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Accomplishments in 2014: Looking forward for wildlife

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It was a groundbreaking year for Conservation Northwest. As 2014 comes to a close, we can look back on numerous conservation successes in our region and also look ahead to more good news on the horizon for 2015, most notably the long awaited start of a public process for North Cascades grizzly bear recovery!

It was a groundbreaking year for Conservation Northwest. 

As 2014 comes to a close, we can look back on numerous conservation successes and also look ahead to more good news on the horizon for 2015, most notably the long awaited start of a public process planning for North Cascades grizzly bear recovery!Grizz2014

Today, Conservation Northwest has fresh and able staff mixed in with our veterans, our revenues are rising thanks to tremendous member, donor and grant support, and our conservation programs continue to hit their marks; finding success for wildlife and wildlands through determination, collaboration and sound science.

Conservation Northwest highlights in 2014

  • This year saw the first wildlife documented using the new I-90 wildlife undercrossings
  • Six Eastern Washington ranchers involved with our successful Range Rider Pilot Program reported no livestock lost to wolves for the third year in a row. 
  • The launch of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Working for Wildlife initiative, of which we are a partner, is an extraordinary opportunity to advance habitat protection, connectivity and the preservation of working lands in the Okanogan Valley. 
  • The traction we are suddenly finding for grizzly bear recovery in both the North Cascades and southwest BC through the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative is remarkable.
  • With our support, fisher reintroduction is moving forward in North Cascades and Mount Rainier National Parks. 
  • Our teams of citizen scientists are capturing amazing animal photos and important information to help guide wildlife conservation programs and land management decisions in our region.
  • We continue to remain committed and diligent in working for wildlands protection in the Kettle River Range of the Columbia Highlands.
  • Scroll down for a full list of 2014 accomplishments... 

Our conservation work is only possible because of member and donor support. Make a gift or become a Conservation Northwest member today. 

In this and much more, we're working hard to keep the Northwest wild; protecting wildlife and wildlands from the Washington coast to the British Columbia Rocky Mountains, places vital for us, our children, and healthy natural ecosystems.Volunteers2014

Looking Forward

At our staff and board retreats this past fall, we began discussions on what our mission might look like beyond 2016 so we can grow the organization accordingly. 

A number of exciting program focus areas emerged, and we will spend the coming year exploring the opportunities we believe best align with our vision of a protected and connected Pacific Northwest. 

Meanwhile, we expect to accomplish several key objectives from our current programs in the next few years, including: 

We appreciate the steadfast support we received from our conservation community this year, and we're looking forward to a wilder Northwest in 2015!

Full list of 2014 accomplishments 

  • Announced the start of the collaborative ‘Working for Wildlife Initiative' with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, Colville Tribes and other partners to connect critical habitats and preserve wildlife and wildlands in the Okanogan Valley, a key bottleneck of the Cascades to Rockies habitat corridor.
  • Expanded our range rider pilot program to help six ranchers in Washington wolf country fund, train and employ five range riders in the territory of five wolf packs. Though Washington wolf packs suffered several tragic losses this year and there was a contentious conflict involving the Huckleberry Pack, our ranching partners experienced no losses to wolves in 2014, building tolerance for wolf recovery in their communities and proving that non-lethal conflict avoidance methods can work well.
  • Began working group discussions and outreach events supporting the North Cascades grizzly bear recovery planning process announced by the National Park Service.
  • Completed our Columbia Highlands Initiative Capital Campaign, including the final phase of on-the-ground habitat protection on 1,024 acres of working ranchlands containing land key to the Cascades to Rockies habitat corridor. Conservation easements helped these families fulfill their dream of committing their land to agriculture, open space, and wildlife habitat.
  • Conducted three “Eyes in the Woods” trainings in partnership with the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Mule Deer Foundation, educating citizens dedicated to reducing poaching and other natural resource abuses through this non-confrontational expert witness program.
  • Hosted community events in Whistler and talks with city and district councils across British Columbia through the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative, leading to a number of these cities and districts passing resolutions affirming their support for grizzly bear recovery.
  • Spearheaded development and implementation of new forest restoration science to restore healthy and resilient forest ecosystems within the Kettle Range and other parts of the Colville National Forest.
  • Sent a team of staff to help out a ranching partner in Colville National Forest, learning firsthand about ranching and range riding in Washington wolf country and how conflict avoidance techniques can successfully prevent depredations on livestock.
  • Participated in forest collaboratives to improve the resilience and health of forests in the Northwest, ensuring these ecosystems have a better shot at enduring the age of climate change and increasing wildfires.
  • Litigated a risky decision by the Okanogan County Commission to triple the amount of roads open to All-Terrain- and Off-Road-Vehicles in that county without a thoughtful environmental or community review.
  • Sent 27 teams of citizen scientists into the field this summer and fall searching for evidence of rare and recovering wildlife through our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Program.  As a result of these efforts, we documented three potential new individual North Cascades wolverines (pending genetic confirmation) and a rare Canada lynx in the transboundary region of the Kettle Range, the first lynx photographed in the area by our monitoring program.
  • coyotesCWMP2014Hosted several planting parties at the Gold Creek area near the new I-90 wildlife undercrossings, improving fish and wildlife habitat and removing invasive plant species with the help of more than 50 volunteers. 
  • Worked with WDFW, a local rancher and volunteers to string fladry around several miles of calving pastures in the Teanaway Valley to reduce the chance for conflict between livestock and a nearby wolf pack with pups.
  • Helped document the first wildlife, including deer, coyotes and ducklings, to use the new wildlife crossings under I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass, a project Conservation Northwest helped bring about in partnership with the Washington Department of Transportation. 
  • Engaged our supporters in conservation advocacy and action by driving turnout and public comment for a public process seeking to create a sustainable road system in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest; gathering close to five hundred comments objecting to a risky copper mine proposal near the headwaters of Washington’s Methow River; and speaking out against plans to downlist the rare woodland caribou of the southern Selkirk Mountains from Endangered to Threatened. 
  • Called for a sustainable future for the Teanaway Community Forest, driving public comments and attendance to speak out for sound forest and recreation management of the new public forest.
  • Supported efforts by the National Park Service to reintroduce fishers to North Cascades and Mount Rainier National Parks by providing talking points, gathering public comments and driving turnout at public meetings.
  • Wielgus2014Filed suit with the Western Environmental Law Center to ensure Canada lynx in the Northwest receive critical habitat designations they need to recover in Washington’s Kettle Range and other areas of their historic habitat in our region.
  • Hosted a Wolf Management Symposium at the University of Washington present new findings and expertise on managing wolf recovery using the latest scientific data.
  • With the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, brought together ranchers, range riders, wolf researchers and wildlife agency officials from Washington and Montana at the K Diamond K Ranch in Republic, Washington for the first annual Rancher Range Rider Rendezvous, or 4R. The event helped attendees learn from each other’s perspectives and experiences raising and grazing livestock where predators like gray wolves and grizzly bears roam.4R 2014
  • Filed an Intent to Sue letter with EarthJustice and other groups to ensure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service follows well-established science and gives wolverines protections vital to their species' survival in the Lower 48.
  • Worked with state legislators, Department of Fish and Wildlife leadership and other elected officials in Olympia to support wildlife and wildlands conservation objectives.
  • With other wildlife groups, we offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for the poaching of an alpha female wolf from the Teanaway Pack.
  • Organized and hosted the 2014 Wild Links Conference at North Cascades Institute, bringing together researchers, conservationists, land managers, agency officials, tribal and First Nations leaders, and other experts from Washington and B.C. to share ideas and better coordinate keeping our region's wildlands and wildlife populations healthy and connected.
Learn more about What We Do, Who We Are or become a Conservation Northwest member today. 
 CWMP2 2014
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