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

July 2015

In this issue:

• Army Helicopters
• Teanaway Wolves
• Logging Blog
• Cougar Quotas
• First Nations
• I-90 Funding


The proposed helicopter training area and landing sites in the North Cascades. Map: U.S. Army

The proposed helicopter training area and landing sites in the North Cascades.
Map: U.S. Army




Comment on Helicopters in North Cascades
The U.S. Army has proposed extensive helicopter training in the North Cascades to practice flyovers and high altitude landings, including at sites in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, near cherished backcountry camping spots and within a mile of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Please comment on this misguided proposal - Deadline 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 30th!

The proposed low-elevation flights and intense training activities have the potential to kill or significantly disrupt or displace imperiled wildlife or render their habitat inhospitable or unusable. Additionally, this plan has the potential to negatively impact outdoor recreation and enjoyment in the North Cascades.

We empathize with the need to adequately train our men and women in uniform. However, the wilderness and wildlands of the North Cascades is not the appropriate place to do it in the manner proposed.

A range rider at work in the Teanaway Valley. Photo: Laura Owens

A range rider at work in the Teanaway Valley.
Photo: Laura Owens



Wolf Depredation in Teanaway Valley
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that a yearling cow was killed by the Teanaway Wolf Pack on a public land grazing allotment north of Cle Elum, Washington. The cow was discovered on July 16th, 2015. The cow belonged to one of seven Washington ranchers currently partnering with our Range Rider Pilot Project..

Please read our statement for more information.

The range rider hired by this rancher and funded in part by Conservation Northwest was working amongst the cows daily in the area where the depredation occurred during the months of June and July. No previous signs of conflict or attempted predation were observed until the dead cow was found. No other livestock injuries or depredations have since occurred.

We are hopeful that continued nonlethal deterrence methods will prevent further depredations in the Teanaway.

 




Prescribed burns (shown here), selective thinning, and management of forests for ecological resilience benefits forests, people and wildlife. Photo: CNW archives

Prescribed burns (shown here), selective thinning, and management of forests for ecological resilience benefits forests, people and wildlife.
Photo: CNW archives



More Logging Won't Stop Wildfires
The New York Times ran a great Op-Ed last week about misguided legislation to mandate a four-fold increase in federal forest logging. This type of short-sighted forest management won't stop wildfires, improve conditions for wildlife, or address the legacy of old-growth logging and fire suppression that drives the size and behavior of modern fire events in the American West.

There is a better way. The key is to manage forests for ecological resilience—the capacity to withstand and recover from fire, insects, drought, and other natural events. Fire is inevitable and necessary in our fire-adapted western forests, and fire is predicted to become more prominent as the atmosphere continues to warm.

Read more perspective in this blog post by our Science and Conservation Director Dave Werntz.

 



Cougars in Washington's Gifford Pinchot National Forest. We've joined a petition to ensure cougar hunting quotas remain science-based. Photo: CNW/CWMP

Cougars in Washington's Gifford Pinchot National Forest. We've joined a petition to ensure cougar hunting quotas remain science-based.
Photo: CNW/CWMP



Petition for Science-Based Cougar Management
Conservation Northwest has joined with the Humane Society of the United States and other groups to petition the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to amend its three-year cougar hunting quota rules finalized on May 1st 2015.

We do not often nor lightly take formal action against Commission decisions. We felt compelled to do so this time because the rule was adopted via an egregious process foul that sets bad precedent and disrespects the public's ability to have adequate input on decisions affecting our state's fish and wildlife.

The petition requests that cougar hunting quotas be returned to levels proposed by the Department in February 2015, levels that are based on the thoughtful use of years of cougar research conducted by Department biologists and other wildlife scientists, and designed to maintain a stable, well-behaved cougar population in our state.

 



Lower Similkameen Indian Band dignitaries celebrate the opening of the new building near Keremeos, BC. Photo: Mitch Friedman

Lower Similkameen Indian Band dignitaries celebrate the opening of the new building near Keremeos, BC.
Photo: Mitch Friedman



Lower Similkameen Grand Opening
Our Executive Director Mitch Friedman was honored to attend the grand opening of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB)'s new administrative and community building last week near Keremeos, British Columbia.

Conservation Northwest helped fund and initiate this new building, and we're proud to see it complete.

Since 1995, we've partnered with the LSIB on habitat protection and community programs in south-central British Columbia. This includes successfully getting the B.C. government to designate the 70,000 acre Snowy Mountain Protected Area directly north of Washington's Loomis Forest in 2001. And together we support Parks Canada's proposal for a new South Okanagan-Similkameen Grasslands National Park to protect biodiversity, habitat connectivity and cultural heritage in the region.

 



Rendition of the planned Easton Wildlife Overpassing. The overcrossing is part of the now fully funded I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project. Photo: WSDOT

Rendition of the planned Easton Wildlife Overpassing. The overcrossing is part of the now fully funded I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project.
Photo: WSDOT



Full Funding for More I-90 Crossings
As the extended Washington state legislative session came to a close, Governor Jay Inslee signed a new transportation package that includes $426 million over ten years to fully fund the completion of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project.

Now we can celebrate that our state legislators and Governor Inslee have invested in completing all phases of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project from Hyak to Easton, addressing our state's most important east-west transportation corridor and one of our region's most important north-south wildlife corridors.

We want to thank the legislators and Governor Inslee, who made this a priority for our state.

 




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