Conservation Northwest

Conservation Northwest

The Conservation Connection

January 2018

Blanchard Saved · Cascade Crossroads · Winter Tracking · Fisher News · Lynx Delisting · Caribou Agreement

The vista from the top of Blanchard Mountain near Oyster Dome. The core of this forest will now be saved thanks to your support!

The vista from the top of Blanchard Mountain near Oyster Dome. The core of this forest will now be saved thanks to your support!

Funding for Blanchard Mountain passed in Capital Budget

Great news! The state legislature finally passed a Capital Budget this month, including full funding to save the core of Blanchard State Forest from logging. The iconic trails, forests and habitat around Oyster Dome, Lilly Lake and Samish Overlook will now be preserved for future generations.

While a few minor details still need to be worked out regarding this Trust Land Transfer exchange, plans are in place to do so through the Supplemental Capital Budget and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Since the mid-2000s, we’ve been a leader in efforts to conserve this special place. Learn more about Blanchard Mountain at the link below.
LEARN MORE

 
A new poster for the Cascade Crossroads documentary! Look for more info on screenings soon. Graphic: Cascade Crossroads
A new poster for the Cascade Crossroads documentary! Look for more info on screenings soon.
Graphic: Cascade Crossroads

New film documents story behind I-90 wildlife crossings

Earlier this month we were proud to release a new film in coordination with the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition and local filmmaker Ted Grudowski!

Cascade Crossroads is a 30-minute documentary chronicling the story unfolding over and under Interstate 90 just east of Snoqualmie Pass in Washington’s Cascade Mountains.

Here at the intersection of a major east-west transportation corridor and a crucial north-south wildlife migration corridor, a monumental project combining conservation, collaboration, and innovation led to the construction of North America’s largest wildlife crossings project in conjunction with major infrastructure improvements for motorists.
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Volunteers learn snow-tracking techniques from CNW staff and biologists near Snoqualmie Pass. Photo: Laurel Baum
Volunteers learn snow-tracking techniques from CNW staff and biologists near Snoqualmie Pass.
Photo: Laurel Baum

Winter wildlife tracking season underway

Winter is here in the Cascade Mountains and our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project volunteer teams are out documenting wildlife along Interstate 90.

In addition to our annual remote camera field season, we conduct winter snowtracking transects along I-90 between Snoqualmie Pass and Easton. Monitoring for tracks, sign and other evidence of animal presence, this program acquires citizen-science data on wildlife movement to inform nearby wildlife crossing projects and other research.
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A fisher is released into snowy Mount Rainier National Park. Photo: Kevin Bacher / NPS
A fisher is released into snowy Mount Rainier National Park.
Photo: Kevin Bacher / NPS

Fisher recovery in the news

In 2002, we began a partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service to restore fishers to Washington. Since then, we've successfully reintroduced fishers to the Olympia Peninsula and Washington's South and Central Cascades!

This collaborative restoration effort made national news this month with stories on several NPR outlets as well as local multimedia features by EarthFix and Oregon Field Guide.

Next up for our fisher reintroduction project: the North Cascades.
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A Canada lynx, the rarest feline in the Pacific Northwest and a native species in need of protection. Photo: USFWS
A Canada lynx, the rarest feline in the Pacific Northwest and a native species in need of protection.
Photo: USFWS

Canada lynx need endangered species protections

Through a new species assessment, the Trump Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced their intentions to remove endangered species protections for Canada lynx. We're pushing back against this misguided proposal.

Lynx populations in Washington have declined since they were identified as a threatened species in 2000. And a significant amount of the habitat where they remain has been lost to large fires. Any decision that lynx no longer deserve federal protection is shameful, cavalier, and contrary to best available information. It’s clear that lynx are facing extinction threats and warrant federal wildlife protections!
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A mountain caribou cow peers between the trees in British Columbia’s Inland Temperate Rainforest. Photo: David Moskowitz
A mountain caribou cow peers between the trees in British Columbia’s Inland Temperate Rainforest.
Photo: David Moskowitz

Canadian mountain caribou agreement short on action

After decades of decline among southern British Columbia's mountain caribou populations, including the South Selkirks herd—the only ones that range into northeast Washington and northern Idaho—Canada and B.C. have come together to sign an agreement under the Canadian Species at Risk Act to protect and recover these threatened caribou.

While we've long worked to recover mountain caribou and protect their habitat and we welcome this agreement, the lack of concrete action outlined within it is concerning.

The agreement fails to protect sufficient critical habitat, and funding for proactive recovery work is notably absent. Frighteningly, the agreement may even allow some smaller herds of caribou to wink out instead of staving off this tragedy by undertaking and supporting directed recovery work, such as maternal pens.
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