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July 2007

Conservation Connection July 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:

  • Colville blueprint
  • North Cascades grizzly
  • Up in smoke?
  • Free hikes

Vaagen Brothers mill in Colville

State-of-the-art Vaagen Brothers mill processes small-diameter wood from the Colville National Forest. The company is one of the members of the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition.
Photo: James Johnston



Blueprint Brings Balance and Benefits

Five years of discussions, meetings, and field trips has paid off for the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition. A recent economic report by Headwaters Economics takes a close look at the coalition's proposed forest management plan, "Blueprint for the Colville" and confirms that the proposal could lead to increased economic opportunities for communities in northeast Washington.

Headwaters found that the innovative proposal which promotes a restoration-based approach to forestry has the potential to create 220 to 440 jobs in the woods products industry, assuming that other influential factors such as markets and log prices remain steady. The economic report also found that wilderness and other protected public lands are associated with local economic growth and well-being. The coalition’s proposal identifies 360,000 acres of wilderness quality lands on the Colville National Forest.

Above all, the authors highlight the importance of moving away from adversity and towards a collaborative, problem-solving approach to land management. Ron Gray, with Avista's Kettle Falls Generating Station, a member of the coalition along with Conservation Northwest, agrees, "We hope we can be a model for other communities struggling to find solutions to increasingly complex forest management issues.





Katmai grizzly bear family

Grizzly bears are nurturing toward their young.
Photo: courtesy Chris Weston

Saving the North Cascades Grizzly Bear

Today, a mere handful of grizzly bears remains in the North Cascades, and without our help they could be lost from these mountains. Experience the story yourself in our new YouTube video on the bear.

Chris Morgan of the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project tells more in our summer newsletter feature story: "It's all about survival. The grizzly bears that remain in the North Cascades are descended from the bears that have maintained their secrecy over the last two hundred years.... Judging from the trapping records there were likely hundreds or even thousands of bears in the Cascades region at one time [but] like water droplets evaporating from a table, their range has shrunk shockingly."

"Ironically, what is good for bears is also good for people. The landscapes humans rely upon for fresh water, air, and natural resources are perfectly represented by the grizzly...."




Lynx kittens on a down log

Canada lynx need large dead trees for dens and shelter.
Photo: Courtesy Sunny Walter

Old Trees Lend Shelter in Burned Fores

Conservation Northwest supporters sent nearly 200 letters urging the Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest to avoid logging big old trees in the Tripod burn northeast of Winthrop, where thousands of acres burned last summer. These biggest trees represent relatively little of the wood volume of the sale (18%) yet are incalculably valuable as habitat for recovering wildlife such as the threatened Canada lynx.

According to the Forest Service's own report on the area: older eastside forests, including old growth or "late-seral" communities, were nearly eliminated between historic and current times. Considering this dangerous decline in old forest structures–large trees, snags, and down wood–it is nearly incomprehensible that now the responsible agency would propose additional logging of big, old trees in east slope national forests.




Hiking the Columbia Highlands

Exploring the Columbia Highlands
Photo: Tim Coleman

These Lands Are Yours: Summer Hikes

You've supported Conservation Northwest's work to protect the wild places of the Columbia Highlands in northeastern Washington and in the North and Central Cascades. Now, here's an opportunity for you and your family to visit these wildlands for yourself, with our free, summer hike series.

Conservation Northwest hikes in northeast Washington highlight some of the region's finest trails through the Colville National Forest's remaining wild gems, including Clackamas Mountain and the Kettle Crest. In northwest Washington, you'll visit Blanchard Mountain, where an innovative plan protects core forest and trails amid working forests. Or head up to Hannegan Pass in the North Cascades, home to the elusive North Cascades grizzly bear. In the Central Cascades, check out the Tripod fire burn area, or explore the lands adjacent to the planned wildlife bridges over Interstate 90.







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