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May 2011

Conservation Connection May 2011

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In this issue:

  • I-90 wildlife
  • Auction fun on June 8
  • Washington's wolves
  • Summer in the Highlands

Adiel Cue’s vision of a planned I-90 wildlife bridge. The Spokane grade school student was a top finalist 
			in this year's Bridging Futures Contest.

Adiel Cue's vision of a planned I-90 wildlife bridge. The Spokane grade school student was a top finalist in this year’s Bridging Futures Contest.

Washington Builds for Safer Passage for I-90 Wildlife

Governor Gregoire signed a transportation bill continuing work on the I-90 upgrade through the Cascades and smoothing the way for Washington's first-ever wildlife bridge. That means safer passage for Cascades wildlife, from elk to bear. The design of the 15-mile project from Hyak to Easton includes increasing the highway to 6 lanes, expanding snowsheds, and incorporating 15 wildlife crossing structures.

Upgrading I-90 with wildlife in mind comes on the heels of years of work protecting habitat in the area. The bill received such strong bipartisan support from both sides of the Cascades and from a unique set of I-90 project supporters, including AAA, Conservation Northwest, Washington Potato Commission, Defenders of Wildlife, Kittitas County, Central Washington University, Sierra Club, and you! Thanks to all who took action!

One of many auction items: Learn about Cascades grizzly bears in-person 

One of many auction items: Learn about Cascades grizzly bears in-person with "Bears of the Last Frontier" PBS star Chris Morgan.

Don't Miss the Auction Fun on June 8

There's still time to join us on June 8 for Hope for a Wild Future at Herban Feast's Sodo Park, a fun evening of mingling with friends and spirited bidding on unique adventures, all to ensure a healthy future for our wildlife and ecosystems. Herban Feast's delectable eats are not to be missed, and we'll feature premier wine from Terra Blanca, beer from New Belgium Brewery, and a special cocktail featuring Dry Fly Distilling's oh-so-smooth vodka.

This year we highlight some amazing auction items: exclusive animal experiences, including behind-the-scenes days at Point Defiance Zoo and Wolf Haven International, and hikes with wolf biologists. Mark and Tina Christensen remarked on the lynx excursion they won last year with biologist Scott Fisher, "We will never forget this trip!" There are also multi-day sailing journeys, exclusive home stays, and a visit to a Mexican resort!

To help ease you in, this year we are offering valet service.



A state conservation plan and chance for recognition: Good news for Washington's wolves.

A state conservation plan and chance for recognition: Good news for Washington's wolves.
Photo: George Wuerthner


A Year for Washington's Wolves

Following on the heels of a federal budget bill rider, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced a new rule on May 5 which immediately removed protections for Rocky Mountain wolves (including wolves in the eastern third of Washington). At the same time the Service announced that it will conduct the first-ever status review of wolves in the Pacific Northwest (including wolves in the western two-thirds of Washington). The review will determine whether continued ESA protection is warranted and will set the future course for the recovery of wolves in the Cascades and Olympics. Please take action today, comments are due by July 5. Visit our website for talking points.

Make sure to visit Seattle's Burke Museum for "Wolves and Wild Lands in the 21st Century." Conservation Northwest has been an advisor to the exhibit, which includes a small companion display, "Wolves in Washington State." On opening day, June 4, learn about "Recovering Wolves in Washington," in a talk at 2 pm by Executive Director Mitch Friedman, and so much more.

Conservation Northwest members can get a $2-off coupon to the Burke here.



Big views from on high: Abercrombie-Hooknose.

Big views from on high: Abercrombie-Hooknose.
Photo: James Jacobson





Find Energy on the Trails this Summer in the Highlands

If you have never hiked with us before, this summer is your chance to discover what the wildest lands in northeastern Washington have to offer. This annual hike series, co-hosted by Conservation Northwest and Kettle Range Conservation Group, represents some of the most scenic and secluded trails in the Columbia Highlands, with terrain diverse enough to satisfy the novice to experienced hiker. Our hike leaders are fun and skilled, you'll meet new, friendly people of all ages, and no doubt you'll be inspired by what you see and energized from the workout. Register for hikes.

Don't miss your chance to work in Washington's remote and beautiful wilderness. Build or fix up a hiking trail, meet wonderful people, learn new skills, and help fellow hikers to explore the wild Colville National Forest in the Columbia Highlands. With declining federal budgets, our trails won't get cleared without your help. Sign up for trail work.




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