Conservation Connection December 2007
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In this issue:
- Keeping it wild
- Revisiting lynx
- Old growth whopper
- Restoring forests
It might be the eggnog deceiving your eyes....The bottle holds 1 liter. Conservation
Associate Seth Cool is 6 feet tall!
Give a gift today to keep the Northwest wild.
A Successful Year for Forests and Wildlife
2007 was a year of quiet success for
Conservation Northwest's campaigns: planning for the return of wolves to our state, winning major habitat protections
for mountain caribou, and
introducing a blueprint
supported by economics for the Columbia Highlands. Please help us do more! Your
New Year's gift to friends and family
keeps the Northwest wild.
We are especially pleased to offer new outdoor items: a lightweight, nontoxic SIGG metal water bottle for
rehydrating after long hikes, and a high-performance base layer crew shirt for snowshoeing, skiing, or just
lazing around the house. Or, go "stuff-free" and give a gift membership to Conservation Northwest!
Washington’s lynx population, once widespread, has dwindled to a few dozen
animals in the North Cascades, Kettle River Range, and the Selkirk Mountains.
Photo: © Florian Schulz
Good News for Lynx in Northeast Washington
In a move that will help protect Washington's rarest wildcat, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has decided
to reexamine an earlier decision to exempt from federal protection habitat critical to the recovery of lynx.
The news comes in light of
revelations that a top agency official, Julie MacDonald, meddled with scientific findings for Canada lynx
and other wildlife. Last year the government failed to include the vast majority of lynx habitat in Washington
when designating critical habitat protections under the Endangered Species Act. Conservation Northwest and
other conservation groups vowed to take legal action, and many others spoke out against the plan.
In further, related
news, the Interior Department's inspector general will expand an investigation into similar decisions that denied or
limited protections for eighteen endangered wildlife species–including the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet,
and bull trout.
Many of the forests managed by the BLM are low elevation and contain some of the largest Douglas firs
remaining in the Northwest.
Photo: Oregon Heritage Forests
Winning Streak for Old Growth
This November brought exciting news on national forests for fish, wildlife, and old growth in the Northwest,
with the outcome of two lawsuits signed on by Conservation Northwest. Thanks to federal court rulings, the
administration is at last abandoning its years'-long effort to dilute Aquatic Conservation Strategy protections
for westside Cascades watersheds and salmon. The government must also now "Survey and Manage" for rare
old-growth wildlife before logging–putting on hold and protecting in the interim 100 mature and
old-growth timber sales in the Northwest.
But bereft from these victories are Bureau of Land Management public lands in western Oregon, where
old-growth dependent wildlife are threatened by a whopper
of a logging plan poised to eliminate old growth and streamside reserve protections. These forests filter
clean water for tens of thousands of people and are vital to wildlife habitat and wildlife migration between
the Coastal, Cascade, and Siskiyou mountains.
Volunteers this fall planting trees at Gold Creek in the Interstate 90 wildlife corridor.
Photo: Jen Watkins
Restoration: If You Break It, Fix It
It's a big job–shifting the Forest Service toward ecologically sensitive forest restoration and
stewardship of national forest lands. But together we are in it for the long haul, and Conservation
Northwest has helped make several gains
in 2007 showing what's possible. This year, while maintaining strong protections for old growth, we
helped thin overgrown forests, decommission unused roads, and reduce flammable forest fuels near communities
in the young managed forests abundant to Washington. Our work helped improve more
than 28,000 acres around the state.
And for every acre restored and project influenced, we submitted comments on many more to enhance the health
and well-being of forests, streams, and wildlife habitat.
Happy New Year!