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September 2014

Conservation Connection September 2014

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In this issue:

  • I-90 Huckleberry Editorial
  • I-90 Planting Parties
  • Whistler Grizzly Win
  • 2014 Member Survey
  • Environmental Hero
  • Protections for Lynx


A gray wolf and pups. Photo: Art Wolfe

A gray wolf and pups.
Photo: Art Wolfe


 

 







Wolves and Ranches Can Coexist

 

What happened last month with the Huckleberry wolf pack and a band of sheep in southern Stevens County was not good for anybody. The operator lost several dozen sheep and a lot of time and money. And now, with the death of its female leader, the future behavior of the Huckleberry Pack—which had been thriving in that area without any livestock conflict for several years—is much harder to predict.

Conflict avoidance tactics like range riders aren't a cure-all, but they can work well when undertaken with diligence. We know this because Conservation Northwest is involved in five such projects in Eastern Washington, using private funds and staff to help ranchers live and prosper among our state's wolf packs. This is our third summer supporting range riders, with a total of nine project seasons. And with our assistance these ranchers and their range riders have yet to lose any livestock or wolves to conflict.

Earlier this month we published an opinion editorial in the Wenatchee World, Colville Statesman, Omak Chronicle and Ferry County View promoting non-lethal conflict avoidance measures to protect both livestock and our wolves. You can read the full piece on our website here. And with the news this week of another confirmed conflict between wolves and livestock in northeast Washington, we'll be updating our Facebook page and website with further information as it becomes available.

 

 

 

Forest Service partners help us distribute native plants to volunteers. Photo: Conservation NW

Forest Service partners help us distribute native plants to volunteers.
Photo: Conservation NW

 

Help us Restore Habitat around I-90 Wildlife Crossings!

 

Want to get your hands dirty this fall helping restore wildlife habitat near Snoqualmie Pass? We're hosting two planting parties near the new I-90 Gold Creek wildlife crossings on Saturday, October 4th and Saturday, October 11th, and we need volunteers!

We'll be planting native plants including ground cover, shrubs and willows all around the Gold Creek pond area from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Beverages, snacks, work gloves, tools and plants will be provided. RSVP required. Please contact Alison Huyett (alison@conservationnw.org) for more information and directions to the Gold Creek area at Snoqualmie Pass.

The new wildlife underpasses allow animals to migrate safely north and south through the Cascades under the busy interstate. By making the area around the undercrossings look more natural, animals like deer, elk, bears and wolves are more likely to venture through the crossings and gain access to opportunities for new territory, food and mates on the other side.

 

 

 

Grizzly bear and cubs in Southwest British Columbia. Photo: Jeremy Williams

Grizzly bear and cubs in Southwest British Columbia.
Photo: Jeremy Williams

 

 

 

 

Whistler B.C. Calls for Grizzly Bear Recovery

 

Wildlife knows no borders. That's why we helped establish the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative, a collaborative effort to stem the ongoing loss of grizzly bear range and to promote grizzly bear recovery in the trans-boundary ecosystems of southwest British Columbia and northwest Washington state.

The Coast to Cascades team is already seeing success, most recently a special resolution from the Whistler City Council that pledges support for "the management, recovery and long-term viability of grizzly bear populations in the Sea to Sky region and encourages the creation and implementation of Grizzly Bear Recovery Plans as soon as possible."

Having healthy grizzly bear populations in southwest B.C. is important for the regional ecosystem and for the successful recovery of grizzlies in the North Cascades. But these bears are victims of habitat fragmentation, increasing human conflict and illegal hunting, small numbers and genetic isolation.

Still, our Coast to Cascades team, including Field Coordinator Johnny Mikes, has hope for the bears of "Sea to Sky country." "I think it's important that it be known that there's broad-based community support throughout British Columbia for the five threatened populations of southwest B.C. People really care about these animals," said Mikes. Learn more and take action at facebook.com/coasttocascades.

 

 

 

Members and supporters at our 25th Anniversary Hope for a Wild Future auction. Photo: Alex Crooks

Members and supporters at our 25th Anniversary Hope for a Wild Future auction.
Photo: Alex Crooks

 

 

 

 

Members: Please Complete our 2014 Survey

 

We appreciate your support of Conservation Northwest! We could not achieve success for wildlife and the wild places we love without the steadfast support of members like you.

As we embark upon long-term strategic planning, we are interested in hearing about your interests, priorities, and how we can serve you better. We would appreciate if you could take a few minutes to let us know what you think.

Please complete our member survey today at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/cnwmember

Members like you help keep the Northwest wild, and we value your participation in our planning process.

 

 

 

Mitch receiving his RE Sources Environmental Hero award. Photo: RE Sources

Mitch receiving his RE Sources Environmental Hero award.
Photo: RE Sources


 

 

 

Executive Director Honored as 'Environmental Hero'

 

On September 4th, our own founder and Executive Director Mitch Friedman was honored by RE Sources for Sustainable Communities as one of their annual Environmental Heroes!

"The accomplishments of our Heroes have made huge impacts in shaping our community's culture and providing models of sustainability," said RE Sources' Executive Director Crina Hoyer. "Our vision at RE Sources is to see people living satisfying lives in accord with the ecosystem we depend on – generation after generation. We are delighted to highlight the work of our Heroes in advancing that shared vision."

Mitch was recognized for his efforts to infuse landscape scale conservation biology into advocacy strategy, as well as his strong leadership in the recent creation of Lake Whatcom Park. Congratulations!

 

 

 

Canada lynx won new habitat protections, but WA's Kettle Range was left out. Photo: WDFW

Canada lynx won new habitat protections, but WA's Kettle Range was left out.
Photo: WDFW


 

 

Lynx Receive Some Habitat Protections

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently finalized habitat protections for threatened Canada lynx, including 24.9 million acres spread across six states, including Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Washington and Wyoming. Although the designation provides vast, much-needed protection for these beautiful felines, we're disappointed by what was excluded. Most notably: Washington's Kettle Range.

With vast tracts of quality habitat and a long, continuous record of lynx presence (including a confirmed sighting in July), the Kettle Range is integral to the conservation of Canada lynx populations. Situated between the North Cascades and northern Rocky Mountains, the Kettle Range serves as a key linkage in an archipelago of lynx populations across the Pacific Northwest and southern Canada.

"The high-quality lynx habitat in the Kettle River Range deserves federal protections," said Dave Werntz, Conservation Northwest science and conservation director. "Lynx were once abundant in northeast Washington but have not recovered from historic over-trapping, breaking the link in the network of lynx populations deemed essential for recovery."

We're disappointed this important habitat wasn't granted protection, and we're committed to continue working to help recover these native cats in northeast Washington.

 

 

 

 

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