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April 2009

Conservation Connection April 2009

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In this issue:

  • Endangered species
  • Wolf news
  • Support science
  • Tramp on

Grizzly bear and salmon

The ESA needs science to protect threatened and endangered wildlife.
Photo: Chris Weston




Endangered Species: More than Just an Act

Since 1973, the Endangered Species Act has served as America's safety net for plants and animals facing extinction, helping stabilize or grow populations and saving hundreds of species from extinction. But in one of its last actions the Bush administration nearly gutted the Act with two dangerous rule changes.

Yesterday, Interior Secretary Salazar and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke promised to reinstate the consultation protections that have protected endangered plants and animals for decades. As part of the Endangered Species Coalition, Conservation Northwest was there to urge these leaders to do the right thing. Thank you for joining millions of other Americans in asking them to protect wildlife!

Still, there's work to be done. Secretary Salazar needs also to reverse the Bush rule that exempts activities causing global warming from ever being considered a violation of the ESA. That rule not only harms the polar bear and its Arctic ecosystem, it has deep implications for other wildlife, from mountain caribou to lynx to salmon. Please send a note thanking Secretaries Salazar and Locke for reinstating consultation. Ask Secretary Salazar to further strengthen protections.

Lookout Pack wolf pups

"I think cooperation is important. We can cooperate with the wolves instead of trying to make them go away." –3rd grader from Methow Community School
Photo: Conservation NW

Wolves Thrive Despite Setbacks

We're still reeling from the sad poaching of one or more members of the Lookout Pack, Washington's only known family of wolves. But as we wait to learn the outcome of the federal investigation, we are inspired by two things. Reacting to the news, people have been very supportive of wolf recovery in Washington. Most everyone, including the Washington Cattlemen's Association, our partner in the Washington Wolf Working Group, recognizes that killing an endangered animal is wrong.

In other good news for Washington's wolves, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Scott Fitkin recently saw two collared wolves and one of last year's pups. Not only did they all look healthy, said Fitkin, the alpha female looked to be very pregnant!

A big thank you to the 400 Conservation Northwest supporters who have sent a note to legislators expressing your concern over this poaching case and asking for the funding needed to ensure wolf recovery in Washington. Your voice is being heard and will make a big difference in the months ahead.



Northwest Ecosystem Alliance archive logo

From Greater Ecosystem Alliance to Northwest Ecosystem Alliance to Conservation Northwest, science is our touchstone.


Celebrating a Science Renaissance

We're proud to say that Conservation Northwest turns 20 this year. We are also proud that since 1989 we've made science integral to all our work protecting and connecting old growth and wildlife habitat from the Coast to the Rockies. What a pleasure then to have an administration that values scientific integrity.

On March 9th, President Obama signed an executive memorandum with a clear message: "Under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over. Our progress as a nation–and our values as a nation–are rooted in free and open inquiry. ...I want to be sure that facts are driving scientific decisions–and not the other way around."

The Administration wants to know how you would improve scientific integrity.




Hiking Thirteenmile Canyon

Hiking Thirteenmile Canyon in the Columbia Highlands.
Photo: Marissa Cool

Take a Hike with Us, Why Don't You?

Beautiful, rugged, quiet: Come explore landscapes of the Colville National Forest and Columbia Highlands in our summer hike series. Join us as we explore hikes that range from Elk Creek Falls to Wapaloosie. Bring your binoculars, prepared to see a variety of wildlife and expansive mountain views of this region. You'll see why many of these lands call out for wilderness protection. These Conservation Northwest hikes are cosponsored by REI and the Spokane Mountaineers, and all are led by experienced trekkers. Learn about the Highlands, get outside!

"Knowing that the surprises of nature will still be there waiting for us when we look for them helps keep us healthy, sane, and rooted to this area." -Elinor Distler of Colville, Washington.



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