About Us

 Working together for conservation

Founded in Bellingham in 1989, from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies we’re your voice for conserving wildlands and native wildlife.

 

Our approximately 20 staffers represent 4,000 dues-paying members in Washington, British Columbia and beyond. Our conservation community also includes more than ten thousand activists, supporters and online followers.

Creative and effective, we’ve protected hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlands, supported the recovery of threatened species from wolves to fishers, and touched thousands of lives throughout the greater Northwest. Our successful campaigns and groundbreaking collaborations help define our effective approach to conservation. Elected leaders, government agencies, and conservationists know us for being tenacious yet pragmatic.

Learn more about our programs protecting wildlands, connecting habitat and restoring wildlife on the Our Work page. Or read our 2017 Annual Report or learn about our Accomplishments in 2017!

OUR MISSION

We protect, connect and restore wildlands and wildlife from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies.

National Wildlife Federation Affiliate
/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Charity_Logo.jpg

OUR TEAM

Our staff work across Washington state and into British Columbia, including a main office in Seattle and field offices in Bellingham and Twisp.

Conservation Northwest field staff and contractors also live and work in Olympia, Omak, Chewelah, Deer Park and Whistler, D’Arcy and Pemberton, British Columbia among other areas across the Pacific Northwest.

Check out a map of our staff and partners in 2018!

 

Meet Our Staff

Boards

Our Board of Directors and Board of Advisers are both passionate and driven to protect wildlife and connect wildlands in the greater Northwest. Learn more about our Boards!

Coalitions

Starting coalitions and forming partnerships, we have a history of finding common-ground solutions: from our pioneering protection of important lynx habitat in the Loomis State Forest to our cutting-edge work with The Cascades Conservation Partnership, we know that by working together, we’re building a stronger, wilder future for the Great Northwest!

National Wildlife Federation

We are also the Washington state affiliate organization of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s oldest and largest conservation organization. Since 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has worked across the country to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. Learn more about our alliance with this nationwide federation in this blog post from our Executive Director or in this affiliate highlight blog from NWF.

Finances

Our finances: Conservation Northwest is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington, supported by more than 4,000 families and hundreds of volunteers. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Our non-profit federal tax-exempt number is 94-3091547 and our Washington state UBI # is 601 135 446.

We are rated 4 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator!

A timeline of Conservation Northwest

A single list can scarcely record the countless volunteers, interns, and staff of Conservation Northwest who have worked thousands of hours on hundreds of projects championing wildlife and connecting and protecting wildlands and old-growth forests from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies to benefit wildlife and people.

1989

Mitch Friedman founds the Greater Ecosystem Alliance (GEA) in Bellingham “to promote the protection of biological diversity through the conservation of large ecosystems.”

1989

We launch the Ancient Forest Rescue Expedition, touring a section of a 700-year-old Douglas-fir log across the country to introduce Americans to the issue of clearcutting old-growth forests.

1990

Through our new Forest Field Program, we appeal the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Plan for its failure to protect old growth and roadless areas. Under this program, we begin a National Forest Watch effort to track specific projects as they are proposed, comment on policies that affect the national forest and wildlife habitat, and engage collaboratively.

1991

We begin work to protect the Loomis State Forest, home to most of the remaining lynx in Washington state, from logging.

1993

We organize an Ancient Forest Celebration in Portland on the eve of President Clinton’s Forest Summit, attracting 70,000 people to hear Carole King, Neil Young, David Crosby, and others. This event, and our tireless organizing and advocacy, adds momentum for the creation of the Northwest Forest Plan.

1994

We put forth a grizzly bear recovery program to encourage the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take steps towards the recovery of North Cascades grizzly bears, including drafting a formal recovery plan. A plan would later be finalized in 1997. The Environmental Impact Statement process for restoration would finally begin in 2014.

1995

We change our name to Northwest Ecosystem Alliance as we broaden our mission to protect and restore wildlands in the Pacific Northwest and support such efforts in B.C.

1997

Under our Forest Field Program, we help design a management plan for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, protecting roadless and old-growth forested areas of the forest.

1998

We reach a precedent-setting agreement with the state to raise money in order to permanently protect state trust lands in the Loomis State Forest.

1999

Northwest Ecosystem Alliance turns ten years old. We launch and complete the Loomis Forest Fund, our biggest campaign to date, raising $16.7 million dollars to protect 25,000 acres of critical lynx habitat in the Loomis State Forest. This compensates school trusts and bolsters education funding while preserving vital habitat and outdoor recreation areas.

2000

We initiate and lead The Cascades Conservation Partnership, a collaborative effort to purchase and protect private ‘checkerboard’ forest lands connecting the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to Mount Rainier National Park.

2000

Canada lynx are federally listed as Threatened across its range in the lower 48 states, the result of an original petition brought forward by the Greater Ecosystem Alliance.

2000

We implement the Rare Carnivore Remote Camera Project, the predecessor to our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project, in partnership with the state in order to document the presence of wolverines and other rare carnivores in the North Cascades.

2000

We launch an initiative to protect state lands on Blanchard Mountain in the Chuckanut Range near Bellingham.

2001

Thanks to the international work of Northwest Ecosystem Alliance in southern British Columbia, Canada’s Snowy Mountain Provincial Park just north of the Loomis State Forest is formally protected.

2002

We host the “Restoring our Roots” rally for old growth forests in Seattle, with a donated performance by Dave Matthews and attendance by 3,000 people. The rally was in protest of the increased salvage logging proposed by the Bush Administration in its “Healthy Forest Initiative.”

 

2002

The Cascades Conservation Partnership protects a four-mile stretch of Yakima River by raising public dollars to leverage public funds.

 

2003

We form a public-private partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to reintroduce fishers (a member of the weasel family) to the Olympic and Cascade mountains, raising $25,000 to fund an initial feasibility study.

2003

The Cascades Conservation Partnership campaign concludes having raised nearly $16 million in private donations and $68 million in public funds to protect nearly 45,000 acres of forest lands from logging and development. Nearly 17,000 people made it happen. Lands we protected ranged from the Cooper River north of Cle Elum to Manastash Ridge southwest of Cle Elum and Sawmill Creek in the Green River watershed.

2004

We kick off the Mountain Caribou Campaign with WildSight and other allies to protect one of the rarest mammals in North America, as well as its old-growth forest habitat in southern British Columbia.

2004

We join local timber industry, outdoor recreation and community leaders on the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition to collaboratively restore forest lands on the Colville National Forest while supporting local communities and their economies.

2004

As part of our new I-90 Wildlife Corridor Campaign, we form and administer the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition to ensure high-quality wildlife passage north to south across Interstate 90 in Washington’s Central Cascades and continue the work of The Cascades Conservation Partnership.

2005

Northwest Ecosystem Alliance becomes Conservation Northwest, and we update our mission to: “We protect, connect and restore wildlands and wildlife from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies.”

2006

In response to a case brought forward by Conservation Northwest and allies, snowmobiles are prohibited in the last remaining mountain caribou habitat in the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho and northeast Washington, giving the endangered species some much-needed space.

2006

We become a part of the newly-formed Working Wolf Group, convened by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to plan the future of wolf conservation and management in Washington state.

2007

The first batch of fishers are released into the Olympic Peninsula as a result of our reintroduction work with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, National Park Service, and other partners.

2007

In response to the urging of our Forest Field Program, the U.S. Forest Service protects old-growth habitat and post-burn trees for lynx and other wildlife in the area of the large Tripod Fire in north-central Washington.

2007

Conservation Northwest initiates WildLinks in partnership with the Cascadia Partner Forum, an annual wildlife conference bringing together scientists, conservationists and natural resource practitioners from Washington state and British Columbia.

2008

Our Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project remote cameras in the Methow Valley capture the first images of wolf pups from the Lookout Pack, the first born in Washington state nearly a century.

2008

Thanks to the Mountain Caribou Project, the British Columbia government formalizes a recovery plan for deep-snow mountain caribou and protects 2.2 million hectares of critical habitat from logging and road building.

2008

After advocacy from our I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, construction begins on the first two animal underpasses at Gold Creek near Hyak. The crossings are part of the first phase of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project.

2008

We host the public roll-out of the Columbia Highlands Initiative, a plan for wilderness designation, forest recreation, and ranchland conservation for the Kettle River Mountain Range, Selkirk Mountains, and surrounding areas of northeast Washington.

2008

A second wave of fishers are released into the lush old-growth forests of the Olympic Peninsula.

2009

With our help on the Wolf Working Group, a state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan is released.

2009

In response to high-profile wolf poaching incidents, we commit $10,000 to launch our Reward Fund to Help Stop Poaching through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

2010

We gain important conservation easements in the Columbia Highlands, protecting open space and connecting wildlife habitat on private lands.

2011

BBC and Discovery Channel create a documentary on the return of wolves to Washington, starring Conservation Northwest’s Jasmine Minbashian.

2011

We launch our Range Rider Pilot Project, a collaborative effort with local ranchers and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to demonstrate the effectiveness of non-lethal measures in deterring or reducing conflicts where wolves and livestock overlap.

 

2013

We become a part of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s new Working for Wildlife Initiative, coordinating a seven-year plan with a coalition of state, federal, tribal and non-profit interests working together to protect wildlife habitat, working lands and natural heritage in the diverse landscape of the Okanogan Valley and Kettle River Mountain Range.

2014

For the third year in a row, six Eastern Washington ranchers involved with our Range Rider Pilot Project report no livestock lost to wolves. This collaborative work is reducing conflict and building social tolerance for native carnivores.

2015

After continued advocacy from our campaign and coalitions, the state breaks ground for the first wildlife bridge to cross over I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass, part of the second phase of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project.

2015

With the state and National Park Service, we begin to reintroduce fishers to Washington’s South Cascades in and around Mount Rainier National Park. Reproduction documented on the Olympic Peninsula shows fishers thriving there.

2016

We continue fisher reintroduction into Mount Rainier National Park in Washington’s South Cascades with the release of 37 fishers during the 2016 season.

2016

We become the National Wildlife Federation’s official Washington state affiliate. Learn more about our alliance with this nationwide federation in this blog post from our Executive Director or in this affiliate highlight blog from NWF.

2016

When armed extremists seize Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, we organize a rally in Seattle to showcase support for public lands with over 100 people in attendance. The Seattle Times writes a supportive Editorial thanks in part to our efforts.

2016

We publicly launch our new Friends of the North Cascades Grizzly Bear coalition, an informal partnership of conservation organizations, local business and individuals working to build support for grizzly bear restoration in the North Cascades.

2017

With partners, we debut a new short film Time for the Grizzly? with award-winning filmmaker Chris Morgan, exploring how grizzly bear restoration would work in the North Cascades, and how it’s been successful in Montana and other areas through community input. Film screenings and other events help build momentum for grizzly restoration.

2017

We begin work on our new Sagelands Heritage Program, working to maintain, restore and connect shrub-steppe landscapes from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley to south-central Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills for the good of both wildlife and people.

2017

The 2016-2017 project season of our fisher reintroduction project was the most successful yet, with 46 fishers released into Mount Rainier National Park and surrounding national forest lands to help restore the population in the South Cascades. Trail cameras confirm the first evidence of fishers born in the Cascade Mountains in nearly a century!

2017

When national monuments were “under review” by the Trump Administration, we organized grassroots leaders and spoke loudly to protect Hanford Reach and other national monuments.

2017

Focusing on the importance of coexistence, our Executive Director authored an opinion editorial for High Country News and other outlets underscoring the importance of collaboration for long-term wolf recovery and durable conservation progress.

2018

And more than a decade of advocacy and with the support of thousands of our WILD NW Activists, local organizations, and state leaders, funding permanently conserve the core of Blanchard State Forest around Oyster Dome is passed by the Washington State Legislature!

2018

Elk herds use I-90 wildlife crossings during their seasonal migration, and we release the Cascade Crossroads documentary to tell the story of this collaborative project. Much of our vision is coming to fruition as three large wildlife underpasses are complete just east of Snoqulamie Pass, but our work for wildlife crossings isn’t done.