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2010: Reinventing conservation

This year, Conservation Northwest helped reinvent conservation for wildlife and habitat to fit the challenges of the present landscape as well as the tests of coming climate change.

Hiker at Bald-Snow in the Columbia Highlands. Photo: Craig RomanoThis year, Conservation Northwest helped reinvent conservation for wildlife and habitat, to fit the challenges of the present landscape as well as the tests of coming climate change. Our accomplishments in 2010:

  • Conservation Northwest and The Lands Council unveiled the Columbia Highlands Initiative. The collaboratively developed, balanced vision received front-page attention in Seattle, Spokane, and local community papers. We are looking forward to more progress on wilderness protection for the Columbia Highlands in the coming year. You can help as we move forward with this groundbreaking effort!
  • We worked with ranchers to preserve their family heritage and bring another 3,000 acres of critical private Okanogan wildlife habitat under protection from encroaching development.
  • We hosted a field tour for elders of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band to help reconnect them with part of their cultural and natural heritage within their traditional lands in the Sinlahekin Valley. Conservation work here ranges from helping secure conservation easements on ranches to a prospective South Okanagan-Similkameen Grasslands National Park in BC. This ecosystem is ranked one of four most endangered ecosystems in Canada and includes wildlife that range across the border into Washington.
  • A final group of Pacific fishers was restored this year into old-growth forests on the Olympic Peninsula. The novel reintroduction of this native forest carnivore, missing from Washington for 70 years, came thanks to many partners, as well as generous support from a grant provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
  • The lives of rare mountain caribou in BC's Inland Temperate Rainforest and Washington's Selkirks were improved  when we facilitated a recent BC government decision protecting caribou from winter motorized recreation in two-thirds of critical caribou winter habitat areas.
  • We hosted the fourth annual Wild Links conference on wildlife adaptation, connectivity, and climate change, bringing together scientists from state, federal, and provincial (BC) agencies, and conservation leaders from academia and the non-governmental organization community.
  • At Wild Links, the Washington Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Working Group–of which Conservation Northwest is part–introduced its statewide connectivity assessment. This detailed analysis of wildlife habitat connectivity in Washington is perhaps the most advance tool of its kind anywhere in the world..
  • This year we broke new ground engaging Canadian scientists and conservationists, fostering crossborder collaboration and furthering protection for grizzly bears over the border from Washington's North Cascades.
  • We coauthored a compelling Canadian-US report, “On the Edge: British Columbia’s Unprotected Transboundary Species,” detailing how an inadequate patchwork of laws and policies puts more than 1,900 species at risk of loss in BC, and calling for immediate protections, especially for wildlife that cross the border.
  • We marked another eventful year recording Cascades wildlife using citizen wildlife monitoring, including the launch of "I-90 Wildlife Watch," a citizen-based, wildlife monitoring project to support wildlife connectivity and safe passage in the Cascades.
  • As part of the Wolf Working Group, Conservation Northwest testified before the state legislature on the importance of developing a sound, strong plan for conservation and management of wolves naturally returning to Washington.
  • Some of our past legal work for wildlife also came to fruition this year. To better protect old-growth forest and wildlife, federal forest managers are now once again required to “survey and manage”–looking for rare species from owls to fungi–before they log.
  • Ten years after Conservation Northwest and others filed a petition for wolverines, the US Fish and Wildlife Service decided that this rare carnivore warrants protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, the agency also said that those protections will be withheld indefinitely due to the backlog of other species awaiting official action. Conservation Northwest is redoubling our efforts to track the existence of Washington wolverines and to protect and connect wolverine habitat.
And more.... with your help we worked tirelessly, efficiently, and effectively for a wild Northwest. Please support these accomplishments and more in 2011 by becoming a member.

 

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