News Releases

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“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 nearly 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.


Recent News Releases

Stakeholders call for legislature to fully-fund Department of Fish and Wildlife

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.

Fisher reintroduction goals met with release of four fishers at Mount Rainier National Park

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.

Board of Natural Resources conservation strategy fails endangered seabird

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

Final Colville Forest Plan falls short on wilderness, watersheds despite objections

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.

Eight more fishers released into North Cascades

October 25, 2019 – State, federal and non-profit partners take next step to restore elusive mammal once considered extinct in Washington.

Southern mountain caribou listed as Endangered

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.

Statement on letter from Governor Inslee regarding Washington’s wolves

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.”

Statement on release of the FEIS for DNR’s Long-term Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy

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.

Perspectives on Washington’s wolves

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.

Agencies to reopen comment period on recovering critically endangered North Cascades grizzly bears

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.

Statement on lethal removal of Old Profanity Territory Pack wolves

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.

Statement on South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Reserve announcement

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.

Statement on Trump Administration proposal to increase categorical exclusions on national forests

June 13, 2019 – Instead of fast-tracking risky logging projects, the U.S. Forest Service should double-down on investments in collaboration.

$7,500 reward offered after northeast Washington wolf killing

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.

Public lands package signed, Methow Headwaters protected

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.”

Statement on wolf delisting announcement from Interior Department

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.

Statement on HB 2122 to fund wildlife and state public lands

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.

Response to House passage of public lands package

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.

Perspectives on hound training bills HB 1516 and SB 5320

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.

Statement on HB 2097 addressing statewide wolf recovery

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.”

Statement on passage of Natural Resources Management Act S.47

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.”

Statement on rerelease of West Coast fisher listing proposal

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.

Statement on senate work session on Wolves in Washington

January 22, 2019 – By all indications there are well over 150 wolves roaming Washington today.

Statement on DNR’s Wildland Fire Protection 10-Year Strategic Plan

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.

Fishers Released in North Cascades; Elusive Carnivores Once Considered Extinct in Washington State

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.

Statement on translocation of mountain caribou from Selkirks and Purcell herds

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.

DNR, Conservation and Recreation Groups Celebrate the Protection of Blanchard Mountain

September 16, 2018 – “The Blanchard Forest Strategy is community-based land management in action, and a true win-win.”

Statement on lethal removal of Old Profanity Territory wolves

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.”

Statement on wolf depredations in Profanity Peak area

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.”

Statement on legal action involving the Togo Wolf Pack

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.”

Statement on proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act

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.

Report reaffirms grizzly bears historically inhabited North Cascades

July 24, 2018 – Credible sightings, fur trapping records, agency reports and First Nations traditions affirm that grizzly bears historically inhabited the Cascade Mountains.

Statement on incident involving USFS researcher and wolves

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.

Statement on budget rider defunding North Cascades grizzly bear restoration

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.

Statement on selection of Kelly Susewind as new director of WDFW

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.

Statement endorsing Initiative 1631

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

Only three caribou remaining in South Selkirks herd

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.”

Statement on Secretary Zinke’s announcement regarding North Cascades grizzly bear restoration

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,”

Statement regarding Wolf Plan recovery zones

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

Statement on news that Washington now home to more than 122 wolves

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.

Statement on proposal to delist Canada lynx

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.

Cascade Crossroads film documents story behind I-90 wildlife crossings

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.

Statement on two suspected wolf poaching cases in northeast Washington

Dec 11, 2017 – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating two suspected wolf poaching incidents in northeast Washington. To support bringing these poachers to justice, Conservation Northwest is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction in the case.

Marbled Murrelet Coalition Statement on preferred alternative for Murrelet Long Term Conservation Strategy

Nov 8, 2017 – Yesterday, Washington’s Board of Natural Resources selected their preferred alternative for additional analysis as part of a long-term conservation strategy for the endangered marbled murrelet, a seabird native to Washington’s coastal areas. The Marbled Murrelet Coalition, a group of local and regional conservation organizations that work to protect and restore marbled murrelets and their habitat on public lands in the state of Washington, issued the following statement.

Statement on Washington DNR’s 20-Year Forest Health Plan

Oct 25, 2017 – Conservation Northwest has long advocated for science-based forest restoration on state and federal lands to restore forest health, improve wildlife habitat, and better protect communities from fire. IN RESPONSE TO DNR’S NEW 20-YEAR FOREST HEALTH PLAN, MITCH FRIEDMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION NORTHWEST, OFFERED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT.

Friedman: Embrace collaborative forest restoration to address wildfire risks

Oct 19, 2017 – This year’s wildfires in Washington and across the West marked some of the worst on record. While we may wish this was an outlier, it’s more likely a taste of what’s to come. We best honor those most affected, both victims and firefighters, when our response improves a situation that is far from simple.

British Columbia fires delay fisher restoration in Washington’s North Cascades

Sep 21, 2017 – Biologists have temporarily halted plans to reintroduce fishers to Washington’s North Cascades using animals from British Columbia

I-90 Wildlife Watch urges motorists to report wildlife in Snoqualmie Pass area

Aug 01, 2017 – Re-launch of wildlife monitoring website provides opportunity for motorists to engage in wildlife conservation along Snoqualmie Pass

Conservation Northwest Statement on Smackout Wolf Pack

Jul 20, 2017 – While heartrending, it is our hope that this action to attempt to remove up to two members of this pack, in addition to the one already killed, will cease further livestock depredations and prevent the need for additional lethal actions, protecting the integrity and future of this pack. We see this as a test of the theory that early lethal intervention can disrupt depredating behavior.

Statement on Hanford Reach National Monument protections

Jul 13, 2017 – “We appreciate that Secretary Zinke and the White House have chosen to listen to the many thousands of Washingtonians who want to see monument protections remain in place at Hanford Reach,” said Mitch Friedman, Executive Director of Conservation Northwest.

Statement on U.S. House Resolution 2936

Jun 28, 2017 – “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017” does not promote resiliency and instead undermines years of collaborative restoration work.

Trail cameras show first evidence of fishers born in the South Cascades

Jun 28, 2017 – Grainy images of a young female fisher with her kit provide the first evidence that this rare forest carnivore is reproducing in the South Cascades, where state, federal and non-profit organizations are working to reintroduce them.

Statement on Revised Wolf-Livestock Interaction Protocol

Jun 02, 2017 – We support the revised protocol as an important collaborative policy that ensures a future with healthy, sustainable wolf populations and thriving rural communities.

Conservation Northwest statement on confirmation of Rep. Ryan Zinke as Secretary of Interior

Mar 01, 2017 – While we admire Representative Zinke for being a Western outdoorsman who understands the beauty and value of our natural heritage, his stances on undermining environmental protections and prioritizing natural resource extraction cause great concern. If he is confirmed, we can only hope that the side of him we’ll see is that which has made strong statements in favor of keeping America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and other public lands in federal hands.

Restore the North Cascades Grizzly Bear

Jan 12, 2017 – Release of draft restoration strategies welcomed as a historic step towards recovery of North America’s most at-risk bear population.


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