Conservation Connection June 2007
Conservation Connection - October 2006
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In this issue:
- Conservation evening
- Skiers and wildlife
- Logging ramp-up
- Prairie shell-game
Friends enjoy last year's auction.
Photo: Curt Gerston
Celebrate Summer with Conservation Northwest
There's still time to register for our 4th annual Hope for a Wild
Future benefit auction this Thursday at the Woodland Park Zoo.
Let us take you on a journey through the incredible Columbia Highlands
and other key landscapes we are working to protect. You'll also meet
the winners of the I-90 "Bridging Futures III" art contest and learn
about successes for wildlife in the I-90 corridor.
While the kids enjoy a private tour of the Zoo and dinner in the Zoomazium
with zoo staff and Conservation Northwest volunteers, you'll enjoy good
food, warm conversation, and other community committed to conservation.
Bid on silent and live auction items, including unique experiences,
weekend getaways, Northwest wines, and more!
Common-ground agreement protects old growth and wildlife corridors while allowing ski area expansion.
Leaving a Place for Wildlife near Snoqualmie Pass
In a positive move for Cascades wildlife, the Sierra Club, Conservation Northwest, Alpine Lakes Protection
Society, and Ski Lifts, Inc., operator of The Summit at Snoqualmie, have agreed on a new plan for the ski area
at Snoqualmie Pass. The common-ground alternative rises from more than a year's worth of citizen collaboration.
The result is a plan that protects key wildlife habitat while allowing the ski area to grow. The agreement helps
protect the forests of Hyak Creek and the only upper elevation wildlife connection remaining between the North
and Central Cascades.
In other I-90 wildlife news, the third annual I-90 Bridging Futures competition celebrates a future for
wildlife bridges and healthy wildlife with winning artwork from gradeschoolers Brenda of Wenatchee and Sandra
of Tacoma, who tied for first place with their drawings. Both will be honored at our annual "Hope for a Wild Future" auction.
Juvenile northern spotted owl. The owls need the open understory of old-growth forests.
Photo: Grant Wiegert
Like Disco and Polyester Pants, Old Growth Logging Is Out of Style
It's like the return of a bad dream: The Bush administration, under the guise of owl "recovery,"
is trying to kickstart an old-growth logging program, despite the fact that almost 90% of the region's
ancient forests have already been lost to logging and other development. First, the US Fish and Wildlife
Service, under the direction of political operatives, released a draft "recovery" plan for the imperiled
northern spotted owl (a gentle bird that lives in old-growth forests), laying the groundwork for
eliminating old-growth reserves across the Pacific Northwest. Then, just last week, they proposed to
cut 1.5 million acres (about 25%) from habitat determined to be critical to the survival and recovery of owls.
People in the Northwest care passionately about protecting ancient forests and the owls and other wildlife
that depend on them. Tell the Bush administration that old-growth logging is out of style, that their "recovery"
plan is not sufficient, and that you want sound science, not politics, to direct endangered species conservation
efforts. To genuinely help the spotted owl recover, all remaining mature and old-growth forest habitat must be
protected. Agency efforts should focus on thinning young, dense second-growth forests instead.
Last minute deal puts the Cross-Base Highway back before voters this fall.
Photo: Cross-Base Highway Coalition
Cross-Base Highway Back on Ballot
The Cross-Base Highway, if built, would destroy one of the last and best remaining south Puget Sound
prairies, believed to be possibly the rarest habitat in North America. As we last reported, the highway
was first removed from a roads package going before voters this fall. But in a last minute agreement
between Pierce County officials and local conservation groups, the highway was added back into the regional
Conservation Northwest did not sign onto this compromise package because the agreement reached does not
identify a viable alternative to building the highway across the prairie. The compromise merely defers the
debate and decision over the highway by several years, when a transportation solution and viable alternative
exists today. Conservation Northwest believes such a delay is an irresponsible waste of taxpayer time and money.
In the meantime, we are moving forward with litigation over the highway proposal.