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January 2009

Conservation Connection January 2009

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In this issue:

  • Hope for our times
  • Fishers on the run
  • Letters say it all
  • Seattle on the move

exuberance outside

With hope and hard work, a greener world is on its way.
Photo: Brett Cole



Hope–and Opportunity–for a Wild Northwest

President Obama's inauguration triggered hopeful thoughts from Conservation Northwest's director Mitch Friedman: "Will we rise in common purpose, or are we just getting a rush off hopium? Myself, I am trying to take it to heart...."

Obama's first act was to order federal agencies to stop all pending regulations pushed through by the Bush administration. That's good news! For example, the action will block the proposed delisting of the Northern Rockies gray wolf, protecting the wolves from being killed until the new administration has thoroughly reviewed this harmful proposal.

Unfortunately, the order does not affect rules published and effective before the President's inauguration, such as the rollback of biological consulting under the Endangered Species Act. Currently, federal agencies can move forward with projects potentially damaging to endangered wildlife–from northern spotted owl to polar bears–with no input from scientists and wildlife experts. These Bush-era rules remain the law of the land until revoked by new regulation, legislation, or court decision. We are working hard to revoke rules that are bad for wildlife.


letter writers

Keith Aubry with the US Forest Service releases a fisher to the east side of the Olympics on January 17.
Photo: Jasmine Minbashian

More Fishers Head Home to Washington

More fishers were released this month onto the Olympic Peninsula as part of the ongoing recovery of this largely nocturnal, native forest mammal. Since last year, 47 fishers have been released. Most recently, 15 leapt free, 5 on the east side of Peninsula, where, in a surprising move, some of the fishers released earlier on the west side had headed. Cold months may seem an odd time to move fishers, but to live trap the source animals British Columbia trappers rely on the animal's tracks, visible best in winter snowfall. Winter is also the time when pregnant females need to establish dens for birthing their young.

A total of 100 fishers will be released as part of the ongoing plan to reestablish fishers as an important part of the web of life in our old-growth forests. The fisher's return to Washington is the culmination of a reintroduction partnership that Conservation Northwest helped launch with support from the Doris Duke Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society.



letter writers

Writing letters to elected representatives lets them know just how you feel.
Photo: Grant Wilson


A Winning Wilderness Letter

Conservation Northwest knows the value of a good thank you letter, just like Mom always says. We've been holding letter-writing parties in support of crucial conservation issues including wilderness protection for roadless wildlands in the Columbia Highlands. This fall, we held a letter-writing contest for all of you who submitted letters to the Forest Service on roadless areas in the Colville National Forest—where mountain caribou, lynx, and other imperiled species cohabitate in an area that uniquely blends the Rockies and the North Cascades.

The winning letter comes from Elinor Distler from the town of Colville in northeastern Washington. "The children are grown now but learned to appreciate the oft-hidden and unique parts of this landscape, their local heritage, and the importance of wilderness in their lives...."




new Seattle digs

Seattle office staff in their new digs! Left to right: KrisTina, Marlo, Paul.

We're on the Move in Seattle

Being ever trend setters, not trend followers, here at Conservation Northwest we've recently moved our Seattle office not far from funky Fremont to the intrepid Interbay neighborhood. The move not only saves us money: The new space is more functional with separate offices for staff–a real first!–and comes with actual storage space, a larger conference room, and ample parking for visitors.

Conservation Northwest has had a Seattle office presence since the turn of the millennium when we helped launch The Cascades Conservation Partnership. The Fremont pad provided an invigorating home to volunteer efforts such as the Ancient Forest Roadshow and was birthplace to the Cascades Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project. It has also been the site of some unforgettable parties, a tradition we'd like to continue. Look for a party invitation to an open house from us in the coming months!




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