Forests & community
Mature and old-growth forests are the heart of the Northwest, and communities - and wildlife - thrive when forests thrive.
Heart of the Northwest
Mature and old-growth forests are the heart of the Northwest. Healthy watersheds and older forests go hand-in-hand with healthy, prosperous communities and wildlife habitat. Conservation Northwest was one of the first conservation groups to recognize the power of ecological forest restoration and community collaboration, tools to restore and protect forests.
Since 1989, our Forest and Field program:
- Protects old-growth forests and help restore younger forests so they can mature into old growth.
- Ecologically restore national forests, while supporting efforts to conserve wildlife habitat and working forests on private lands.
- Joins local coalitions to work closely with local communities to protect and restore forests.
Conservation Northwest protects old-growth forest in Washington state. Old-growth forests offer people of all walks of life opportunities for recreation, enjoyment, and enrichment. National forests harbor most of the quality, large expanses of forest remaining in the West and also contain some of the richest remaining wildlife habitat.
Mature and old-growth forests support a diversity of plant and animal life. Downed and standing dead trees provide birds and mammals nests, dens, and protective cover. Healthy wild forests and their rivers are a source of healthy trout and salmon and pure drinking water.
We encourage the Forest Service to adopt responsible management and ecological restoration driven by vigorous science to add resilience to vast expanses of even-aged, plantation conifer forests in the Northwest. Our main focus today is forest restoration and collaboration on the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Colville National Forests.
Forests and rivers
Forests maintain and restore healthy watersheds. Older trees supply shade for fish and large wood to our streams. Removal and restoration of unused road beds improves rivers, wildlife habitat, and healthy watersheds and drinking water.
We're working regionally with partners to provide funding and guidance on forest management for watershed health. For example, with your support, we helped achieve a new Lake Whatcom park, the largest local park in Washington, on 15 square miles in the Lake Whatcom watershed near Bellingham, clean drinking water source for 90,000 people.