Conservation Northwest

Conservation Northwest

The Conservation Connection

September 2017

Wolf Op-Ed · Washington's Wildfires · Day of Caring · Bighorn Sheep · Wildlife Legislation · Fisher Delays

A gray wolf walks on an old road. Photo: WDFW

A gray wolf walks on an old forest road in Eastern Washington.
Photo: WDFW

Wolves, collaboration, and a High Country News op-ed

Washington’s wolves have been in the news again this summer. While infrequent conflict between wolves and livestock is not unexpected, it’s never easy.

But behind the headlines on depredations and dead animals, a deeper and more inspiring story about wolves and people in our state is unfolding. It’s one that bridges cultures and communities to find common ground and, eventually, coexistence.

To better tell this story, this week Writers on the Range, the opinion service of High Country News, published an op-ed from our Executive Director Mitch Friedman exploring Washington’s collaborative approach to wolf conservation, and its value for the people and wildlife of our region. You can read it at the link below!

Fireweed in a previously burned area. Photo: USFWS
Fireweed and other plants grow in a previously burned area.
Photo: USFWS

Wildfire: more than ash and smoke

Our Science and Conservation Director Dave Werntz, who works out of our Twisp field office, offers perspective on the long-term effects of wildfire in Washington, as well as what Conservation Northwest is doing to advance ecologically-sound wildfire policy within forest management.

“We need to take the long view, continuing collaborative ecological restoration to improve forest and landscape resilience to broadly accommodate and benefit from fire,” said Werntz.

Our wonderful volunteers after habitat restoration work on Snoqualmie Pass. Photo: Alaina Kowitz
Our wonderful volunteers after habitat restoration work on Snoqualmie Pass.
Photo: Alaina Kowitz

Day of Caring 2017 was a success!

Conservation Northwest has been proud to participate in King County’s Day of Caring over the past several years, and are grateful to the work that our volunteers have done to help make the Northwest wilder every year.

This year, Day of Caring fell on Friday, September 15, and we were fortunate to have a record number of 70 volunteers from Microsoft and AT&T join us near Gold Creek on Snoqualmie Pass for some habitat restoration work. Together, we planted over 400 shrubs in critical wildlife habitat adjacent to wildlife crossings under Interstate 90. Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers!

Bighorn sheep in Washington. Photo: WDFW
Bighorn sheep in Washington.
Photo: WDFW

Working to conserve the vulnerable bighorn sheep

When you think of the animals that Conservation Northwest works to protect and restore, what comes to mind? You may have a mental image of wolves, grizzly bears, or fishers.

While it’s true that our organization has placed emphasis on recovering historically-persecuted and nearly extinct carnivores in Washington, we’re also working to help conserve and recover other kinds of native species: those of the hoofed variety.

Mountain caribou. Photo: Art Twomey
A bull mountain caribou.
Photo: Art Twomey

Legislation aims to protect wildlife

Nationwide, state fish and wildlife agencies have identified 12,000 species of greatest need for conservation action. Thankfully, bi-partisan legislation that is expected to soon be reintroduced in Congress would create a new support system to conserve and recover these animals, providing a boost for wildlife before they need the costly, restrictive “emergency room” measures required by the Endangered Species Act.

This legislation, called the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (H.R. 5650), would dedicate $1.3 billion of existing revenues from energy developments on federal lands and waters for states to implement wildlife action plans. This bill is a key part of the solution we need to address America’s wildlife crisis.

A fisher in snow. Photo: ForestWander
A fisher in snow.
Photo: ForestWander

British Columbia fires delay fisher reintroduction

Along with our partners at the National Park Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, we've temporarily halted plans to reintroduce fishers to the North Cascades due to wildfires that altered habitat in British Columbia, where the animals are relocated from.

Project partners emphasize that this is a delay, not an end to the project. We've been a leader in a collaborative effort to reintroduce fishers since 2008.

"We've made great progress restoring fishers to the Olympics and south Cascades, and we anticipate resuming reintroductions into the North Cascades as soon as possible," said Dave Werntz, Science and Conservation Director for Conservation Northwest.

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Conservation Northwest
1829 10th Ave W, Suite B
Seattle, WA 98119



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Conservation Northwest
1829 10th Ave W
Suite B
Seattle, Washington 98119

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