Conservation Connection - January 2016 Click to view this email in a browser

January 2016

In this issue:

• Public Lands
• Blanchard Forest
• I-90 Alert
• Monitoring News
• Wolverine Video
• Chewuch Roads


 
Our staffer Chase Gunnell speaking about the importance of public lands at the Seattle rally. Photo: Paul Bannick

Our staffer Chase Gunnell speaking about the importance of public lands at the Seattle rally.
Photo: Paul Bannick




Rallies support America's public lands
Nearly one hundred people braved the rain to rally in downtown Seattle last week to show their support for America's parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.

We organized the 'Public Lands For All' rally along with other conservation and recreation groups. The event was coordinated with rallies in Spokane, Boise, Portland, Eugene and Malheur, Oregon, where a group of armed extremists seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge demanding that the federal government turn over or sell off public lands it manages in the West.

We were thrilled to have such a great turn-out of conservationists, birders, hikers, skiers, hunters, veterans and many other citizens who strongly support keeping public lands in public hands!

After the rally, The Seattle Times Editorial Board published a brilliant editorial supporting our cause. Check it out and please share with friends and family.

 
Hikers enjoy the trail to Oyster Dome on Blanchard State Forest. Photo: Anna Hogenson.

Hikers enjoy the trail to Oyster Dome on Blanchard State Forest.
Photo: Anna Hogenson



Save Blanchard Forest from clearcutting
Located south of Bellingham off Chuckanut Drive, Blanchard State Forest is a hugely popular recreation area visited by tens of thousands of people from across the Puget Sound region each year. Managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and encompassing Blanchard Mountain and popular Oyster Dome, the Forest features prized hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trails.

Blanchard Forest also provides important habitat connectivity as the only place in Washington where the Cascade Mountains meet the Salish Sea. But without additional funding from the state in 2016, Blanchard State Forest might soon be clearcut. Please take action!

 


Proximity of the proposed Crystal Springs development to wildlife crossings now under construction. Graphic: I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition / Conservation Northwest.

Proximity of the proposed Crystal Springs development to wildlife crossings now under construction.
Graphic: I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition / Conservation Northwest.



Protect habitat near I-90 wildlife crossings
You've by now hopefully heard about the exciting collaborative work being done by Conservation Northwest, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), and other organizations to construct wildlife crossings over and under Interstate 90 between Snoqualmie Pass and Easton.

Three major wildlife undercrossings are now in use by creatures big and small, and WSDOT contractors broke ground on the first wildlife "bridge," the Price/Noble Wildlife Overcrossing, in June 2015. These new crossings will make the busy interstate safer for both animals and people. But we just learned about a risky proposal that may jeopardize the success of the I-90 wildlife crossings project.

Washington State Parks has proposed a year-round development with a large lodge, conference room, RV facilities, retail shops and up to 100 cabins immediately south of the new wildlife overcrossing. Please submit a comment today! The comment deadline is this Sunday, January 31st.

 


A Canada lynx in British Columbia's Kettle Range. Photo: CWMP

A Canada lynx in British Columbia's Kettle Range.
Photo: CWMP



Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project news
As we begin a new year of wildlife monitoring, winter tracking is in full swing along I-90, with 50 volunteers spending days in the snow searching for wildlife tracks near the highway and new I-90 wildlife crossings. Some of our fearless volunteers are also maintaining remote camera sites through the winter.

Our 2015 remote camera field season was fantastic thanks to tireless effort from our volunteers, advisers and a little cooperation from Washington and British Columbia's amazing wildlife! Get the latest on our citizen-science wildlife monitoring effort in this blog post.

Project volunteers maintained sites in the Cascades, northeast Washington, and southeast British Columbia, monitoring for rare and recovering wildlife. Our focus species this season were gray wolf, wolverine, lynx, and grizzly bear, as well as general wildlife activity in relation to the I-90 area around Snoqualmie Pass.

 


A wolverine sniffs lure at a remote camera site outside Leavenworth, Washington. Photo: CNW / Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project

A wolverine sniffs lure at a remote camera site outside Leavenworth, Washington.
Photo: CNW / Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project



Wolverine on video near Leavenworth
Icicle Creek Canyon is one of Washington's favorite outdoor destinations. Locals and visitors alike prize the area for outstanding backpacking, rock climbing, fly fishing and much more.

It turns out that humans aren't the only ones frolicking in "Washington's Playground"; one of the animal kingdom's most iconic creatures hangs out here too. Volunteers with our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project captured this amazing remote camera footage of a wolverine above Jack Creek near the upper end of Icicle Canyon in July 2015.

Wolverines from Canada have been naturally recolonizing the North Cascades over the last decade. Today, around three dozen of these rare animals, the largest land-based members of the mustelid family, are believed to reside between I-90 and the Canadian border.

Learn about how we're working with state and federal biologists to monitor and support the comeback of Washington's wolverines.

 


A forest road washout in the Chewuch River watershed. Photo: USFS

A forest road washout in the Chewuch River watershed.
Photo: USFS



Speak up for sustainable roads in the Methow
Above the Methow Valley town of Winthrop lies one of our region's most popular and scenic wild areas: the Chewuch River watershed.

But an expansive and unsustainable forest road network is putting this special place at risk. We need YOU to help ensure a healthy future for fish, wildlife and people in this iconic watershed by commenting on the Forest Service's Chewuch Transportation Plan!

Access is important in the Chewuch. But there are currently over 350 miles of U.S. Forest Service roads in this watershed. Road erosion and washouts propel tons of sediment into the Chewuch River and its tributaries, choking endangered salmon and steelhead and damaging fragile habitat.

 



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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Conservation Northwest
1208 Bay Street #201, Bellingham, WA 98225
info@conservationnw.org
www.conservationnw.org
800.878.9950

 




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