30 Years Wilder: Our 30th anniversary auction and dinner

30 Years Wilder: Our 30th anniversary auction and dinner

Conservation Northwest / Apr 18, 2019 / Members

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our community, last night we raised more than $420,000 for our regional conservation programs.


A special thank you to Jeffrey Thomas, Timber, Fish & Wildlife Program Director for the Puyallup Tribe for giving the welcoming remarks, our speakers Hilary Franz, Heidi Wills and David Silverman, our Auction Chair Bill Donnelly and Board President Elise Lufkin, auction coordinator Heather Hutchison, our photographer Sam Le, all our auction volunteers, and everyone else who made this event a smashing success!

30 Years Wilder

Since 1989 we’ve been protecting, connecting and restoring wildlands and wildlife from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies.

We’re working toward a future with healthy ecosystems, abundant wildlife and thriving communities. With your continued support, we will succeed in keeping the Northwest wild!

Learn more about our successes over the past 30 years in our auction video, 30 Years Wilder:

Or view the video on YouTube or our Facebook page


For more perspectives on 30 years of keeping the Northwest wild, check out the auction remarks from Mitch Friedman, our founder and Executive Director, below.

Mitch’s 30th anniversary auction speech

Our mission is the same as it was 30 years ago: Using science and strategy to keep the Northwest wild; protecting and connecting the landscape so it can sustain its wildlife. But while our mission hasn’t changed, the landscape has. The challenges we face have evolved, so we’ve evolved in turn.

The population, economy, and climate of our region are not as they were in 1989.

Time was we fought over logging big trees and the construction of roads into wilderness. We won those battles. But climate change means our forests and watersheds are at greater risk of abnormal wildfires and stronger storms. Timely restoration is now a survival issue, to remove the unstable roads and excess of small trees that previous mismanagement caused, bringing resilience back to our ecosystems. Where once CNW was at the cutting edge of preventing bad logging on public lands, today we’re at the cutting edge of restoring public forests; supporting good jobs from Greenwater to Colville.

Time was we cheered on a new Northwest economy, with swarms of nature lovers not dependent on resource extraction. We’re glad that they’ve come, but with them are new challenges, from sprawl eating critical habitat to the harm recreation can cause vulnerable wildlife. Conservation Northwest has evolved to protect core areas from new threats, collaborating to reduce harm and grow the connection between sustainable recreation and conservation.

Time was we hectored the government to help wolves return to Washington. Now wolves are back! And it’s our job to coexist. We’ve spent the last decade in leadership building alliances to minimize conflict so wolf recovery can be sustained biologically, socially, and politically.

Keeping the Northwest wild was always going to be a challenge, but I hadn’t predicted the natural landscape would change so rapidly, and the political landscape even more. I’m proud of how we’ve responded, always staying fresh and adaptive, and have met success worthy of pride.

Many of you were here in those early days. Your dedicated support is the reason that today’s Northwest is 30 years wilder. You’re here tonight because you also see evolving challenges ahead and yet retain hope for a wild future. You are our partner in this work. And with your help tonight, Conservation Northwest will continue to be successful in leading the charge.