Conservation Northwest

Conservation Northwest

The Conservation Connection

March 2016

Auction · Wildfire Editorial · Range Riding · Mountain Caribou · Prescribed Fire · Blanchard Forest

Our 13th annual Hope for a Wild Future Dinner and Auction is on April 21st

Our 13th annual Hope for a Wild Future Dinner and Auction is on April 21st.

Hope for a Wild Future auction and dinner

There's no better way to celebrate Earth Week than recognizing our part of the Earth, the Northwest, at our 13th annual Hope for a Wild Future Dinner and Auction on April 21st! Join us at 5:30 p.m. at Bell Harbor International Conference Center, where we're hosting a big bash to help support Conservation Northwest and to bring together our dedicated conservation community.

This year will prove to be an important one for conservation and we need your help! Please register today. Early bird tickets available until April 1st.
More Info

 
Prescribed burns like this one are one of our best tools to prevent large wildfires like those we saw in 2014 and 2015.
Prescribed burns like this one are one of our best tools to prevent large wildfires like those we saw in 2014 and 2015.
Photo: USFS

Our Wenatchee World Op-Ed: Seek tools for resilient forests

Last week, three of Washington's congressional representatives published an Op-Ed in the Wenatchee World scapegoating federal forests as the culprit for our state's recent large wildfires. What they missed was the fact that most of the land burned in record fires during the last two years was ranch and grassland. In terms of the ownership of land burned, more acres were private than public. And contrary to common belief, more logging doesn't necessarily mean less fire. Vast acreage of intensively managed timber burned hot on tribal and corporate land in last summer's North Star and Carpenter Road fires.

There are things we can and must do to protect people, property and habitat from large fires. But our only chance at making things better, not worse, is by advancing policy with a clear, honest view of the facts.
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Our Range Rider Pilot Project manager Jay Kehne checking in with one of our ranching partners and their livestock.
Our Range Rider Pilot Project manager Jay Kehne checking in with one of our ranching partners and their livestock.
Photo: Jay Kehne

Report from our range rider 2015 field season

The Range Rider Pilot Project, a collaborative effort with seven ranchers grazing cattle in areas of Eastern Washington occupied by six different wolf packs in 2015, has previously produced three years with no livestock lost to wolf conflicts in our project areas. This effort seeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of non-lethal measures in reducing conflicts where wolves and livestock overlap in Washington, keeping cows and wolves safe and building social tolerance for these native predators.

In 2015, our ranching partners experienced three livestock depredations, the first wolf-cattle conflicts confirmed within our project areas. However, we believe the most recent field season was a success. Along with our ranching partners, we understand that range riding and other nonlethal deterrence methods are not always going to be 100 percent successful where livestock and predators share territory. The goal is to promote coexistence and reduce conflicts as much as possible.
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A mountain caribou peers out through the forest. Hart Range, British Columbia.
A mountain caribou peers out through the forest. Hart Range, British Columbia.
Photo: David Moskowitz

Lessons from mountain caribou country

In addition to helping lead our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project and supporting a number of other science and conservation efforts, our friend and contractor David Moskowitz has a new project to spread awareness about one of the most endangered species in North America: the mountain caribou.

David has set out to study and document these imperiled creatures in northeast Washington, northwest Idaho and southern British Columbia through his Mountain Caribou Initiative. Read his guest post below to learn more about the Initiative, and then please visit his Kickstarter page to show your support!
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After the 2015 Okanogan Fire, the results of proactive prescribed burning on the right and thinning without prescribed burning on the left.
After the 2015 Okanogan Fire, the results of proactive prescribed burning on the right and thinning without prescribed burning on the left.
Photo: WDFW

Prescribed fire and wildfire

Fire is a natural process that has been occurring on Northwest landscapes for thousands of years. As climate change affects weather patterns and raises average summer temperatures, the question to ask is not "how do we get rid of wildfires?" Instead, it's "how do we want our fire?"

Increasing community preparedness in tandem with managing our landscapes using prescribed burning and selective thinning are keys to maintaining resilient forests, safer communities and quality wildlife habitat in the Northwest.
Read more

 
Hikers enjoying the view from Oyster Dome in the Blanchard State Forest.
Hikers enjoying the view from Oyster Dome in the Blanchard State Forest.
Photo: Washington DNR

Blanchard Forest still needs your help

Oyster Dome and Blanchard Mountain are some of the most well-loved recreation destinations in Western Washington. But in 2017 this cherished area could be dramatically changed by logging.

Mitch Friedman, our Executive Director, reflects on the Blanchard Forest Strategy agreement, the ongoing fight to protect Blanchard, and the need for all of us to continue speaking up for this unique and beautiful place while we still can.
Read more

 
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