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October 2008

Conservation Connection October 2008

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In this issue:

  • Vote reminder
  • Wolverine future
  • Get outdoors
  • Watershed preserve

Bodie Mountain

Vote! You'll feel big and strong. Bodie Mountain Roadless Area in northeastern Washington.
Photo: Eric Zamora


Vote with Nature in Mind

We all know the upcoming election is likely the most important election of our lives. But the importance isn’t just a matter of who will be America's next president. In Washington State, also at stake are the key issues of who will become our governor and our commissioner of public lands (in charge of two million acres of state forest and the regulator of private timberlands). There are countless legislative races, including vital local elections, from county commissioner to other public office, which all have massive influence our land and wildlife issues.

Don’t waste our forests: Vote the whole ballot! Vote every race with nature in mind. Doing so shows your respect–not just for the trees on which the ballot is printed, but also for wild lands and wildlife. Their fate can rest upon the candidates you choose.


A remote camera photo taken in April of this year of the wolverine nicknamed "Melanie" by biologists.
Photo: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Wolverines Threatened by Climate Change

Concerned by what is seen as government corruption of science and failure to acknowledge the serious threat of climate change, Conservation Northwest and a coalition of ten conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service for its failure to protect wolverines under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The wolverine, a solitary animal known for its ability cross mountain ranges and cover large distances, is likely at risk from changes in the climate.

"Washington State is one of the last strongholds for this gritty animal," said Joe Scott, our international conservation director. "Wolverines are the ultimate survivors, able to live in mountains that routinely get 20 feet of snow. But in the face of climate change we must work with our Canadian friends, not depend on them, to ensure these animals have a future."



winter wildlife monitoring

This fall and winter join the Cascades Citizens Wildlife Monitoring Project.
Photo: Conservation Northwest


Tracks, Feathers, and Fur

Meet photographer, naturalist, and Conservation Northwest development director Paul Bannick as he presents breathtaking images from his new bird book, "The Owl and the Woodpecker." Join us for these free events October 23 (Seattle-REI), November 6 (Bellingham), and November 12 (Seattle-Burke Museum).

Also in Bellingham, October 27, catch a sneak preview of the upcoming film, BEARTREK, following renowned bear biologist and naturalist Chris Morgan on a motorcycle adventure across four continents to understand and conserve the rarest bears on earth, including the rare North Cascades grizzly bear!

We need you this winter for snow tracking surveys along Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass. The Cascades Citizens Wildlife Monitoring Project puts people on the ground to document and better understand wildlife movement and presence of animals, from bear to wolverine, in Washington's Cascades. Participation requires training and tracking dates November through March.




wild links

Lake Whatcom watershed: Worthy of a preserve!
Photo: Tore Ofteness

Preserving Lake Whatcom Watershed

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continues to log forests in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Thanks to efforts by local citizens and legislators, the agency has been required by law since 2000 to follow logging rules set by the Lake Whatcom Landscape Plan. But how strict are these rules? Photographer Aric Meyer documented logging conducted in the summer of 2008 under the plan rules.

This just in! Tuesday night, Whatcom County approved the creation of a 8,400 acre preserve that shifts management of 25% of the Lake Whatcom watershed from DNR management to county park management. Creation of this park prevents timber sales like the White Chanterelle, above, helps protect the drinking water for more than 90,000 people, creates low-impact recreation opportunities, and provides vital habitat for wildlife like the marbled murrelet. Watch our blog, Scat! and our website for more on the story.




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