Conservation Connection July 2009
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In this issue:
- WOPR defeated
- Lynx in the Kettles
- Summer of wolves
- Field work - and play
Northern spotted owls get a breather.
Photo from the book, The Owl and the Woodpecker, by CNW's Paul Bannick
Photo: © Paul Bannick
Oregon's Spotted Owls Get Good News
You did it! Your letters helped protect Oregon's lowland old-growth forests for endangered salmon and northern spotted owls. This month the Obama administration
withdrew the Western Oregon Plan Revisions
(aka WOPR), a plan fraught with deep legal difficulties and tainted with bad science. In conjunction with the Siskiyou
Project, Cascadia Wildlands, and others, Conservation Northwest inspired hundreds of supporters to speak out against
the plan. Thank you!
The government also turned away from the
US Fish and Wildlife Service's earlier, flawed revision of the critical habitat for spotted owls, on which the WOPR
was partially based. This win comes on the heels of
good news for murrelets, when, in June, an agency report affirmed the need to protect
old-growth coastal forests for this rare and declining seabird.
Intern Dagmara Deren coordinates a hair snag study documenting lynx in the Kettles. With evidence of lynx there, we have grounds for better protections.
Photo: Derrick Knowles
Snowmobiles a No Go for Lynx
For nearly 20 years, Conservation Northwest has worked to protect the
rare Canada lynx.
In February of this year, lynx critical habitat areas were
by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We were disappointed in the details because an important area for lynx recovery, the
Kettle River Range, was left out of designated habitat.
Still, it was a great move for lynx in other parts of northern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Maine.
Snowmobile lobbies in Washington and Wyoming quickly filed suit to stop the habitat plan because it hinders
plans for new snowmobile trails. This month Conservation Northwest,
The Lands Council, and four other conservation groups moved to defend
protections for Canada lynx and help this wild cat weather the ravages of climate change.
Jordan Kehne helps out, teaching others about Washington's new wolves.
Photo: Jay Kehne
Wolves, Ranching, and Wildlife
A lot has happened this summer for wolves.
Another pack has shown up near the Washington-Idaho border in Pend Oreille County, and the Lookout Pack in Okanogan
County is raising a second litter of pups. Our executive
director Mitch Friedman was out with his family and with biologist Scott Fitkin, who elicited howling responses from the pups.
You can listen to the wolf pups howl, too!
We received nothing but positive feedback about wolves from the 1,100 people attending the Methow Arts Festival on
July 4th weekend. One sheep rancher stopped by Conservation Northwest's table at the event to say, "No, I'm not worried.
I have a sheep guard dog." Similar stories and more will be told at a public showing of the new film on living with wolves,
Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of
Great Predators, September 16 in Twisp, followed by a panel of experts. Please come!
Elk and calf pose for monitoring cameras near Manastash and I-90.
Photo: Conservation NW
From Monitoring to Meandering
Summer is a time for hikes, trail work, field work, and wildlife monitoring. Looking for things to do? Join us!
Take a hike, and see what makes the Columbia Highlands so special.
* Pitch in for trailwork
in the Columbia Highlands.
Groundtruth old roads and routes from Teanaway to Tonasket. We'll set you up with all you need.
* Share in the excitement
of photos and results from our ongoing
wildlife monitoring work as our teams search for
ghost bears and
fisher kits. Or
add your name to next season's wildlife monitoring opportunities.