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March 2008

Conservation Connection March 2008

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:

  • Scat! Our blog
  • March madness
  • Wildlife wins and woes
  • Old growth hearing

Fisher runs into the Olympic forest

From fishers to forestry, get the inside scoop by reading our new blog.
Photo: Paul Bannick

Scat! A Blog for Conservation Northwest

What do okra and old growth have in common? Find out by reading Conservation Northwest's newly launched blog. From in-the-field accounts of fisher released on the Olympic Peninsula, to inside-the-chamber news from Congress, Conservation Northwest staff and guests are blogging on topics important to wildlife and wildlands in the Northwest. Go online today to read tales from the trails, get the inside scoop on our work, and chat with other conservationists about the latest news. "Scat!" is a friendly blog bent on fun, and we hope you will join in. Read the blog, ask us questions, or lend your comments.

Conservation Northwest supporters

Team up with Conservation Northwest.
Photo: Hudson Dodd

March Madness Has Begun

This year March Member Madness has gone digital. Online tools like a Facebook Causes widget and Myspace profile make it easier than ever to share your passion for protecting wild places! Every new person you refer scores you entries in a raffle for some great Conservation Northwest gear. And all new members in March double their impact with a matching gift from a challenge fund.

You can also become a Conservation Northwest star player by providing stable funding as a Wildland Partner monthly donor. New Wildland Partners in March are also entered into our raffle!


Marbled murrelet

Marbled murrelets co-evolved with the big old forests that once blanketed the West Coast, nesting exclusively in the canopies of old growth trees.
Photo: Thomas Hamer, Hamer Environmental L.P.

The Good, the Bad, and the Furry: News on Endangered Wildlife

This spring has brought in a slew of mostly good news for Northwest wildlife. Earlier this month, the US Fish and Wildlife Service released a revised habitat plan for Canada lynx after it came to light that political meddling last year compromised the integrity of previous drafts. The revised proposal for designating critical habitat is a vast improvement, but still contains some serious gaps. Conservation Northwest is working to ensure that all areas that are important to recovery and survival of lynx, such as the Kettle River Range in northeast Washington, will be included in the final proposal.

In another triumph of common sense over politics as usual, federal wildlife officials announced last month that they are dropping controversial plans to sharply reduce protected critical habitat for marbled murrelet, a rare coastal seabird of old-growth forests. The decision could also help thwart a plan proposed by the Bureau of Land Management to open lowland old-growth forests to logging in Oregon.

The news for wolverine, unfortunately is not as optimistic. This month the US Fish and Wildlife Service declared for the second time that it will not use the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to assist what is one of the rarest forest mammals in the West. In 2000, a coalition of conservation groups including Conservation Northwest petitioned the agency to list the wolverine as a protected species under the ESA.


Oregon BLM old growth

The Westside Timber Sale near Medford, Oregon, on BLM public lands.
Photo: courtesy Oregon Heritage Forests

Old Growth's Day in the Sun

This month the US Senate's Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests held a hearing on the management of old-growth forests, chaired by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, and including forestry legislation by the Senator with an updated plan for protecting old-growth forests. Conservation Northwest's Executive Director Mitch Friedman attended the hearing, where prominent forest scientist Dave Perry emphasized that big, old trees are the best refuge for carbon and most resistant to wildfire.

Many national forests in the Northwest, logged of their old growth in the last century, have grown up into dense forest thickets. How do we make these second-growth plantations more resilient to climate change and into better habitat for wildlife? Mitch Friedman explains how in his Restoration Marshall Plan for national forests in Scat!, Conservation Northwest's newly launched blog.



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