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October 2006

Conservation Connection October 2006

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:

  • Protective rulings: for roadless, old growth, caribou, lynx, wolverine
  • Saying "so long" to I-933
  • Wilderness comes to Spokane

Canada lynx

Protecting old growth, Canada lynx and other wildlife: Judges are fed up over extremist administrative policies that harm our lands and wildlife.
Photo: Art Wolfe



Courting Success for Roadless Forests, Old Growth, Caribou, Lynx, and Wolverine


Wildlands and wildlife have recently won big gains in response to legal suits brought by conservation groups including Conservation Northwest. Today, judges are helping bring back balance to an out-of-whack agenda pushed by the Bush administration. While we are pleased with these rulings, courts ultimately aren't the best avenue for establishing public policy. What we need is an administration that advances reasonable–not extremist–policy through the finding of common ground.

- Roadless Forests: In a victory for America's roadless forests, a federal judge reinstates protections–originally established in 2001 with wide popular support–for 58 million acres of roadless public land.

- Old Growth: A court injunction blocks 144 timber sales, sparing thousands of acres of old growth. The ruling follows last year's decision that federal agencies must look for and protect rare plants and animals before logging public forests.

- Mountain Caribou: Snowmobiles are prohibited from the last remaining winter caribou habitat in the Selkirk Mountains of Washington and Idaho, giving the endangered mountain caribou some much needed breathing room.

- Canada Lynx: Moving toward better protection for Canada lynx, a judge rules that the federal Fish and Wildlife Service must explain its decision to lump together all North American lynx rather than recognize the lynx's separate populations in the North Cascades, Rocky Mountains, Minnesota, and the Northeast.

- Wolverine: In a breakthrough for saving the wolverine, a federal judge last month said that the government must consider new legal protections for this rarest of wild animals in the lower 48.


Whatcom Co. farmland from the air by Tore Oftness

Whatcom County farmland, farmers, and most of us in Washington State will be the big losers should I-933 overcome the odds and pass.
Photo: Tore Ofteness





Say So Long to I-933


Imagine, having to pay developers to ensure they follow the very environmental laws that protect our farmlands and wetlands. Sound absurd? With its "pay or waive" system, Initiative 933 gives local communities the "choice" between waiving community protections or forcing taxpayers to pay developers to follow laws already on the books. That's bad news–not only for Washington's people but for the health of our wildlife, lands, and water as well.

Conservation Northwest has joined with the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, United Farm Workers, League of Women Voters, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, American Lung Association of Washington, Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, and more than 150 other organizations to defeat I-933. Be sure to vote "No" on Initiative 933 on or before election day.



Profanity and Hoodoo Roadless Areas

Hoodoo Roadless Area (RA) and neighboring Profanity RA: wilderness-quality lands in the Columbia Highlands of northeast Washington
Photo: Tim Coleman


Wilderness Comes to Gonzaga


On Monday evening, October 30, a renowned national authority on American wilderness visits Spokane to give an inspiring presentation at Gonzaga University on "Preserving Our Enduring Wilderness: Success through Grassroots Citizens Activism." An original founder of Earth Day, Doug Scott has long been active in the wilderness movement and is a powerful mentor for people working to protect the lands they love. The event is free and open to the public, and sponsored by Conservation Northwest, as well as the Gonzaga University Office of the Academic Vice President, the GU Environmental Studies Program, and others.




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