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Wild Links for people and wildlife

Sep 25, 2009

Wild Links is our annual wildlife conference that joins people for wildlife in our region. Together we explore how best to protect and connect wildlife and habitat into the coming century. This year the briefing took on an international flair, and connectivity focus, in the Canadian Okanagan.

Wild Links for people and wildlife

Conservation Northwest director Mitch Friedman addresses participants at our annual wildlife conference which focused this year on US-Canada transborder wildlife.

Wild Links is our annual wildlife conference that joins people for wildlife in our region: scientists, policy makers, managers, citizens, funders, and conservation nonprofit organizations. Together we explore how best to protect and connect wildlife and habitat into the coming century.

This year the briefing took on an international flair. Seventy people met at the Osoyoos Indian Band's Nk'Mip Resort Okanagan Valley in British Columbia to focus on climate change, the cultural and scientific importance of the area, and connectivity over the Canadian-US border for specific species, including grizzly bears and caribou.

The Canadian Okanagan, northern extension of the US Okanogan and a landscape which helps connect the Coast Range and BC Rockies, is also a rare "pocket" desert hosting hundreds of species. Now also wildly popular with wine growers and snowbirds (it's often referred to as "the Riviera of Canada"), the Okanagan is under great threat for development, raising concerns for native wildlife and habitat.

"The conference has been really good on many levels. It's inspiring to know that there is a transborder connection with solid ground work being laid and people working together. The interchange with First Nations was really good." Doreen Olson, local resident and conservationist

"A big thank you from the scientists. We like to see our science applied and Wild Links was invaluable, a time for working together and exchanging useful information." Gary Koehler, USFS, lynx biologist

"An immensely productive conference–and fun! We wouldn't miss it." Denise Joines, Wilburforce Foundation

"We're in crunch time now for wildlife and habitat. This is the start of something big!" Joe Scott, international conservation director, Conservation Northwest

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