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January 2010

Conservation Connection January 2010

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In this issue:

  • Little things
  • Powerline
  • Free at last!
  • Changes afoot

children exploring a forested creek

Kids explore a creek in Whatcom County to see what wildlife live there. How can we know without looking first?
Photo: Peter Frazier




Little Things Win Big Protection

"Survey and Manage" ABCs for the Northwest were recently upheld in a court decision that overturns the last remaining piece of the Bush administration's strategy to boost logging in our region's old-growth forests. Now, forest managers are once again required to "look before they log" for rare species. Conservation Northwest and others brought the legal suit to protect old growth wildlife and biodiversity.

The presiding judge wrote a thoughtful opinion stressing the importance of saving all the parts of the ecosystem. Quoting renowned scientist E.O. Wilson, he noted that unobtrusive species in forests, like fungi and bryophytes, are indeed "the little things that run the world."

mule deer in the Methow

A second powerline, if built, would cut up winter mule deer habitat in the largest intact shrub-steppe remaining in the Methow.
Photo: Courtesy The Methow Conservancy

Safeguarding Shrub-Steppe in the Methow

The Okanogan Public Utility District (PUD) is charging ahead with its plan to build a brand new powerline in the Methow Valley instead of choosing a more conservative route adjacent to existing highways and transmission lines. Recently we've learned that pole holes for the new line cannot be hand dug, as promised earlier, but will involve blasting and new roads. The new powerline would cut through the largest remaining block of shrub-steppe habitat in the Methow, fragmenting important mule deer winter habitat.

Our request to participate in a lawsuit between Washington State and the PUD was granted this week. We hope to help expose the hidden, higher costs of this damaging powerline plan across state lands and wildlife habitat.



Pacific fisher reintroduced

Averal is the 57th of 77 native fishers to return to Washington forests on the Peninsula. A final release takes place in February.
Photo: Dave Werntz


Happy 2010 to Pacific Fishers

Kicking off the third winter of their reintroduction to Washington, more Pacific fishers were recently released into remote sites within Olympic National Park, marking the return of these deep-forest hunters after nearly a century's absence. With this release, the park's new fisher population grows increasingly secure.

Reintroduction of the fisher, smaller relative to the wolverine, comes thanks to a strong team of government and non-government partners, including Conservation Northwest, the Doris Duke Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society, National Park Service, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. It shows the amazing things we can accomplish when we work in common cause with state and federal partners.




showshoers at Bald Snow in the Columbia Highlands

Satisfied supporters on a snowshoe outing in the beautiful Bald Snow Roadless Area of the Columbia Highlands.
Photo: Aaron Theisen

Celebrating the Old, Bringing in the New

Conservation Northwest is incredibly fortunate, especially in a tough economy, to have the support of 4,300 member households, as well as several thousand other volunteers and supporters who follow us on Facebook and take action. Thanks so much to each one of you for helping us protect everything wild and free, from wolves to wilderness!

We look forward to working diligently on your behalf this year and beyond. This month, we are nearly completely switched over to a powerful and elegant new database (generously funded by The Campion Foundation and Wilburforce), to increase our efficiency in processing information and communicating with you.



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