Linking up for habitat
Sep 23, 2008
Seventy people ranging in interests from scientists to those in conservation and the timber industry met in September in northeastern Washington to talk about working landscapes and wildlife linkages as part of Conservation Northwest's 2008 Wild Links conference.
Seventy people ranging in interests from scientists to tribal members to those working in the timber industry and for environmental nonprofits gathered September 9-10, in Chewelah, Washington, for Conservation Northwest's second annual Wild Links conference. The briefing title was "Planning for a Future with Working Landscapes and Wildlife Linkages from the North Cascades to Northeast Washington."
The first day of this year's Wild Links featured presentations on current wildlife science, conservation efforts on private lands by local and regional land trusts, and innovative efforts and policies.
During his presentation, Todd Thorn of the Okanogan Valley Land Trust shared his organization's principle, "If we protect the open space we maintain the option to improve the habitat. But if we lose the open space we lose that opportunity."
On the second day of Wild Links, discussions took the bigger view to explore the many efforts in Washington State recognizing the importance of biodiversity, and then announced plans to compliment these efforts with the scientific work of the Washington Habitat Connectivity Working Group and the policy direction of the Western Governors' Association on wildlife corridors.
Conservation Northwest's organizer for the event, Jen Watkins, reflected, "It was a truly remarkable chance to link the many efforts affecting a landscape from the local to the regional."