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May 2006

Conservation Connection May 2006

Conservation Connection - May 2006
NOTE: All links have been removed from this archived newsletter. For more information on any topics mentioned, please use our website Search bar above.

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In this issue:

  • Party at the zoo!
  • Roadless forest gains
  • Provincial owl "conservation"?
  • Candid camera
  • Celebrate wildlife


Grizzly - copyright Florian Schulz

Grizzly bear, by photographer Florian Schulz, keynote speaker for our lively June auction.
Photo: Florian Schulz

Hope For a Wild Future, June 7

 

What's one of the hottest events of the year? "Hope for a Wild Future," Conservation Northwest's annual auction and dinner. This year, join us at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle from 5:30 to 9:30 for a fun and entertaining evening featuring award-winning photographer Florian Schulz, showing his breathtaking photos of wildlands and wildlife from Yellowstone to Yukon. Enjoy a delicious dinner, beverages, and silent and live auctions of amazing getaways, family activities, and more (many items are online for advance preview). Kids will enjoy dinner in the Zoomazium and a fun Zoofari tour.

This popular event sells out quickly. We'd love to have you! Please register online or call Rose Oliver at 1.800.878.9950 X10.

 

Hikers in the Columbia Highlands

Hikers enjoying roadless lands in the Kettle River Range.
Photo: Tim Coleman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roadless Gains in Eastern Washington

 

The Forest Service recently added close to 130,000 acres to their roadless lands inventory in the Colville and Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forests. The roadless gains come thanks to thousands of hours of diligent work and careful analysis by Conservation Northwest eastside staff David Heflick, George Wooten, and Tim Coleman, and former board member Steve Anthes.

The new, updated inventory recognizes the importance of special places such as Cougar Mountain, Owl Mountain, Granite Mountain, and Chelan-Sawtooth, as well as areas near the Kettle Crest that are critical refuges of pristine wildlife habitat. Acknowledging the value of these unique and wild natural forests will improve the future for all types of endangered wildlife such as grizzly bear, lynx, wolverine, bighorn sheep, bull trout, and westslope cutthroat trout. But the story isn't only about wildlife. People who love recreating in uncrowded, wild landscapes also benefit from continued management of these forests as natural and roadless.

 

Spotted Owl - copyright Paul Bannick

Things aren't looking up for spotted owls in B.C.
Photo: Paul Bannick

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic-Sized PR Disaster for BC?

 

In 2005, B.C. government biologists found only six pairs of northern spotted owls, an 84 percent decline in under a decade. Scientists believe that before industrial logging, 500 pairs of spotted owls lived in southwestern British Columbia, the only place in Canada they are found. Despite this alarming trend, a controversial new plan by the B.C. provincial government will forgo significant protection of the old-growth forests critical to the survival of this gentle and social forest bird, and instead rely heavily on capturing and breeding spotted owls.

"Captive breeding and moving birds around is like moving homeless people from one park bench to another. It doesn't solve the problem that led to the demise of the owl in the first place--loss of habitat from unsustainable logging. Owls need homes just like people," said Joe Scott of Conservation Northwest in a recent news article by the Associated Press.

The political sensitivity surrounding the spotted owl is high because British Columbia is the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. If the bird were to become extinct in B.C. in 2010, as the government's own recovery team predicted, it would be a high profile embarrassment for a provincial government that pledged the Games would be environmentally friendly.

 

wolverine 2001 - remote camera

Here a wolverine was recorded on camera in the Pasayten in 2001.
Photo: Rare Carnivore Remote Camera Project

 

Watching Wolverines

 

Conservation Northwest's interns and remote camera team have, as part of the Rare Carnivore Remote Camera Project, placed remote cameras near Snoqualmie Pass to follow-up on recent potential sighting of wolverine tracks. Wolverine, once abundant, are now rare, and are perennially shy, powerful creatures of our deepest forests. As we reported in our last quarterly newsletter, wolverine tracks have been spotted near Snoqualmie; and after a young female was "collared" in the Methow, a male was captured on film with her. Information from remote cameras gathered by volunteers are key to our knowledge of these wild creatures and how they are faring in the forests and mountains of Washington.

 

Bald eagle with chum salmon

Bald eagles are doing well thanks to the ESA.
Photo: Paul Bannick

Happy Endangered Species Day!

 

This April the US Senate unanimously designated May 11 as Endangered Species Day. And May 13 marks International Migratory Bird Day, celebrating the journey of birds between Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Central America. Days of recognition like these help highlight the everyday actions that individuals and groups can take to help protect our nation's birds and other wild animals and plants.

Recognition is good news. The bad news is that today more than 40 percent of species that have been assessed worldwide are threatened with extinction. The "Red List of Threatened Species," just published by the World Conservation Union, includes a quarter of the world's coniferous trees, an eighth of its birds, one-third of its amphibians, and a quarter of all the mammal species that were assessed for the survey. And while some animals in the Northwest are doing better, like the bald eagle and peregrine falcon, others need continued protection, including the Canada lynx, grizzly bear, wolves, and wolverine.

Large as those numbers are, they represent only a fraction of the world's species, estimated to total somewhere between 10 million and 100 million.

 

 

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