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June 2006

Conservation Connection June 2006

Conservation Connection - June 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:

  • Summer hikes
  • Blanchard collaboration
  • Freeway art
  • Horses and habitat
  • Auction roundup

Sherman Peak - Photo: Dick Vogel

You could be here, on Sherman Peak, as part of our summer hike series.
Photo: Dick Vogel


Summer Hikes: Serious Fun


We invite you to get out on the trail with other outdoor enthusiasts to experience the beautiful, wild country of the Columbia Highlands. Teaming up with the Spokane Mountaineers, The Lands Council, and the Sierra Club, we've created a series of free hikes this summer in the roadless areas on the Colville National Forest. Hikes highlight some of the region's finest trails through the forest's remaining wild gems, all of which currently have no formal protection from development.

Upcoming hikes include a classic and relaxing, low-elevation Inland Northwest hike through Hoodoo Canyon and Emerald Lake (August 5); a more strenuous, 2-day backpack tour in the incomparable Abercrombie-Hooknose Roadless Area (Aug 12); as well as trail work parties. In another neck of the woods, we've also planned a few hikes on the I-90 Lands, where the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition is working to connect wildlife habitat. See you there!


Mountain biking on Blanchard Mountain

Some 45,000 people a year enjoy the forests of Blanchard Mountain.
Photo: Friends of Blanchard Mountain





Common Cause on Blanchard


Blanchard Mountain is a special place, the only place where the Cascades touch the sea, and its natural and recreation values are worth protecting. For the past several years, we have worked to do just that. Now, in an optimistic new phase for Blanchard Mountain, the Department of Natural Resources, who manages these public lands, has convened the Blanchard Forest Strategies Group to create a collaborative plan for Blanchard's forests. All timber sales are suspended on the mountain while the draft plan is being developed this summer.

Eron Berg, a lawyer and member of the Skagit-based community organization the Friends of Blanchard Mountain, is one of the working group's ten members; Conservation Northwest's executive director Mitch Friedman is another. "Blanchard Mountain has extraordinary value in terms of ecology, scenery, and recreation," Friedman said, "and we want to see those values protected. That doesn't mean that we'd oppose any and all logging. I'm eager to see whether we can find some commonality in this collaborative group."


Wildlife bridges

Winning artwork by Jack Gellatly of Open Windows Elementary School in Bellevue








Visualizing Wildlife Bridges


Through The Cascade Conservation Partnership and now with the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, we work to help connect the wildlife populations of the Cascades. As part of that effort, the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition, Washington Foundation for the Environment, and Washington Department of Transportation recently sponsored the second annual "Bridging Futures Contest," open to elementary kids around the state.

In his accompanying essay, winner Jack Gellatly wrote that he thinks that "helping the wildlife cross the road safely is a good idea because wildlife (animals) help us in so many ways and provide us with food, all of our dairy products, and they eat the bad things that are bad to humans. They also help plant trees because when an animal eats a plum, it poops out the plum seeds in a different area which grows a tree. And trees help humans breathe."

Congratulations to Jack, and thanks to all of our contestants from Kingston to Ellensburg who submitted creative essays and art. Later this month Jack's ad will be posted on a billboard near Ellensburg off Interstate 90 to educate drivers about this important project.


Dogs follow the scent, no foxes used

The future of the 78-year-old Woodbrook Hunt Club, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as Washington State's rare oak-woodland prairie, are threatened by the Cross Base Highway.
Photo: Mike Marsh



Horses and Habitats


A new twist for protecting rare habitat in the southern Puget Sound area took place in June, when the horse farms of Lakewood, Washington, opened their doors for "Horses and Habitats: A day out of doors." Fifty people attended the event which highlighted the rare oak-woodland prairie and the Cross Base Highway, which, if built, would cut through its heart.

Jennifer Hansen, owner of local Starfire Farms, was one of the organizers of the event. Jennifer said, "It was a great day. Everyone who attended enjoyed a unique opportunity to explore the preservation and history of horses and habitats near Fort Lewis."

"You know, we ride these lands on a daily basis, but for us to be able to share it with other coalition members so that they can see the wildflowers and know how pristine these oak and pine prairies are - that's priceless." Jennifer is an active member of the Cross Base Coalition, which includes Conservation Northwest.


Conservation Northwest annual auction

Our supporters, including Denise Joines, help us keep the Northwest wild. Thank you one and all.
Photo: Curt Gerston

Auction Round Up


At our "Hope for a Wild Future" auction at the Woodland Park Zoo a week ago Wednesday, 260 Conservation Northwest supporters enjoyed bidding on silent auction items on the patio in the only sunshine of the entire week. Over a delicious dinner, guests were inspired by Executive Director Mitch Friedman, who spoke passionately about our ability to link wild places by looking at a landscape, recognizing the challenges, developing solutions, and then moving forward.

Florian Schulz moved the crowd with compelling photographs and stories from his treks in the Yellowstone to Yukon region, a landscape that includes our own Columbia Highlands. Larry Taylor kept the bidding lively for the "dessert dash" and 21 live auction items, while 33 children got up close and personal with Northwest wildlife during the Zoofari and then enjoyed their own buffet dinner and activities in the new Zoomazium. Conservation Northwest finished the evening with nearly $157,600 in funds raised. Thanks everyone for helping make our third annual fundraiser a smashing success!



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