News Releases

Media Boilerplate

“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 updates here.

Recent News Releases

Northeast Washington Forest Coalition files first project objection in 18 year history

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.

Governor Inslee calls for non-dam alternative to flood reduction in Chehalis Basin

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.

Response to Secretary of the Interior’s termination of North Cascades grizzly restoration plan

July 7, 2020 – Despite public support and scientific recommendation, Trump Administration’s Secretary of the Interior stops work on North Cascades grizzly restoration study.

Range Rider Pilot Project enters 10th year, range riding season underway

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.

Statement on executive order undermining environmental review

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.”

Lawsuit seeks federal protection for wolverines in lower 48 states

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.”

Statement on Washington’s upcoming 2019 minimum wolf count

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

Statement on Fish and Wildlife funding in 2020 budget

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

State funding still needed to save lives on Highway 97, local legislators submit budget requests

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.

Perspectives on range riding and the Northeast Washington Wolf Cattle Collaborative

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.

Conservation Northwest helps protect Wild Rainiers

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!

Conservationists seek wolverine protection

January 16, 2020 – With Earthjustice and other groups, we announced intent to sue U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect wolverines.

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.

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