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Keeping an eye on the woods

Posted by Barbara Christensen at Jun 14, 2013 04:40 PM |

Here at Conservation Northwest, we actually have quite a few "eyes in the woods." A good chunk of them have metal irises with automated shutters. No, not robots.

Keeping an eye on the woods

A new poster advertises our hefty reward fund. Along with a recent training in Twisp, remote cameras, and our expert staff...that's a lot of eyes out in the woods for wildlife.

Here at Conservation Northwest, we actually have quite a few "eyes in the woods." A good chunk of them have metal irises with automated shutters.

No, not robots.

Remote cameras, placed in the forests across the region by dedicated volunteers bring data for biologists and inspiration for all of us from rare wildlife like wolverines, grizzly, and wolves.

And then there's the national forest and other conservation staff. They definitely aren't robots. They are, instead, dedicated experts in silviculture, ecology, and policy who help shape how forests and other ecosystems are managed on the ground, one restoration project, travel plan, and timber sale survey at a time, to help protect and connect wildlife habitat.

Eyes in the Woods trainingNew eyes help stop poaching

This week, another group of expert eyes committed to time in the woods, this time to help capture poachers and deter illegal killing of our state's shared wildlife. At a training in Twisp, many joined WDFW enforcement officers and our outreach associate Jay Kehne for an Eyes in the Woods program.

Attendees join a network of trained citizens dedicated to reducing poaching and other natural resource abuses through this non-confrontational expert witness program. The training, called Crime Observation and Reporting training (CORT), is also part of the Master Hunter program in Washington.

Even Jay, a lifelong hunter, learned something new: "One thing I didn't know is that for a judge to use poaching tip information, it has to pass a credibility test. If the information is coming from someone who has attended this course and been CORT-certified, their eyewitness account of a crime carries a lot more weight in a case."

Rewards inspire new eyes

Now we hope to have even more eyes in the woods to protect wildlife, when lots of people know about our hefty reward fund. We are offering substantial sums that lead to the arrest of someone who illegally kills rare wildlife like wolves, grizzly, and wolverine or who is involved in egregious events like spree killing of other species like deer and elk.

And now you can help! If you live in wild country, or frequent stores where interested audiences might be (think outdoor or sporting goods stores), please print out one our letter-sized reward posters to hang up where lots of people will see it. You could inspire the next person to report something they saw, and get a poacher out of the woods. Because only eyes that appreciate our state's wildlife should be out there anyway.

 

 

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