About Us

 Working together for conservation

Founded in Bellingham in 1989, from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies we’re your voice for conserving wildlands and native wildlife.


Our approximately 20 staffers represent 4,000 dues-paying members in Washington, British Columbia and beyond. Our conservation community also includes more than ten thousand activists, supporters and online followers.

Creative and effective, we’ve protected hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlands, supported the recovery of threatened species from wolves to fishers, and touched thousands of lives throughout the greater Northwest.

Our successful campaigns and groundbreaking collaborations help define our effective approach to conservation. Elected leaders, government agencies, and conservationists know us for being tenacious yet pragmatic. Learn more about our programs protecting wildlands, connecting habitat and restoring wildlife on the Our Work page.


We protect, connect and restore wildlands and wildlife from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies.

National Wildlife Federation Affiliate


Our staff work across Washington state and into British Columbia, including a main office in Seattle and field offices in Bellingham and Twisp.

Conservation Northwest field staff and contractors also live and work in Olympia, Omak, Chewelah, Deer Park and Whistler, D’Arcy and Pemberton, British Columbia among other areas across the Pacific Northwest.

Check out a map of our staff and partners in 2018!


Meet Our Staff


Our Board of Directors and Board of Advisers are both passionate and driven to protect wildlife and connect wildlands in the greater Northwest. Learn more about our Boards!


Starting coalitions and forming partnerships, we have a history of finding common-ground solutions: from our pioneering protection of important lynx habitat in the Loomis State Forest to our cutting-edge work with The Cascades Conservation Partnership, we know that by working together, we’re building a stronger, wilder future for the Great Northwest!

National Wildlife Federation

We are also the Washington state affiliate organization of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s oldest and largest conservation organization. Since 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has worked across the country to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. Learn more about our alliance with this nationwide federation in this blog post from our Executive Director or in this affiliate highlight blog from NWF.


Our finances: Conservation Northwest is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington, supported by more than 4,000 families and hundreds of volunteers. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Our non-profit federal tax-exempt number is 94-3091547 and our Washington state UBI # is 601 135 446.

We are rated 4 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator!

A timeline of Conservation Northwest

A single list can scarcely record the countless volunteers, interns, and staff of Conservation Northwest who have worked thousands of hours on hundreds of projects championing wildlife and connecting and protecting wildlands and old-growth forests from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies to benefit wildlife and people.


Mitch Friedman founds the Greater Ecosystem Alliance (GEA) in Bellingham “to promote the protection of biological diversity through the conservation of large ecosystems.”


We launch the Ancient Forest Rescue Expedition, touring a section of a 700-year-old Douglas-fir log across the country to introduce Americans to the issue of clearcutting old-growth forests.


We appeal the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Plan for its failure to protect old growth and roadless areas.


We begin work to protect the Loomis State Forest, home to most of the remaining lynx in Washington state, from logging.


We organize an Ancient Forest Celebration in Portland on the eve of President Clinton’s Forest Summit, attracting 70,000 people to hear Carole King, Neil Young, David Crosby, and others.


We put forth a grizzly bear recovery program to encourage the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to raise its sights for recovery of North Cascades grizzly bears.


We change our name to Northwest Ecosystem Alliance as we broaden our mission to protect and restore wildlands in the Pacific Northwest and support such efforts in B.C.


We help pass Initiative 655 banning bear baiting and hound hunting of bear, cougars, and bobcats in Washington state.


We help design a management plan for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, protecting roadless and old-growth forested areas of the forest.


We reach a precedent-setting agreement with the state to raise money in order to permanently protect state trust lands in the Loomis State Forest.


Northwest Ecosystem Alliance turns 10 years old. We launch and complete the Loomis Forest Fund, raising $16.7 million dollars to protect 25,000 acres of critical lynx habitat in the Loomis State Forest.


We initiate the Cascades Conservation Partnership to purchase and protect private ‘checkerboard’ forest lands connecting the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to Mount Rainier National Park.


Canada lynx is listed as threatened across its lower-48-states range, the result of an original petition brought forward by the Greater Ecosystem Alliance.


We implement the Rare Carnivore Remote Camera Project, the predecessor to our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project, in partnership with the state in order to document the presence of carnivores in the North Cascades.


We launch an initiative to protect state lands on Blanchard Mountain near Bellingham.


Thanks to Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, Canada’s Snowy Mountain Provincial Park just north of the Loomis State Forest is formally protected.


We host the “Restoring our Roots” rally for old growth in Seattle, with a donated performance by Dave Matthews and attended by 3,000 people. The rally was in protest of the increased salvage logging proposed by the “Healthy Forest Initiative.”



The Cascades Conservation Partnership protects a four-mile stretch of Yakima River by raising public dollars to leverage public funds.



We form a partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to reintroduce native fisher to Washington, raising $25,000 to fund a feasibility study.



The Cascades Conservation Partnership campaign ends; throughout its campaign it raised $16 million in private funds and $56 million from Congress to protect important land in the Cascades.


We kick off the Mountain Caribou Campaign with allies to protect one of the rarest mammals in North America, as well as its old-growth forest habitat in British Columbia.


We join local timber industry and community leaders on the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition to focus on forest lands on the Colville National Forest.


We form the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition to ensure high-quality wildlife passage north to south across Interstate 90 in Washington’s Cascades and continue the work of the Cascades Conservation Partnership.


Northwest Ecosystem Alliance becomes Conservation Northwest, and we update our mission to: “Conservation Northwest protects and connects old-growth forests and other wild areas from the Washington Coast to the B.C. Rockies for the benefit of both people and wildlife.”


In response to a case brought forward by Conservation Northwest, snowmobiles are prohibited in the last remaining winter caribou habitat in the Selkirk Mountains, giving the endangered species some much-needed space.


We become a part of the newly-formed Working Wolf Group, convened by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, to plan wolf conservation and management in Washington.


The first batch of fishers are released into the Olympic Peninsula as a result of our reintroduction work with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.


In response to our urging, the Forest Service protects old-growth habitat and post-burn trees for lynx and other wildlife at the site of the Tripod Fire in northcentral Washington.


Conservation Northwest initiates WildLinks, an annual wildlife conference gathering experts and citizens to share ideas and better coordinate ongoing efforts to keep our region’s wildlife habitat wild and connected.


Conservation Northwest’s remote wildlife cameras in the Methow Valley capture the first images of wolf reproduction in Washington state in over a century.


Thanks to the Mountain Caribou Project, the B.C. government legalizes a recovery plan for caribou and protects 2.2 million hectares of critical habitat from logging and road building.


Construction begins on a wildlife underpass at Gold Creek, the first phase of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project, supported by I-90 Wildlife Bridges coalition and Conservation Northwest.


We host the public roll-out of the Columbia Highlands Initiative, a plan for wilderness designation, forest recreation, and ranchland protection for the Colville National Forest of northeast Washington.


A second wave of fishers is released into the Olympic Mountains’ old-growth forest.


With our help on the Wolf Working Group, a state wolf conservation and recovery plan is released.


Conservation Northwest adds $10,000 to a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reward fund to help stem the tide of wolf poaching.


We gain conservation easements in the Columbia Highlands, protecting open space and connecting wildlife habitat on ranching land.


BBC and Discovery Channel create a documentary on the return of wolves to Washington, starring Conservation Northwest’s Jasmine Minbashian.


We partner with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on a pilot summer range rider program to reduce conflict between wolves and cattle in northeast Washington.



We launch the Safe Passage on Highway 97 coalition to bring twin wildlife underpasses to a high traffic area in the Okanogan Valley.


We become a part of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s new “Working for Wildlife” initiative, adopting a seven-year plan to protect the function of a wildlife habitat corridor linking the Cascades to the Rockies.


For the third year in a row, six Eastern Washington ranchers involved with our Range Rider Pilot Program report no livestock lost to wolves.


Ground breaks for the first wildlife bridge to cross over I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass.


We and partners begin to reintroduce fishers to the south Cascades in and around Mount Rainier National Park, after documented reproduction in the Olympic Mountains shows fishers thriving there.



We continue fisher reintroduction into the South Cascades with the release of 37 fishers in the 2016 season.



We become the National Wildlife Federation’s official Washington state affiliate.


As armed extremists seize Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, we organize a rally in Seattle to showcase support for public lands with over 100 people in attendance. The Seattle Times writes a supportive Editorial thanks in part to our efforts.


We publicly launch our new Friends of the North Cascades Grizzly Bear coalition, a partnership of conservation organizations working to build support for grizzly bear restoration in the North Cascades.