Conservation Connection April 2007
Conservation Connection - May 2006
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In this issue:
- Columbia Highlands
- Wildlife bridges art
- Support wolves
- To mine - or not
- For love of bears
- Auction solstice
Sunrise on Mount Sherman from the book, "Columbia Highlands: Exploring Washington’s Last Frontier"
Photo © James Johnston
Columbia Highlands: A Blueprint for Success
In the upper reaches of the Columbia River in northeastern Washington is a magnificent landscape
connecting the North Cascades to the BC Rockies, lands that local citizens have labored 30 years to protect.
Working collaboratively with a diverse coalition of local citizens, Conservation Northwest and the Northeast
Washington Forestry Coalition have developed a
comprehensive blueprint for the region's future that includes wilderness protection,
sustainable forestry, and old-growth forest restoration.
Close on the heels of the blueprint comes the book, Columbia Highlands: Exploring Washington's
Last Frontier, a first of its kind, in-depth photographic portrait of this little-known corner
of the American West. You are invited on
May 2 to Gonzaga University as we unveil the book with a rich sight and sound journey across the
Columbia Highlands. Join author Craig Romano as he explores the beauty of the landscape and its rural
communities, and highlights one of the most successful community collaborations today in the West.
Elk using a crossing structure under the TransCanada Highway in Banff National Park
Photo © Montana State University
Wildlife Passage Art Contest for Kids
It's time for students ages 8 to 11 to tap into their creative side for the third annual
"Bridging Futures" art contest. This spring, the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition encourages
students in Washington to participate with artwork about how we can make the freeway safer
for animals and people. One winner will be chosen from each school district, and the
grand-prize winner's submission will run on a billboard along I-90 and
near the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. The coalition also plans to create a "Bridging Futures"
book to educate people about wildlife passage along this important wildlife corridor in the
Gray wolves in eastern Washington could lose protection this year.
Photo: Angel Drobnica
Wolves on the Edge
The Bush Administration is removing federal protections under the Endangered Species Act
for wolves in the Northern Rockies, raising serious concerns about their continued survival.
The gray wolf's comeback from the brink of extinction is one of America's greatest environmental
success stories. Growing oil and gas development, logging, and other threats are taking a
mounting toll on the wildlands that wolves depend upon for survival. Removing protection of
wolves now could spell their loss, and prevent recovery in other parts of the region, such
as eastern Oregon and the Columbia Highlands in eastern Washington. Now is the time to
support–not end–wolf protection.
Old-growth Douglas fir in the proposed lease area
Photo: Gifford Pinchot Task Force
Halt a Hard Rock Mine near Mount St. Helens
Just northeast of Mount St. Helens a proposed copper, silver, and molybdenum mine threatens
the upper Green River valley in an area important to people and wildlife. The application for
a lease on public lands is the spear point of bigger plans by Idaho General Mines of Spokane
to develop a 3,000 acre hard rock mine on Goat Mountain, where a popular trail provides hikers
and equestrians views of the volcanic monument and the Cascade Mountains. The larger mine
threatens old-growth forests, the Tumwater Inventoried Roadless Area, and recreation on the
mountain. In this seismically active area of unstable soils, mining seriously risks polluting
the water supply for downstream communities and harming already at-risk populations of trout
Grizzly bear with cub.
Photo: courtesy Chris Weston
Bear Awareness Week
Throughout the country, May 14-18 is Bear Awareness Week. We are fortunate here in the Northwest
to have in the North Cascades one of the last remaining areas in the lower 48 states that still
supports grizzly bears. People in Washington have a unique opportunity to restore the North Cascades
grizzly, a North American icon.
In Seattle on May 16 at
Hale's Ales, join Conservation Northwest and the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project for a get-together for bears.
Or, on the other side of town enjoy a
free screening of the film "Bear Man of Kamchatka." In Bellingham on May 14 at Boundary Bay
Brewery, taste a brand new
Grizzly Beer; on May 16 at Backcountry Essentials, enjoy a free screening of
"Bear Man of Kamchatka." And on May 18
in the Boundary Bay Bear Garden join us for a family-friendly evening of music and fun
at Groovin' for Grizzlies. REI is
featuring Conservation Northwest as "nonprofit of the month" in May in celebration of grizzlies, and we will be
tabling in stores across the state. Throughout the month, look for creative products from local businesses in both
cities in support of grizzly bears!
The ever-popular Larry Taylor will again be our auctioneer at this year's Hope for a Wild Future.
Photo: Curt Gerston
At Summer's Start: Hope for a Wild Future
Join Conservation Northwest for the start of summer on Thursday, June 21, as we host our
4th annual Hope for a Wild Future auction at our new location at the Woodland Park
Zoo's North Meadow. Make merry with us as we look to the future of conservation in the
Northwest. This is a fun and educational family-friendly event to raise funds to keep the
Northwest wild from the Washington Coast to the BC Rockies. The evening features an exciting
presentation on the Columbia Highlands Initiative, including images from our newly published book.