Conservation Connection May 2011
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In this issue:
- I-90 wildlife
- Auction fun on June 8
- Washington's wolves
- Summer in the Highlands
Adiel Cue's vision of a planned I-90 wildlife bridge. The Spokane
grade school student was a top finalist in this year’s Bridging
Washington Builds for Safer Passage for I-90 Wildlife
Governor Gregoire signed a transportation bill continuing work on the
I-90 upgrade through the Cascades and smoothing the way for
Washington's first-ever wildlife bridge. That means safer passage for
Cascades wildlife, from elk to bear. The design of the 15-mile project from Hyak
to Easton includes increasing the highway to 6 lanes, expanding snowsheds,
and incorporating 15 wildlife crossing structures.
Upgrading I-90 with wildlife in mind comes on the heels of years of
work protecting habitat in
the area. The bill received such strong bipartisan support from both
sides of the Cascades and from a unique set of I-90 project supporters,
including AAA, Conservation Northwest, Washington Potato Commission,
Defenders of Wildlife, Kittitas County, Central Washington University,
Sierra Club, and you! Thanks to all who took action!
One of many auction items: Learn about Cascades grizzly bears in-person
with "Bears of the Last Frontier" PBS star Chris Morgan.
Don't Miss the Auction
Fun on June 8
There's still time to join us on June 8 for Hope for a Wild Future
at Herban Feast's Sodo Park, a fun evening of mingling with friends
and spirited bidding on unique adventures, all to ensure a healthy future
for our wildlife and ecosystems. Herban Feast's delectable eats are
not to be missed, and we'll feature premier wine from Terra Blanca,
beer from New Belgium Brewery, and a special cocktail featuring Dry
Fly Distilling's oh-so-smooth vodka.
This year we highlight some amazing auction items: exclusive animal
experiences, including behind-the-scenes days at Point Defiance Zoo
and Wolf Haven International, and hikes with wolf biologists. Mark and
Tina Christensen remarked on the lynx excursion they won last year with
biologist Scott Fisher, "We will never forget this trip!" There are
also multi-day sailing journeys, exclusive home stays, and a visit to
a Mexican resort!
To help ease you in, this year we are offering valet service.
A state conservation plan and chance for recognition: Good news for
Photo: George Wuerthner
A Year for Washington's
Following on the heels of a federal budget bill rider, the US Fish and
Wildlife Service announced a new rule on May 5 which immediately removed
protections for Rocky Mountain wolves (including wolves in the eastern
third of Washington). At the same time the Service announced that it
will conduct the first-ever status review of wolves in the Pacific Northwest
(including wolves in the western two-thirds of Washington). The review
will determine whether continued ESA protection is warranted and will
set the future course for the recovery of wolves in the Cascades and
Olympics. Please take action today, comments
are due by July 5. Visit our website for talking points.
Make sure to visit Seattle's Burke Museum for "Wolves and Wild Lands
in the 21st Century." Conservation Northwest has been an advisor to
the exhibit, which includes a small companion display, "Wolves in Washington
State." On opening day, June 4, learn about "Recovering
Wolves in Washington," in a talk at 2 pm by Executive Director Mitch
Friedman, and so much more.
Conservation Northwest members can get a $2-off coupon to the Burke
Big views from on high: Abercrombie-Hooknose.
Photo: James Jacobson
Find Energy on
the Trails this Summer in the Highlands
If you have never hiked with us before, this summer is your chance to
discover what the wildest lands in northeastern Washington have to offer.
This annual hike series, co-hosted
by Conservation Northwest and Kettle Range Conservation
Group, represents some of the most scenic and secluded trails in
the Columbia Highlands, with terrain diverse enough to satisfy the novice
to experienced hiker. Our hike leaders are fun and skilled, you'll meet
new, friendly people of all ages, and no doubt you'll be inspired by
what you see and energized from the workout. Register for hikes.
Don't miss your chance to work in Washington's remote and beautiful wilderness.
Build or fix up a hiking trail, meet wonderful people, learn new skills,
and help fellow hikers to explore the wild Colville National Forest
in the Columbia Highlands. With declining federal budgets, our trails
won't get cleared without your help. Sign up for trail work.