Murie Audubon Society’s Fall Banquet and Fundraiser

The banquet is scheduled to take place Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Ramkota Hotel in Casper, Wyoming.

Cash bar opens at 5:30 p.m. with dinner starting at 7:00 p.m.

This will allow time for all guests to peruse the tables scattered with silent auction items.  Raffle tickets will not be sold this fundraiser. We hope folks will enjoy the bidding process and we certainly expect the bidding to be fun and competitive.

Should you have a donation, please call Karen Anfang, 472-0278, or Jim Brown, 262-0158.

Dinner will feature a “South of the Border” buffet including tacos, fajitas, burritos (beef or chicken), Spanish rice ‘n beans, all the condiments and churros for dessert. Russell Hawley, Education Specialist at the Tate Geological Museum at Casper College will provide programing for the evening, “Birds of Extinction”.

Russell has worked at the museum since 1997 and spends his time guiding educational tours, create museum display artwork, and digging up fossils in Wyoming since 1990. His most recent project was illustrating “Islands in the Cosmos: the Evolution of Life on Land” by paleontologist Dr. Dale Russell. Hawley’s program will address birds, which like their mammalian counterparts, suffered a mega fauna mass extinction event during Quaternary. Unlike the mammalian extinction, the peak of the mega-bird extinction occurred not thousands nor tens of thousands of years ago, but mere hundreds. The largest birds that ever lived survived until the time of Marco Polo. This presentation will provide a brief overview of bird species that would have been extant during the Pleistocene, comparing two different intervals on five different continents. The causes for their extinction will be explored as well. Although most of these species have been extinct a relative short time, they can still teach us much about the origin and evolution of birds, and shed light on the mechanisms by which new bird species arise. MAS will appreciate your support and anticipate sharing an interesting and exciting evening. Tickets for the banquet are $35.00 each or a table of eight for $250.00. Tickets will be available for sale at the season’s first general MAS meeting, scheduled Friday, September 8th at the Oil and Gas Commission building, Amoco Parkway.

Tickets may also be purchased by contacting Zach Hutchinson, email:, by calling Karen Anfang, 472-0278, Jim Brown, 262-0158, or Linda Johnston, email: Ticket sales are final Wed., Oct. 11th!

Proceeds from the banquet will benefit the establishment of a bird blind, water feature, and feeders within Edness K. Wilkins State Park


Murie’s Banquet is almost here (it’s on Saturday, February 6th  at the Parkway Plaza here in Casper).  If you haven’t got your tickets yet, contact Bruce and Donna Walgren (234-7455 or; ticket price is $35 each, or $250 for a table of eight.  Proceeds will go to the Community Naturalist Program and Murie Audubon Education projects. Our guest speaker is Dr. Patrick Magee, Biology chair at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, CO talking about ravens and their increase throughout western North America as changes in western landscapes have occurred in the last 50 years.

The evening will start with a social hour/cash bar at 5:30 PM (giving you a chance to check out the raffle items, tickets will be on sale at this time, and make bids in the silent auction).  The dinner will begin at 7:00 PM.  We hope to see you all there!!!

Bruce Walgren on behalf of the Banquet Committee


Annual Banquet and Fundraiser, Feb. 7, 2015

Murie Audubon Society’s Annual Banquet and Fundraiser is scheduled for February 7, 2015, at the Parkway Plaza. Cash bar will open at 5:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom. Raffle and Silent Auction items will be up for bid, with the banquet to follow.

Guest speaker will feature Tim Banks. The focus of Banks’ presentation will be Sandhill Crane:  Natural History and Behavior. Sandhill Crane migration begins in March as hundreds of Cranes converge on an 80-mile stretch of the central North Platte in Nebraska. An estimated 400,000 to 600,000 Cranes return annually to fatten up on empty cornfields on their journey to Arctic nesting grounds.

Banks guides Road Scholar Tour Groups every season to witness this well-orchestrated phenomenon. MAS extends an invitation to “Come Dance With Us”! Tickets are $27.50/ea. or $200.00 (table of eight) and are available from any Murie Audubon Board member or call Karen Anfang, Banquet Chairperson, 472-0278. Ticket sales close February 5th.

Banquet set-up will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the ballroom the afternoon of the February 7th; help is always welcome. Also a reminder, if you have any donations to be used as raffle or silent auction items, please call Karen Anfang, 472-0278. Your generosity is appreciated.


February 7, 2015 Annual Banquet & Fundraiser


March is the month hundreds of Sandhill cranes will converge in one of North America’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Per an article by Alex Shoumatoff, which appeared in the Smithsonian, March 2014, states “Nature got it right with the cranes. They have been around since the Eocene, which ended 34 million years ago. They are among the world’s oldest living birds and one of the planet’s most successful life-forms, having outlasted millions of  species (99 percent of species that ever existed are now extinct). The particularly successful Sandhill crane of North America has not changed appreciably in ten million years.”

Every year 400,000 to 600,000 Sandhill cranes (80 percent of all the cranes on the planet) congregate along an 80-mile stretch of the central Platte River in Nebraska to fatten up on grain in the empty cornfields on their journey to their Arctic nesting grounds. Crane watchers flock to the Platte annually to witness the spring migration. Murie Audubon Society (MAS) invites all of you to “Come Dance With Us” – the annual banquet and fundraiser, February 7, 2015, featuring Tim Banks as guest speaker.

The focus of Tim’s presentation will be Sandhill Crane Natural History and Behavior. Tim has guided many Road Scholar Tour Groups to Kearney, NE, and as our fearless leader for the evening, he might just spur a few Auduboners to venture east.

Tickets will be available in December by MAS Board members or the January 9, 2015, general Audubon meeting. Again, the Silent Auction and numerous raffle items available for bidding provide major fundraising for  various MAS activities. Donations may be made to any MAS Board member or Karen Anfang, banquet chairperson, 472-0278.

“Cranes are the guardian birds, keepers of knowledge all over the world, and this is the epicenter. Entire conversations unfold on the Platte with just a few well-orchestrated wing beats. Fully spread wings with black wing tips on display is a basic move in the crane dance repertoire, combined with curtsies, jumps and face-offs. Cranes call for our attention”. Be at the Parkway Plaza, February 7, 2015, to “Come Dance With Us”.


Annual Banquet and Fundraiser – Feb. 7, 2015


As your Annual Banquet and Fundraiser Chairperson, I asked Tim Banks. Laramie, WY, if he would be interested in being the 2015 Guest Speaker. His reply was, “Definitely”.  I then asked Tim to provide some bio information for advertising purposes, and attached is his next reply. Thought it was so interesting and funny, that it appears below verbatim:

“The path that leads to where I am today is a bit convoluted, and I’ve had the devil of a time trying to figure out how best to describe it. My attempts to weave a smooth narrative have failed miserably and I finally decided that it would be better to send you a few snippets rather that keep you waiting.

Professionally, I spent most of my adult life as a law enforcement officer, having served with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department and the University of Wyoming Police Department. The last I wore a tie, I was Chief of the UW Police Department.

Academically, I started out as a wildlife student at UW in 1971. Using what I now refer to as the “eat dessert first school of academic planning”, I ignored the best efforts of my advisors and took all the fun courses first, leaving the hardest ones for last, mostly in an effort to avoid taking calculus. As my advisors had tried to tell me, this resulted in what can charitably be described as an academic setback, necessitating some time away from UW and leading to a 28-year law enforcement career.

I did manage to complete my bachelor’s degree and took some time off from law enforcement to then complete a Master’s degree in outdoor recreation, with “Non-consumptive Wildlife-Associated Recreation in Wyoming” as my thesis research topic. It was during this period in 1986, that I landed a seasonal job with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department as a field tech, monitoring Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes in western Wyoming. This program was to “cross-foster” Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes in an attempt to establish a Rocky Mountain flock of Whooping Cranes. Sadly, the program ultimately failed, but it did give me a great summer job and inspired my fascination with cranes.

It was also during this period that a bit of a seminal moment occurred. I was watching some cranes in one of the many beautiful corners of Wyoming I’d visited that season and was reflecting on my good fortune to have witnessed not only the cranes, but also the wonderful diversity of birds and other wildlife that I’d experienced during those months afield and it got me thinking how people might pay good money just to see the things I’d been witnessing daily.

My “encore career” after retiring as UW Police Chief is leading birding tours for Road Scholar (formerly known as Elderhostel). These have included trips to New Mexico to view wintering cranes at the Bosque Wildlife Refuge and to Kearney, Nebraska, to witness the incredible concentration of cranes during their spring migration.

Across this span of time, it’s worth noting that a common thread of my existence on  this planet is a deep interest in all things outdoors, with wildlife usually playing a central role. So one might say I’ve come full circle. I get to share some of what I’ve learned over the years with people who travel long distances and pay money to realize some of the things I’ve gotten to see and enjoy. And…I’ve done it all without ever having taken calculus!

The focus of my presentation will be Sandhill Crane Natural History and Behavior, with diversions and amusing anecdotes reflecting on the path that has led to a police chief becoming a Road Scholar bird guide. I still have no idea what to call it?”  By Tim Banks

The Banquet & Fundraiser will take place on Saturday February 07, 2015 at the Parkway Plaza. Festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a Silent Auction and many raffle items to bid on. Please consider making a donation(s) to our annual fundraiser. Contact Karen Anfang, 472-0278. The success of this gathering depends on you. Thank you for being so supportive!

Banquet Chairperson—Karen Anfang