The Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) refers to those swans that winter in eastern Washington, and primarily breed in central and eastern Yukon, Northwest Territory, northeastern British Columbia, Alberta and perhaps as far east as southwest Saskatchewan. The only recent nesting location in Washington is at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge south of Spokane.

Trumpeters migrate through in both fall and spring, primarily along a corridor that encompasses the area from the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains west through the Methow Valley into the Okanagon area and the wide path it creates moving south. Reports of wintering Trumpeter swans have come from the Washington/Canada border lakes/ponds to Cle Elum, Yakima and Walla Walla and points in between.

We will be adding new information on eastern Washington Trumpeter Swans as it becomes available.

Photo by Gerald Plowman

Phot by Mary Margaret

Photo by Mary Margaret


Ruth Shea

Our conservation and science advisor for eastern WA RMP swans 

After studying the causes of Trumpeter Swan nesting failures  in Yellowstone National Park in the 1970s, Ruth dedicated her career to the conservation of Rocky Mountain Trumpeter Swans.  Ruth earned her MS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana in 1979, worked as a biologist for a several federal and state  agencies (U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game) for over 30 years and served as Affiliate Faculty for the Department of Biological Sciences at Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID. 

She served as the first Executive Director of The Trumpeter Swan Society (Plymouth, MN) 1999-2007 and served on their Board and as their Greater Yellowstone Coordinator for many years.  During her 40+ years of work in Trumpeter Swan restoration, research and management, Ruth has contributed to numerous research projects, management plans  and publications on the Rocky Mountain Trumpeter Swan population.  Ruth left TTSS in 2015 and is now  building a new regionally-based conservation program, Northern Rockies Trumpeter Swan Stewards through the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative (Jackson, WY), that focuses on developing lasting private-public partnerships and collaboration  to ensure the secure restoration of nesting populations in the western US and expansion of important migration patterns and wintering distributions.

Ruth was a founding member and supporter of Northwest Swan Conservation Association. Like NWSCA, she believes that locally-based networks of informed and involved citizens are crucially important to create a secure future for our native swans.