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News updates on our work from the Coast to the Rockies.
The Spokesman-Review on Sunday ran a feature article telling the story of Conservation Northwest's budding range rider program. This last season, 2013, Conservation Northwest expanded the program to sponsor range riders for three ranch families in Washington.
The comment deadline for protecting wolves in much of the United States including the Northwest has been extended to 10/28/13, with public hearings scheduled for Sacramento, Albuquerque, and Washington DC.
Over 50,000 acres of rich watershed and habitat for wolves and other wildlife in the Teanaway River Valley will soon be acquired and managed as Washington State public land, thanks to the ongoing work of Forterra and other partners. The Teanaway acquisition adds to the Cascades habitat connectivity objectives spearheaded by Conservation Northwest through our Cascades Conservation Partnership.
Conservation Northwest urges continued protection for Washington's Cascades wolves and their recognition as a distinct population. This approach would allow all the aspects of the Washington Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan to be fully implemented, while allowing for higher federal poaching fines and greater accountability to recovery goals.
The state has passed legislation funding proven methods including range riding to reduce conflicts with large carnivores. Funds will come from $10 added to the cost of a Washington vanity license plate. The change is expected to raise more than $1 million/year without raising taxes.
In their recently released annual survey, WDFW confirmed the presence of at least 24 new wolves in Washington, bringing the tally of wolves to 51. This estimate could be doubled again if unconfirmed estimates are included.
A run down of the wolf bills before the state legislature as of March 2013. Conservation Northwest supports bills that promote proactive wolf-livestock conflict avoidance.
Oct 5 - Wolves were the main focus of a meeting of Washington's Fish and Wildlife Commission, and nearly 100 people showed up to comment for continued recovery of wolves in Washington.
“We have been strong advocates for exhausting all non-lethal means possible to avoid this situation and are extremely disappointed that it has come to this,” Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest.
Sept 15 - Will Cascades wolves retain federal endangered species act protections? The US Fish and Wildlife Service is currently deciding, and Conservation Northwest and others called on President Barack Obama to maintain Endangered Species Act protection for wolves in the Pacific Northwest.