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March 2011

Conservation Connection March 2011

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In this issue:

  • Help for wolves
  • Support wildlife bridges
  • Moving forward for wilderness
  • We are everywhere

The documentary film, Lords of Nature asks: Can people and predators coexist? Can we afford not to?

The documentary film, "Lords of Nature" asks: Can people and predators coexist? Can we afford not to?

You Helped Protect Washington's Wolves–There's More to Do

Thanks to all of you who championed Washington's wolves over these past weeks, writing a letter or attending a hearing. Your efforts helped stop several anti-wolf bills in the state legislature. To further protect wolves, Conservation Northwest recently helped expand a reward fund to apprehend poachers who illegally kill Washington wildlife, including wolves and grizzly bears.

Ten conservation groups have announced a legal settlement regarding wolf recovery and management in the Northern Rockies. If approved, the agreement would remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Idaho and Montana where they are faring well and return management authority to those states, while retaining full protection in Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, and Utah.

We are encouraged by this recent development because it helps defuse what was becoming an increasingly polarized and hostile debate, spilling over into Washington. The agreement also highlights the importance of having scientifically credible state wolf plans and would establish a panel of scientists to monitor the viability and connectedness of wolf populations. In the long run, this approach will benefit Rocky Mountain wolves as a whole and improve the chances of wolves dispersing to the Cascades.

A black bear near the site of the proposed Rock Knob overpass.

A black bear near the site of the proposed Rock Knob overpass.
Photo: CNW remote camera

Momentum Builds for I-90 Wildlife and Safety

A promising move by the state House and Senate transportation committees approves funding and advances completion of an important highway project. The decision builds momentum for safe passage for wildlife and people on Interstate 90 in an important north to south connectivity route through the Cascades.

Funding for the next phase of the I-90 Project will add 1.5 miles of expanded freeway near Keechelus Dam, plus a truck chain-up area, expanded snowsheds in a high avalanche zone, and potentially the first ever wildlife bridge in Washington State between Snoqualmie and Easton.

Partner groups in the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, including Conservation Northwest, are working to ensure the integrity of the next phase of this critical project. We're thankful for the help of many legislators for getting us to this point, but most especially Rep. Judy Clibborn, House transportation committee chair. We're also appreciative of supporting organizations, including AAA and the Potato Growers of Washington.



We don't have to choose between protecting wild country up on the Kettle Crest and productively managing our 

"We don't have to choose between protecting wild country up on the Kettle Crest and productively managing our forests."–Dick Slagle


Moving Forward for Wilderness and Wildlife

Make sure to check out recent profile ads that have been running in local papers around northeastern Washington, from Republic to Newport, this past month. The ads feature the voices of local people telling the story of eight years of cooperation developing a balanced plan for working lands, wilderness, and recreation in Washington's Columbia Highlands.

"What the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition is doing is something that Teddy Roosevelt would have done, something to that scale.... A balanced plan will benefit all different angles–from ATV enthusiasts, to sportsmen, to cattlemen, to timbermen. It's what we need to move ahead in the northeastern counties." - Tommy Petrie, Pend Oreille County Sportsmen Club



Looking forward to the events of spring–and summer.

Looking forward to the events of spring–and summer.
Photo: Crystal Gartner





We Are Everywhere

Conservation Northwest has an active social calendar, from Earth Hour to Green Drinks, from service trips to butterfly talks, and from Northwest trivia night to presentations on Lords of Nature and the Columbia Highlands. We also track public hearings, open houses, and other opportunities to help you stay active in keeping the Northwest wild. Visit our calendar to see what's coming up in your part of the state!

One date you won't want to miss is Wednesday, June 8, and our fun annual auction at Herban Feast's historic SoDo Park. At Hope for a Wild Future, we guarantee a special and exciting night celebrating Conservation Northwest's work protecting and connecting wildlife and habitat from the Coast to the Rockies.




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