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September 2008

Conservation Connection September 2008

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In this issue:

  • Colville wild
  • Not soft on wood
  • Birds of a feather
  • Washington connected

Hikers at Clackamas

Hikers in the Clackamas Roadless Area, enjoying great opportunities for solitude.
Photo: Eric Zamora


Weigh in for Wilderness

Do you believe that wilderness is a lasting resource for the American people? Currently just 3% of the Colville National Forest of northeastern Washington is protected as wilderness, less than any national forest in the Pacific Northwest, yet many areas in the Colville are remote, lonesome, and wild. Now you've a historic opportunity to write a personal letter for wilderness and help chart the future for these roadless forests.

The Forest Service is deciding which parts of the Colville to recommend to Congress for wilderness , and as chief manager of the lands, what they recommend goes a long way toward making it so. They need to hear from you! In person at local meetings is the very best, but letters are also powerful, particularly when personalized. Here's some incentive. Take part in a letter-writing contest and win a prize for best personalized letter for wilderness!



We take the government to task, for salmon, caribou, and other wild creatures who need healthy habitat in the Inland Temperate Rainforest.
Photo: Murphy Shewchuk

Exposing a Big Timber Slush Fund

A coalition of conservation organizations including the Forest Stewardship Council and Conservation Northwest have filed a lawsuit against the Bush administration for illegally steering $350 million to foundations dominated by big timber. The money is part of the settlement of a lumber-trade dispute in which trade courts ruled that the US illegally collected more than $5 billion in duties on Canadian lumber imports. The administration negotiated the re-return of $1 billion as a "gift" from the Canadians, essentially "laundering" the money to bypass Congressional and public scrutiny.

"Once again the Bush administration is doing deals in the smoky backroom for cronies," says Joe Scott, international conservation director of Conservation Northwest. "In this case, it has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to a timber industry slush fund."



great-horned owlets

Young great-horned owls wait in the entrance to their nest burrow, anticipating a coming meal.
Photo: Paul Bannick


Birds of Many Feathers

The Columbia Highlands, currently being evaluated for wilderness protection, is a big draw for bird watchers. Why? Because bird diversity is greatest where topography and vegetation are most varied, and here in northeastern Washington the east and west come together in a startling diversity of landscapes.

Paul Bannick, Conservation Northwest development director and award-winning wildlife photographer, highlights the avian wonders of Washington, including the Columbia Highlands, in his new book, The Owl and the Woodpecker. Experience Paul’s bird photography in free presentations held October 23 in Seattle and November 6 in Bellingham.




wild links

Kelly McAllister, wildlife connectivity biologist for WSDOT, displays a road-killed western terrestrial garter snake, which could have likely benefited from a road underpass.
Photo: Marlo Mytty

Linking Up for Habitat

It was a good two days for wildlife in Chewelah, Washington, September 9-10, as 70 people met to plan ahead for working landscapes and wildlife linkages from the North Cascades to northeast Washington. Attendees at Conservation Northwest's second annual wildlife briefing ranged in interests from the timber industry to scientists to tribal members to environmental nonprofits.

At the event, Todd Thorn of the Okanogan Valley Land Trust shared his organization's principle, "If we protect open space we maintain the option to improve wildlife habitat. But if we lose open space we lose that opportunity." Conservation Northwest's organizer for the event, Jen Watkins, reflected, "Wild Links is a truly remarkable chance to link the many efforts affecting our landscapes, from the local to the regional."




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