildlife ecologist.

Reid earned a degree in zoology from Duke University in 1980 and a graduate degree in animal ecology from University of California, Davis in 1988.

He began his Park Service career at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming as a biological technician in 1989. He continued to work at Grand Teton as project biologist until 2001. From there, he became the wildlife biologist at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. He worked at the 13 million-acre Alaska park from 2001-2008. He then made the move to Mount Rainier.

During his career, Reid has conducted aerial population surveys and monitoring of Dall sheep, big horn sheep, moose, elk, mountain goat, Steller sea lion, caribou, grizzly and black bear, gray wolf, various raptors, marine birds, upland and water birds. He also has worked on managing human-wildlife interactions at Mount Rainier through the “Keep Wildlife Wild” program. The effort is meant to educate park visitors about how their feeding of animals such as bear, Cascade fox, various small mammals and birds such as Stellar and gray jays can have a negative impact.

Among his most recent projects has been serving as the Park Service’s lead working with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife on the future reintroduction of the Pacific fisher to Mount Rainier and North Cascades national parks.

“Mason has been a dedicated biologist throughout his career and is well-known and respected by his colleagues and peers,” Roger Andrascik, chief of natural and cultural resources at Mount Rainier, said in a prepared statement.

Outside of work, Reid is a landscape and wildlife photographer. He also is an experienced rock, ice and alpine climber —assisting in numerous search and rescues at Mount Rainier and other parks.

Reid said he plans to retire to Colorado and enjoy his pursuits of drinking fine coffee, photography, mountaineering, bicycling, canoeing and skiing, according to a park news release.

Flute Quest 2014

Saltwater State Park will host Flute Quest 2014 from Friday through Aug. 17.

The annual musical festival is a celebration of the Native American flute. The quest is the largest of its kind in the Northwest and is the third-largest in the nation.

The event features craft booths, flute and food vendors, free concerts and workshops on Native American drums and flutes. There also will be a free beginner workshop for first-time flute players. The fire ring near the waterfront will be the location of 45-minute drumming and fluting jam sessions.

The festival will run from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 17. The park is at 25205 S. Eighth Place, Des Moines. While the quest is free, a Discover Pass is required for vehicle parking. Learn more at waflutecircle.org/