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October 2007

Conservation Connection October 2007

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:

  • Caribou hurrah
  • No on I960
  • A park for Lake Whatcom
  • Northeast WA Forestry Coalition

Mountain caribou in British Columbia

Caribou may no longer be staring at extinction, thanks to landmark protection.
Photo: © Milo Burcham


Big Habitat Protected for Mountain Caribou

Unique and endangered mountain caribou now have a chance at survival thanks to years of hard work by Conservation Northwest and our close allies Wildsight, Forest Ethics, and others in the Mountain Caribou Project. The BC government this month committed to protecting mountain caribou across their current range, including five million acres of Inland Temperate Rainforest, in a landmark caribou recovery plan. This initiative ranks among the top conservation initiatives of the last decade if implemented properly. It's a victory for mountain caribou, a transboundary species shared by Canada and the US and one of North America's most endangered mammals.



Fort Lewis camas oak-woodland prairie

Camas blooms on the best contiguous oak-woodland prairie remaining in Washington.
Photo: Cross-Base Highway Coalition

Wildlife Conservation on the Ballot

Initiative 960 on November's statewide ballot could hurt wildlife and wildlife conservation. The measure, which expands the definition of a tax increase to any change in state revenue and makes it more difficult for the legislature to raise revenue to meet basic state needs, could cost close to $2 million to administer. That's funding that could otherwise be better spent on conservation projects, such as protecting the North Cascades grizzly, planning for the return of the gray wolf to Washington, or constructing wildlife bridges across Interstate 90.

Also in the coming election, voters in Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties will decide on the Regional Transportation Investment District's transit project list contained in Proposition 1. Unfortunately for native prairie wildlife, the transportation package includes initial funding for the Cross-Base Highway, which would pave over the last and best remaining oak-woodland prairie in Washington. Loss of the prairie means loss of some of our last prairie wildlife: western gray squirrel, Mazama pocket gopher, streaked horned lark, Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, and water howellia.


North bank, Lake WhatcomFort Lewis camas oak-woodland prairie

Looking south across Lake Whatcom to potential new parklands.
Photo: Jonah Keith

A Leap Toward Clean Drinking Water

In September, Whatcom County and the Department of Natural Resources pledged to protect forests at Lake Whatcom by creating a new park in the watershed that supplies water for 90,000 people. Conservation Northwest's goal has always been to provide better protection for forests, wildlife, and drinking water quality in Lake Whatcom. We've worked hard for the last eight years with local and state elected officials and hundreds of other concerned citizens to protect the forests around the lake. Given the sensitivity of this drinking reservoir, transferring the portion of the state forest that belongs to Whatcom County into park status is a great step forward for the lake, the watershed, and the people of Whatcom County.



bighorn on a mountainside

Bighorn sheep graze a mountainside: An image from "Yellowstone to Rockies: Freedom to Roam."
Photo: © Florian Schulz

Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition to Present at Burke Museum in Seattle

Members of the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition are making a unique appearance in Seattle at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture as part of a lecture series on "Yellowstone to Rockies: Freedom to Roam." On Tuesday, November 13, coalition members, including Lloyd McGee of Vaagen Brothers Timber and Tim Coleman of Conservation Northwest, will highlight conservation initiatives in the Colville National Forest. It's an opportunity to hear from the people directly involved in working together on a blueprint for wilderness, restoration, responsible forestry, and jobs in the woods in the Columbia Highlands of northeast Washington.




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