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Scat! Conservation Northwest's Blog

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Welcome to Conservation Northwest's blog.

News flash on Okanogan ATVs

News flash on Okanogan ATVs

Posted by Mitch Friedman at Mar 24, 2014 01:35 PM |

I’m delighted that Okanogan County, faced with a difficult trial against Conservation Northwest and the Methow Valley Citizens Council, chose to rescind two ordinances it passed last year that would have opened up county roads to an unlawful level of ATV access. The county commissioners had been overly aggressive in trying to use new authorities the Conservation Northwest, as part of a diverse group of conservation and motorized recreation stakeholders, shepherded through Olympia. The objective of the new state law was to increase recreational opportunities by allowing ATVs on certain types of low-speed (35 mph or less) roads while reducing environmental impacts by imposing visible license plates on all ORVs and boosting enforcement, so we can bust the bad apples who illegally ride through our sensitive backcountry.

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Accountability for ATVs

Accountability for ATVs

Posted by Mitch Friedman at Jul 03, 2013 04:15 PM |
Filed under: What's Hot

Today we took a step closer to ending the epidemic of illegal and harmful use of off-road vehicles. Unethical ATV riders have created thousands of illegal and damaging trail miles on Washington state lands and cost ranchers and tree farmers millions in property damage. They can be a noisy disruption in a quiet backcountry for those who hike or hunt. HB 1632 will reduce abuse while expanding legitimate ATV recreation opportunities. Washington.

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Gaining ground on ORVs

Gaining ground on ORVs

Posted by Mitch Friedman at Feb 28, 2013 10:35 AM |

We need to end the epidemic of illegal and harmful use of Off-Road Vehicles. Unethical ORV riders have created thousands of illegal and damaging trail miles on Washington state lands and cost ranchers and tree farmers millions in property damage. They can be a noisy disruption of a quiet backcountry for those who hike or hunt. Gathering momentum in Olympia is a bill, HB 1632/SB 5513, that would reduce abuse while expanding legitimate ORV recreation opportunities.

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Going into beast mode for the wild

Going into beast mode for the wild

Posted by Mitch Friedman at Dec 11, 2012 07:40 PM |

The Seahawks are worth cheering about this year, powered by one of the NFL’s most exciting running backs. Marshawn Lynch is an inspiration who reminds me of Conservation Northwest.

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Standing in another’s shoes

Standing in another’s shoes

Despite a life-long fascination with both wolves and the wild ecosystems in which they are essential, I can put myself—including my chicken-defending inner monster—in the shoes of a rancher suffering wolf depredation.

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A new soundtrack for Lake Whatcom

A new soundtrack for Lake Whatcom

Posted by Mitch Friedman at Sep 12, 2012 10:05 AM |

UPDATE Mar 12, 2013. The Whatcom County Council voted 5-2 to pass the long overdue Lake Whatcom Forest Preserve. A big thank you to all the supporters who attended the meeting and encouraged a 'yes' vote. We will keep you up-to-date with what this means for Lake Whatcom and what the next steps will be. Lake Whatcom Park’s new soundtrack: ANTICIPATION, ANTICIPA-YAY-TION, IT’S MAKING ME WAIT... The pursuit of land reconveyance to establish a great new Lake Whatcom Forest Preserve Park has begun to feel like an old Heinz Ketchup commercial. Perhaps we’ll invite Carly Simon to perform at the next County Council meeting.

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Muddying the water

Muddying the water

Posted by Mitch Friedman at Sep 10, 2012 09:45 AM |

Dirty politics is threatening the Lake Whatcom Forest Preserve Park - and it’s critical that you attend a public hearing Tuesday Sept 11 with your friends and family. In its final stages, the process to reconvey state lands to Whatcom County to establish a large forest preserve park has fallen prey to the dirtiest type of political opposition, putting at risk the park itself. Tuesday evening, Whatcom County Council is holding a public hearing, and presumably a vote on whether to proceed with its request to the state to reconvey 8,700 acres (about 14 square miles) of mostly steep-sloped forest on Stewart and Lookout Mountains, on the east and west shores of Lake Whatcom. This vote culminates a process that has taken over five years of open public discussion and thoughtful political leadership.

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Blaming the bird

Blaming the bird

Posted by Mitch Friedman at May 22, 2012 04:20 PM |

Dad said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. So it was that I found myself yesterday testifying before yet another Congressional witch-hunt hearing about how spotted owls are killing jobs, as though it was 1996 again. [VIDEO]

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Truce Springsteen

Truce Springsteen

Posted by Mitch Friedman at Mar 06, 2012 04:10 PM |

There's an epidemic of illegal riding going on. Unethical ORV riders have created 3,000 to 6,000 miles of illegal trail on Washington state lands (3 to 6 times that of the legal mileage!). Off-road vehicles have cost ranchers and tree farmers millions of dollars annually in property damage and can be a noisy disruption of a quiet backcountry for those who like to hike or hunt. But if that was all fixed, how would we feel about ORVs then? A bill now in Olympia to reduce ORV abuse has a good chance of passing into law. It will require visible license plates on all ORVs and increase infraction fines. These are exactly the tools that experts say will discourage abuse. And with the curbing of ORV abuse, Mitch Friedman offers to call a truce.

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A holiday gift for Whatcom County

A holiday gift for Whatcom County

You can't even hike in the municipal watersheds of Seattle or Portland, much less conduct commercial logging on steep slopes. But around Lake Whatcom, people reside, drive cars and jet skis, and even clear cut steep slopes on public land. We can help ameliorate our declining water quality with a forest preserve.

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