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January 2007

Conservation Connection January 2007

Conservation Connection - October 2006


NOTE: All links have been removed from this archived newsletter. For more information on any topics mentioned, please use our website Search bar above.


In this issue:

  • Mitch speaks on forest restoration
  • Jobs with Conservation Northwest
  • Protect old trees
  • Bridging success

Northeast Washington Forest Coalition

The Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, here on tour in the Kettle River Range, is one of the most successful recent collaborations bringing people together to restore and protect local forests.
Photo: Eric Zamora



A Forest Restoration Marshall Plan


Conservation Northwest's executive director Mitch Friedman was recently invited to deliver a keynote address at the conference, "Challenges Facing the US Forest Service," at the Center for the Rocky Mountain West. Forest challenges include decades of industrial logging and fire suppression, and a rapidly warming climate. Friedman creates a "Restoration Marshall Plan" to help meet these challenges for our western forests.

"Some of the most gratifying work in my 20 years of conservation has included recent collaborative projects across Washington. Conservationists are finding common ground–with new high-tech mills that want small diameter wood, communities that want in equal measure both jobs and ecologically healthy forests, and Forest Service personnel who want to make productive use of their field expertise and conservation values....Today, a trail leading to a Restoration Marshall Plan for our forests is becoming clearer...."



Conservation Northwest staff

Add your bike to the rack! Commuter bikes outside the Conservation Northwest office.
Photo: Erin Moore





Work from the Heart: New Jobs at Conservation Northwest


Conservation Northwest is now hiring for two full-time staff positions and one part-time position out of our Seattle office, including outreach coordinator, development associate, and auction coordinator/office manager. The outreach coordinator engages volunteers and community for our Columbia Highlands Initiative, endangered wildlife, and the organization as a whole. The development associate works on a number of donor cultivation and prospecting activities. The part-time auction coordinator/office manager organizes our annual June auction and ensures the day-to-day operation of our Seattle office.

Are you a person who wants to save the places you love while working for a dynamic, innovative organization? Please apply or forward this message: join our staff!



Gold Creek Valley

Leaving the large trees, both live and dead, after a burn holds the soil and protects clear steams for fish like bull trout.
Photo: Roger Peters, USFWS





A Burning Shame: Old-growth Forests Threatened in the Okanogan


In late 2006, conservationists, local citizens, and representatives from local mills came up with an innovative proposal for forestlands burned in last summer's Tripod fire north of the Methow on the Okanogan National Forest in north-central Washington. Conservation Northwest was one of the participants who found common ground and developed a noncontroversial post-fire plan for the recovering forest. The collaborative plan was designed to 1) protect fragile, burned soils by logging over snow during winter, 2) reduce small wood-fuel that could feed future fires, and 3) capture the value of smaller trees for local small-timber mills.

Unfortunately for forests–and for the community–the results of this collaboration were largely dismissed by the Forest Service when the agency released a very different proposal for Tripod. The Forest Service plan targets nearly 3,000 acres for post-fire logging of large trees. It redirects public resources away from critical fuels reduction projects–including actions that could help nearby communities at risk from future fire–and towards a misguided sale that removes the old-growth trees at the heart of the new forest and home to recovering wildlife.



Conservation Northwest

Funding would protect a parcel near Lake Keechelus and the proposed Rock Knob wildlife overpass, shown here in an artist's rendition.
Image: WA DOT





New Year Funding for I-90 Wildlife Bridges


Wildlife and motorists in the Central Cascades will soon have safe passage along the busy Interstate 90 corridor from Hyak to Easton through the work of Conservation Northwest and the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition. The I-90 bridges this year received a boost when Washington's Governor Gregoire approved funding in her budget to support the first phase of a project that will help wildlife at key crossings.

From the other Washington (DC), there's hope for funding to protect forest and streamside habitat near Stampede Pass, also in the I-90 Project area. The Senate Interior Appropriations Committee in 2006 allocated close to $1 million for the purchase and protection of this land–a priority acquisition which the US Forest Service ranks fourth in the nation–and the appropriations bill will soon be voted on. The Stampede Pass parcel, passed by thousands of motorists daily, includes a historic crossing of the Northern Pacific Railroad and mile-long section of the Pacific Crest Trail.




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