“Keeping the Northwest wild” since 1989, Conservation Northwest is a regional non-profit organization that protects, connects and restores wildlands and wildlife from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies. Staff operate in local communities and rural areas around Washington and into southern B.C., using dialogue to find common ground and collaborative solutions for challenging issues including habitat corridors, wilderness conservation, forest restoration and endangered species recovery.
Conservation Northwest represents 4,000 dues-paying members and more than sixteen thousand activists, supporters and online followers, with a main office in Seattle and field offices in Bellingham and Twisp.
For media inquiries, please contact Chase Gunnell, Communications Director, at communications (at) conservationnw.org or 206.465.8591. Also check our latest news releases below and all News Updates here.
Recent News Releases
Conservation Groups Ask Court to Reinstate Protections on 3.4 Million Acres of Critical Northern Spotted Owl Habitat
March 23, 2021 – Legal action seeks to reverse Trump administration’s dismantling of environmental protections for Northwest’s disappearing old-growth forests
March 12, 2021 – Historic case asks the Court to interpret the plain terms of the Washington State Constitution providing that state forests are held in trust “for all the people.”
February 19, 2021 – The Similkameen River is part of a transboundary watershed which drains the northeastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains into north-central Washington state, flowing over Enloe Dam before merging with the Okanogan River near the border town of Oroville, and then, further downstream, joining the Columbia River near Brewster, Washington.
December 15, 2020 – A coalition of conservation groups filed a lawsuit today challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to withhold Endangered Species Act protection from wolverines in the lower 48 states, where no more than 300 wolverines remain. Without the new conservation efforts that would be triggered by the Endangered Species Act listing, wolverines face localized extinction as a result of climate change, habitat fragmentation and low genetic diversity.
December 7, 2020 – Conservation groups sued the U.S. Forest Service today for dramatically expanding off-road or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use in northeast Washington without proper public input or required consideration for fish, wildlife and sensitive habitats.
October 27, 2020 – New standards seek to improve performance and accountability of range riders working to reduce wolf-livestock conflict in Washington. The 2017 version of the Protocol lacked specific expectations for the duties of range riders and their frequency, which has led to some ambiguity in deterrence efforts prior to recent conflicts, as well as at least one case of alleged abuse. We have been pushing for specific range riding standards through our collaborative work on the WAG in order to avoid such issues going forward, and are glad to see this language in the updated Protocol.
October 16, 2020 – Entire bighorn sheep herds have been wiped out by disease in central Washington, and now a dozen have been killed and hundreds more are at risk after an infected domestic ewe wandered for weeks. Public land and wildlife managers must take steps to further reduce disease risks from domestic sheep to Washington’s imperiled bighorn herds.
October 8, 2020 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it will deny protections for the rare and elusive wolverine under the Endangered Species Act, prompting a coalition of conservation groups to announce an intent to sue. Wolverines deserve federal protection and the associated resources and recovery actions to ensure a future for wolverine in the Pacific Northwest.
September 30, 2020 – Facebook should examine why it has become a space that provides for a spread of hate and for disinformation that undermines science and fact-based policy, conservation leaders said today in an open letter to Facebook. The letter, led by the National Wildlife Federation and Conservation Northwest, along with 16 other conservation groups throughout the country, called on Facebook to do more to stop hate from flourishing online and to adopt policies that stop the spread of hate and misinformation on its platform.
August 31, 2020 – Conservation groups filed an amicus brief in federal court last Friday to support the Mission Restoration Project in the Methow Valley south of Twisp, WA. In the brief, Conservation Northwest, Methow Valley Citizens Council, and The Wilderness Society highlighted the thorough scientific and environmental review, and substantial forest and watershed restoration actions as principal reasons for their support. Trout Unlimited, a longstanding partner in restoration work, agreed the amicus brief is important. The Mission Project is the subject of a lawsuit.
August 27, 2020 – Janis Bridge Undercrossing and mile of deer fencing along Highway 97 completed, state funding still needed for additional phases of Okanogan Valley safety, wildlife project.
July 27, 2020 – The Northeast Washington Forest Coalition (NEWFC) objected to the San Poil Project on the Colville National Forest (CNF). This is the first objection to a project in NEWFC’s entire 18 year history.
July 24, 2020 – In letters to the Chehalis Basin Board and state agencies, Governor calls for further evaluation of the potential to avoid, minimize and mitigate the impacts of flood retention and other flood risk reduction projects, including a no-dam option.
July 7, 2020 – Despite public support and scientific recommendation, Trump Administration’s Secretary of the Interior stops work on North Cascades grizzly restoration study.
June 22, 2020 – Our range riders are in-the-field for the 10th year, advancing coexistence and helping reduce conflict between livestock and wolves
National Wildlife Federation, Affiliates Demand Stronger Environmental Protections for Waterways, Wildlife Impacted by British Columbian Mining
June 13, 2020 – Resolution sponsored by NWF’s Washington and Alaska affiliates calls on Congress to pressure Canadian officials to strengthen mining protections.
June 5, 2020 – “This is the Trump administration’s latest attack on sensible environmental laws that protect wildlife and public lands,” said Dave Werntz, Science and Conservation Director. “Now using the pandemic as a cloak to further sweep aside community voices and accountability, this is an imprudent decision and risk to our natural heritage.”
March 19, 2020 – “While wolverine are as tough and rugged as their wilderness home, they face dire threats from a warming climate, shrinking snowpack, and an increasingly fragmented habitat,” said Dave Werntz, science and conservation director at Conservation Northwest. “Endangered Species Act protections will help marshal the resources and recovery actions to ensure wolverine have a future in the west’s wild country.”
March 16, 2020 – “The state’s annual minimum counts are an important gauge of wolf recovery, but it’s critical to keep in mind that they are just that: a confirmed minimum,” says Paula Swedeen, Ph.D. Conservation Northwest’s Policy Director and a member of the state’s Wolf Advisory Group. “Individual wolves are very difficult to document as they expand to new areas, and our state’s total wolf population is certainly higher than this baseline count. We support the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife putting out reasonable estimates of the actual population, above these minimum numbers
March 12, 2020 – The Washington State Legislature has provided the Department of Fish and Wildlife with $27 million from the state General Fund in the supplemental operating budget, fully-funding the agency through June 2021
February 13, 2020 – A two-phased approach to a total of $17.54 million for wildlife crossings and fencing will prevent more than 244 vehicle-deer collisions per year in the Okanogan Valley.
January 27, 2020 – Multiple range rider programs operate in Washington, including under the direction of the state, private ranches, Conservation Northwest and local grassroots cooperatives.
January 21, 2020 – We’re partnering with Rainier Beer’s “Tabs for Good” program to bring people together and restore public lands in the Central Cascades!
January 16, 2020 – With Earthjustice and other groups, we announced intent to sue U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect wolverines.
January 13, 2020 – 45 local leaders representing the conservation, fishing, hunting and recreation communities are calling on the legislature to fully-fund WDFW’s 2020 budget request through $26 million from the General Fund.
January 10, 2020 – Latest release marks culmination of multi-year partnership between state, federal and non-profit organizations to restore elusive mammal to Washington
Conservationists respond to lawsuits by timber industry with suit calling for management of Washington’s state forests to benefit “all the people”
January 6, 2020 – Conservation Northwest, Olympic Forest Coalition, Washington Environmental Council and local individuals filed complaint calling on the Department of Natural Resources to manage public forests for the public good, including diverse economic and environmental values, in accordance with the state constitution.
December 3, 2019 – Final plan for marbled murrelet recovery shows lack of leadership, leaving unanswered questions for the future of both wildlife and rural communities
October 30, 2019 – “After decades of local collaboration supporting increased wilderness on the Colville National Forest, we’re deeply disappointed in the final Colville Forest Plan’s meager recommendations for permanently protecting northeast Washington’s wildest areas,” said Tiana Luke, Conservation Northwest’s Colville Forest Field staffer and Northeast Washington Forest Coalition representative based in Deer Park.
October 25, 2019 – State, federal and non-profit partners take next step to restore elusive mammal once considered extinct in Washington.
October 3, 2019 – “We applaud the Service’s ruling affirming the Endangered status of southern mountain caribou, a unique ecotype of woodland caribou,” said Joe Scott, Conservation Northwest International Programs Director.
October 1, 2019 – “We agree with Governor Inslee that more work is needed in certain areas, including northeast Washington’s Kettle River Mountain Range,” said Mitch Friedman. “We’re committed to collaborating with agency staff, ranchers, biologists and others to continue moving towards the goal of long-term recovery and public acceptance of wolves alongside thriving local communities.”
September 23, 2019 – As a society, we should not be faced with the false choice of reducing vital services for people or causing significant loss of our natural heritage.. While there are many aspects of DNR and USFWS’s proposal that will help murrelets, we believe that more habitat conservation is required to reduce the chances that murrelets will disappear from Washington state.
August 2, 2019 – We support Washington’s science-based Wolf Plan and Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol, developed through careful deliberation by the Wolf Advisory Group (WAG) and its representatives from conservation, animal welfare, recreation, hunting and ranching communities.
July 25, 2019 – Conservation Northwest welcomes the new comment period if it leads to the completion of the FEIS and concrete actions to recover the iconic grizzly bear. We are confident that the result will be the same as it was prior to the interruption of the process – overwhelming support for grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades, including from people in areas around the recovery zone.
July 10, 2019 – We’re coordinating closely with the state, ranchers and range riders to provide resources for additional range riding and herd supervision in the OPT territory as needed.
July 2, 2019 – “A new National Park Reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen will permanently protect shrub-steppe habitat unique in Canada, as well as wildlife corridors connecting to Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness, Loomis Forest and Okanogan Valley,” said Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest Executive Director.
June 13, 2019 – Instead of fast-tracking risky logging projects, the U.S. Forest Service should double-down on investments in collaboration.
May 31, 2019 – Through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Conservation Northwest offers standing rewards for those who provide information that leads to a poaching conviction in Washington state.
Wolf recovery continues in Washington, state now home to at least 27 packs including in North Cascades
April 4, 2019 – We are pleased to see that for the tenth year in a row, and 11 years since the Lookout Pack was established in 2008, Washington’s wolf population grew in 2018, including increases in the number of confirmed packs and successful breeding pairs; important metrics for state recovery goals.
March 12, 2019 – “We should congratulate ourselves for turning the imminent threat of drilling into an opportunity for this community to come together and determine a healthier, wilder future.”
March 6, 2019 – Given the quality of Washington’s Wolf Plan and investments in collaborative wolf conservation work here, we do not expect federal delisting to have a significant impact on wolves in our state.
February 28, 2019 – We support this concept of a small sales tax on high-end outdoor equipment while respecting that further discussion is needed and revisions are appropriate.
February 26, 2019 – The passage of this package is huge, but what’s especially inspiring is that Washington’s entire Congressional delegation, every Republican and every Democrat, voted to support our public lands, waters and wildlife.
February 26, 2019 – Viewpoints on bills that would allow authorized hound handlers to pursue cougars for training, and the collaborative process that led to this legislation.
February 21, 2019 – “We agree with the notion of the Department of Fish and Wildlife conducting a periodic status review to update the public and the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s understanding of current wolf population dynamics and appropriate management status.”
February 12, 2019 – “This monumental vote affirms that bipartisan support continues for protection of our cherished public lands,” said Mitch Friedman, Executive Director of Conservation Northwest. “One reason for that is that public support for public lands remains strong and broad. Another reason is leadership in the Senate, especially by Senator Cantwell driving this issue forward over years and countless obstacles. She deserves our great thanks.”
February 4, 2019 – We believe fishers deserve federal protections throughout much of their West Coast range in Oregon and California, but recovery efforts in Washington state are progressing well with fishers now established in much of their historic range in the Cascade Mountains and Olympic Peninsula.
January 22, 2019 – By all indications there are well over 150 wolves roaming Washington today.
January 18, 2019 – Conservation Northwest supports the need for planning, community and landowner input, and developing key strategies to overcome barriers as this strategic plan lays out.
December 5, 2018 – Six fishers were released today in North Cascades National Park as part of an effort to restore the species to Washington. This is the first release in the North Cascades.
Marbled Murrelet Coalition Statement on Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Marbled Murrelet Long-Term Conservation Strategy
December 3, 2018 – Murrelet populations have dropped 44 percent in the last 15 years and murrelets are now listed as endangered, perilously close to statewide extinction.
New poll shows 73 percent of Washingtonians want Land and Water Conservation Fund reauthorized, funded
November 29, 2018 – A new poll conducted for the National Wildlife Federation shows 73 percent of Washington voters want to see the permanent reauthorization and full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
November 2, 2018 – “This is what extinction looks like, and it must be a wake-up call for wildlife and habitat managers in both Canada and the United States,” said Joe Scott, Conservation Northwest International Programs Director and a member of B.C.’s Mountain Caribou Recovery Progress Board.
September 16, 2018 – “The Blanchard Forest Strategy is community-based land management in action, and a true win-win.”
September 13, 2018 – “While we disagree with the Department’s decision on going to lethal in this particular instance, we support the Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol and the Department’s authority to make decisions in implementing the protocol,” said Paula Swedeen, Conservation Northwest Policy Director. “We think that getting courts involved does not get to coexistence during this difficult time and prefer continued dialogue with all affected parties to find an acceptable path forward.”
September 10, 2018 – “We strongly believe this situation, the third episode of conflict in this area, does not meet the intent and letter of Washington’s Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol. In the interest of wolf conservation, coexistence and the integrity of the Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol, we cannot support lethal removal in this instance at this time.”
August 23, 2018 – “Lawsuits and polarization haven’t worked out well for wolves elsewhere, so we see little upside in spreading those tactics to Washington, where wolf recovery is going relatively well overall” said Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest Executive Director. “Instead of polarization, our focus is on collaboration and long-term coexistence.”
August 2, 2018 – The ESA is a bedrock American environmental law that provides a backstop against loss of our natural heritage and deserves our best efforts to protect it.
July 24, 2018 – Credible sightings, fur trapping records, agency reports and First Nations traditions affirm that grizzly bears historically inhabited the Cascade Mountains.
July 13, 2018 – Our hearts go out to the U.S. Forest Service field staffer who had an unnerving experience with wolves yesterday northwest of the town of Conconully near the Pasayten Wilderness Area in the territory of the Loup Loup Wolf Pack.
June 20, 2018 – The National Wildlife Federation and its local affiliates urge congressional leaders to remove budget riders that would obstruct the public process to restore North Cascades grizzly bears.
June 19, 2018 – We look forward to working with Director Sussewind on conserving the state’s full suite of biodiversity and ensuring that the agency has the financial capacity and social resilience to meet the needs of our growing human population.
June 12, 2018 – Climate initiative supports our program objectives for wildlands and wildlife, Washington’s rural and urban communities, and a healthier future for our planet
April 16, 2018 – “This is a profoundly sad, but inevitable day for caribou,” said Joe Scott, Conservation Northwest’s International Programs Director. “One could predict it. The science is clear and the map of mountain caribou herds and their habitat tells the story—isolated blobs like islands in a sea of human impacts.”
March 23, 2018 – “We thank Secretary Zinke for his visit and the encouraging words of support for grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades. We have never lost hope that the restoration of this American wildlife icon would proceed because the people of Washington have repeatedly demonstrated their overwhelming support for it,”
March 18, 2018 – We think the current Wolf Plan, which was based on extensive public process and peer review, is better left as is until recovery goals are achieved
March 16, 2018 – In response to the news that Washington state was home to a minimum of 122 wolves, 22 packs, and 14 successful breeding pairs at the end of 2017, Conservation Northwest issued the following statement.
Jan 11, 2018 – The Trump Administration’s decision that lynx no longer deserve federal protection is shameful, cavalier, and contrary to best available information. It’s clear that lynx are facing extinction threats and warrant federal wildlife protections.
Jan 10, 2018 – Released today, Cascade Crossroads is a 30-minute documentary film chronicling the story unfolding over and under Interstate 90 just east of Snoqualmie Pass in Washington’s Cascade Mountains.