Conservation Connection - September 2015 Click to view this email in a browser

September 2015

In this issue:

• Forests and Fires
• Wolf Poaching
• WDFW Comments
• New National Park
• Working for Wildlife
• BC Grizzly Bears


 
A mosaic of burned and unburned timber in the North Star Fire area, near several of our restoration projects. Photo: Jay Kehne

A mosaic of burned and unburned timber in the North Star Fire area, near several of our restoration projects.
Photo: Jay Kehne




Progress inside the fire lines

For over two decades our Forest Field Program has helped restore Northwest forests. Now, early indications are showing that our investments in protecting large old trees, thinning small trees, conducting prescribed burns and restoring landscape patterns for resilience helped shape the way fires burned in Washington this year. In several places, it appears this work favorably affected fire growth and behavior.

Get all the details in this "Inside the fire lines" Fire Dispatch from our Science and Conservation Director Dave Werntz.

Want to support this vital program that restores Northwest forests, improves wildlife habitat and creates quality restoration jobs in local communities? Please consider making a donation today.

 
The wolf poached in Whitman County, Washington in October 2014. Photo: WDFW

The wolf poached in Whitman County, WA in October 2014.
Photo: WDFW



Tougher wolf poaching penalties needed

In October 2014, the first wolf confirmed back in Whitman County, WA in nearly a century was chased down by a farmer in a truck and shot multiple times. The farmer turned himself in, admitting he had poached the wolf.

The punishment announced this month for the blatant poaching of a state Endangered species that wasn't exhibiting any sort of threatening behavior? Confiscation of the rifle and a mere $100 fine.

We're outraged by this lack of justice and the awful precedent it sets. This decision highlights the need to limit prosecutorial discretion by maintaining federal Endangered status for gray wolves, as well as the need to pass state legislation requiring fines for wolf poaching similar to the $12,000 fines for poaching Endangered grizzly bears and caribous. Read more on our blog.

 




Fishers and other carnivores need more support! Please take a moment to comment through WDFW's

Fishers and other carnivores need more support! Please take a moment to comment through WDFW's Washington's Wild Future initiative.
Photo: Paul Bannick



Comment for Washington's wild future

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is currently asking for public input to help guide the future of the agency. Director Jim Unsworth, who was hired earlier this year to lead WDFW, described the initiative as: "I want to hear about what we are doing right, where we need to improve, and where we should focus our efforts and our funding over the next five to ten to 20 years."

This public comment opportunity is part of the Department's new multi-year initiative, Washington's Wild Future: A Partnership for Fish and Wildlife. Comments can be made online through October 31 or at several public meetings scheduled around the state.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website News Updates for a forthcoming WILD NW action alert with suggested comments and the priorities we believe WDFW should focus on in the coming years.

 



Chopka grasslands, in the proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park. Photo Graham Osborne, South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Network

Chopka grasslands, in the proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park.
Photo: Graham Osborne, South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Network



New national park proposed in Canada

A new Canadian national park just north of Washington's Okanogan County would have HUGE benefits for wildlands protection, rare wildlife, First Nations and local economies on both sides of the international border.

To help make it happen we want Americans to voice their support too! Get the details and submit a comment today using this page from our friends at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).

 



Along with lynx and sharp-tail grouse, mule deer are a key species in the Working for Wildlife project area. Photo: ©iStock.com/Steve Krull

Along with lynx and sharp-tail grouse, mule deer are a key species in the Working for Wildlife project area.
Photo: ©iStock.com/Steve Krull



Fires impact Working for Wildlife

Led by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Conservation Northwest staffers, the Working for Wildlife Initiative is a multi-year partnership to protect wildlife habitat, working lands and natural heritage in Washington's Okanogan Valley and Kettle River Range.

Unfortunately, the Okanogan Complex Fires and the North Star Fire burned widely within the Working for Wildlife project area. Though we're looking at some significant setbacks, some key pieces of the Initiative were spared by the fires and we remain hopeful for the future.

Get the details and the latest on Working for Wildlife in this Fire Dispatch.

 



Grizzly bear mother and cubs in British Columbia. Photo: Jeremy Williams

Grizzly bear mother and cubs in British Columbia.
Photo: Jeremy Williams



News on Coast to Cascades Bear Initiative

Pique Newsmagazine, a publication in British Columbia, recently published an excellent profile on the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative.

A collaborative effort between Conservation Northwest, First Nations and other conservation organizations in southern British Columbia, the Initiative aims to stem the ongoing loss of grizzly bear range and to promote grizzly bear recovery in the transboundary ecosystems of southwest British Columbia and northwest Washington.

We appreciate this excellent news and hope it helps secure support for the creation and implementation of province-wide grizzly bear recovery plans to help the highly threatened grizzly populations in British Columbia's Coast and Cascade mountain ranges.

 




Visit our newsletters page for a paper or NEW FLIPBOOK version of our latest newsletter, "Reaching Milestones: Making connections for wildlife".

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