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Community collaboration

Conservation Northwest has been hard at work across Washington State to create models that unite conservationists and woods workers and that rebuild and reinvest in our rural communities.

Field tour to a restored forest
Field tour to a restored forest

Reinvesting in rural communities

Conservation Northwest is hard at work across Washington State creating programs that unite conservationists and woods workers. These programs rebuild and reinvest in our rural communities and provide for the needs of America’s future generations.

"Ever increasing awareness of the impacts of fire suppression and past forest-management approaches has led to an exponential increase in common ground between foresters, mill owners, conservationists, and communities. Collaboration has forged this new common ground into active restoration projects in most of the forests we work on." - David Heflick

  • Conservation Northwest is an active participant in the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, working together with community leaders, timber industry workers, and state and federal land managers to promote projects that avoid ancient forest and roadless areas, and to end years of conflict concerning forest management in northeast Washington.
  • Together with the Gifford Pinchot Task Force we were active in creating and sustaining the Pinchot Partnership. Partnership members share a vision of creating restoration projects in second-growth plantation national forests that employ local contractors while retaining old growth on the landscape that keeps forests healthy, diverse, and wildlife friendly.
  • We helped form the Upper Yakima Watershed Action Group and today facilitate this group dedicated to restoring the function of the Upper Yakima watershed. The partnership groups share information, coordinate and leverage efforts, and collaborate on the Upper Yakima Restoration Stewardship Project. This brings better partner coordination and management within this critical watershed in the I-90 corridor. It also puts boots on the ground restoration projects in Washington's Central Cascades east of Snoqualmie Pass.

Unique efforts

Each collaborative effort by the partnership is unique in its goals and objectives. Some efforts have emerged from opportunities rather than from conflict. All carry the common thread of focusing on common ground activities that provide jobs and/or wood products while addressing high-priority restoration needs on our public lands.

While Conservation Northwest prides itself on providing leadership and expert restoration knowledge for each of these groups, the success of each effort is wholly dependent on the many varied individuals that contribute to each group.

"Working for the health of rural communities is not something the environmental community considered when they set out to protect forests and wildlife, but it became a driving factor. " - Regan Smith, who, while working for Conservation Northwest, helped found the Pinchot Partnership

By participating in collaborative efforts, Conservation Northwest blunts the wedge that some political interests seek to drive between ecology and economy, rural and urban people, and the east and west sides of Washington State.

The more that we can meet our conservation challenges with solutions instead of raw conflict, the better we sustain and build support in all things we do to protect Northwest forests and wildlife. 

Our allies in collaboration

The Red Lodge Clearinghouse compiles information on natural resource collaboration.
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