Conservation Connection October 2006
Conservation Connection - October 2006
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In this issue:
- Protective rulings: for roadless, old growth, caribou, lynx, wolverine
- Saying "so long" to I-933
- Wilderness comes to Spokane
Protecting old growth, Canada lynx and other
wildlife: Judges are fed up over extremist administrative policies
that harm our lands and wildlife.
Photo: Art Wolfe
Courting Success for Roadless Forests, Old Growth, Caribou, Lynx, and Wolverine
Wildlands and wildlife have recently won big gains in response to legal
suits brought by conservation groups including Conservation Northwest.
Today, judges are helping bring back balance to an out-of-whack agenda
pushed by the Bush administration. While we are pleased with these rulings,
courts ultimately aren't the best avenue for establishing public policy.
What we need is an administration that advances reasonable–not
extremist–policy through the finding of common ground.
Forests: In a victory for America's roadless forests, a
federal judge reinstates protections–originally established in
2001 with wide popular support–for 58 million acres of roadless
Growth: A court injunction blocks 144 timber sales, sparing
thousands of acres of old growth. The ruling follows last year's decision
that federal agencies must look for and protect rare plants and animals
before logging public forests.
Caribou: Snowmobiles are prohibited from the last remaining
winter caribou habitat in the Selkirk Mountains of Washington and Idaho,
giving the endangered mountain caribou some much needed breathing room.
Lynx: Moving toward better protection for Canada lynx,
a judge rules that the federal Fish and Wildlife Service must explain
its decision to lump together all North American lynx rather than recognize
the lynx's separate populations in the North Cascades, Rocky Mountains,
Minnesota, and the Northeast.
In a breakthrough for saving the wolverine, a federal judge last month
said that the government must consider new legal protections for this
rarest of wild animals in the lower 48.
Whatcom County farmland, farmers, and most of us in Washington
State will be the big losers should I-933 overcome the odds and pass.
Photo: Tore Ofteness
Say So Long to I-933
Imagine, having to pay developers to ensure they follow the very environmental
laws that protect our farmlands and wetlands. Sound absurd? With its
"pay or waive" system, Initiative 933 gives local communities the "choice"
between waiving community protections or forcing taxpayers to pay developers
to follow laws already on the books. That's bad news–not only
for Washington's people but for the health of our wildlife, lands, and
water as well.
Conservation Northwest has joined with the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, United Farm Workers, League of Women Voters, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, American Lung Association of Washington, Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, and more than 150 other organizations to defeat I-933. Be sure to vote "No" on Initiative 933 on or before election day.
Hoodoo Roadless Area (RA) and neighboring Profanity RA: wilderness-quality lands in the Columbia Highlands of northeast Washington
Photo: Tim Coleman
Wilderness Comes to Gonzaga
On Monday evening, October 30, a renowned national authority on American
wilderness visits Spokane to give an inspiring presentation at Gonzaga
University on "Preserving Our Enduring Wilderness: Success through Grassroots
Citizens Activism." An original founder of Earth Day, Doug Scott has
long been active in the wilderness movement and is a powerful mentor
for people working to protect the lands they love. The event is free
and open to the public, and sponsored by Conservation Northwest, as
well as the Gonzaga University Office of the Academic Vice President,
the GU Environmental Studies Program, and others.