Conservation Connection August 2009
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In this issue:
- Listening in
- Wild Links for wildlife
- Saving the prairie
- Carousing with kits
- The importance of being predator
Sen. Cantwell and Rep. McMorris Rodgers listen as stakeholders describe ways to find balance on the Colville National Forest.
Photo: Steve Anthes
Breaking the Mold: Colville Collaboration
On August 14, Senator Maria Cantwell and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers traveled to Spokane for a
special listening session on
and the Colville National Forest to hear about the exciting collaborative work of the Northeast Washington Forestry
Coalition. Looking out over a sea of audience members wearing "Balance in the Forest" buttons was an impressive range of
community representatives, including members of the Coalition. In the end, Sen. Cantwell declared that the management
suggestions for the forest seem doable and she would work with Rep. McMorris Rodgers. Both agreed to explore legislative
If that wasn't exciting enough, that same morning, Secretary of the Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke in Seattle on a
vision of ecological forestry for the US Forest
Service to protect water and habitat, ready ecosystems for climate change, and store carbon. The Secretary called
for this work to be accomplished through collaboration and singled out as a model the Coalition's work on the
Colville National Forest. Conservation Northwest's mission and our
plan to restore forests are being echoed
at the highest level of government.
How do we think across borders, for wildlife and habitat? Looking out over the Similkameen Valley.
Photo: Bob Peart
Thinking Across Borders: Wild Links
Conservation Northwest's popular
Wild Links conference on
September 23-24, 2009, gathers experts and interested citizens to coordinate efforts and share ideas that keep our
region's wildlife and habitat wild and connected. This year's Wild Links takes place in Osoyoos, British Columbia.
Participants will "think across borders" to help US-Canada transboundary habitat and wildlife.
The opening night reception, with wine and hors d'oeuvres, is open to the public at Nk'Mip Resort and Cultural Center,
and includes a welcome from the Osoyoos Band and guest speaker Gary Tabor from Center for Large Landscape Conservation.
What could be better than spending a beautiful fall weekend in the Canadian Okanogan problem-solving for wildlife?
The native prairie on and between Fort Lewis and McChord Airforce Base is a gem for wildlife. Here, two Taylor's checkerspots cavort.
Photo: Rod Gilbert/Ft. Lewis
Road to Extinction Gets a Sign
A Cross-Base Highway "ceremony" this month rang hollow when local equestrians and businesses, Conservation
Northwest, Transportation Choices, Tahoma Audubon, and WA Native Plant Society showed up to remind decision makers of the
native prairie lost should
this freeway go through. The road will shatter habitat for wildlife here. The oak-woodland prairie, where wildflower
fields frame a looming Mount Rainier, and western gray squirrels, Mazama pocket gophers, horned larks, Mardon skipper
butterflies, and many other butterflies make their homes.
The highway is no done deal.
The money spent to date on the Phase 1 connector road was all that the project had. There is no money to build the brand
new lanes straight through the heart of one of the largest and last native Puget Sound prairies. Let this celebration
be the last one for the Cross-Base Highway.
Volunteers head out in September to help document fisher kits just born in the wild. These kits were photographed at a release center in Oregon.
Photo: Cathy Raley/USFS
Hey, Where'd that Fisher Go?
This fall, Conservation Northwest's citizen monitoring volunteers, under the direction of biologists with
Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympic National Park,
and Olympic National Forest, head into the field to monitor reintroduced Pacific fishers. Teams will place remote
cameras where the radio telemetry tells us the fisher females are, to see if
are there as well.
Five years ago, Conservation Northwest had a dream to
this cousin to the pine marten to Washington forests, raising important
seed money for a feasibility and habitat study. The Olympic Peninsula
proved to offer the best habitat for new fishers, and starting last
year, fishers from BC were translocated into Olympics' old-growth forest.
Some of those 50 adult fishers are now
kits. These kits and fisher family life will be the subject of the
remote cameras. We'll be sure to share those images as they come in.
How do we learn to live with predators? The film Lords of Nature helps answer this question at two September screenings in eastern Washington.
Photo: Jay Kehne
Lords of Nature Film Showing
"Can people and predators coexist? Can we afford not to?" A thoughtful new documentary film explores this
question, as local ranchers and others in Okanogan and Pend Oreille counties are learning to live with
wolves returning to Washington.
"Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators" goes
behind the scenes with scientists exploring the role top predators play in restoring and maintaining ecosystems and
Make sure to join us for a public screening of "Lords of Nature,"
September 15 in Spokane and
September 16 in Twisp.
The film will be followed by a question and answer session with experts, including Defenders of Wildlife's
Suzanne Stone, Idaho Wildlife Services' Rick Williamson, Idaho Fish & Game's Carter Niemeyer, and Okanogan
District wildlife biologist Scott Fitkin.