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December 2007

Conservation Connection December 2007

NOTE: All links have been removed from this archived newsletter. For more information on any topics mentioned, please use our website Search bar above.


In this issue:

  • Keeping it wild
  • Revisiting lynx
  • Old growth whopper
  • Restoring forests

bottle and shirt

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!





Lynx by Florian Schulz

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.


Cowcatcher timber sale, Roseburg BLM

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.



Gold Creek near I-90 restoration

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!



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