Connecting the North Cascades and the Rocky Mountains through habitat corridors, wildlife crossings, forest restoration and wilderness protection.
Latest update (October 2021): Conservation groups assist Colville Confederated Tribes to acquire massive Okanogan land tract, or read more in this feature article in The Spokesman Review
Biologists with the Washington Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Working Group have identified the Cascades to Rockies corridor as among the most critical in the Pacific Northwest, especially in the face of climate change, large wildfires and impacts from human development. This landscape and connections between the North Cascades and Rocky Mountains are vital for Canada lynx, wolverines, mule deer, wolves and other native wildlife.
Learn more in our new video, Cascades to Rockies Connections
Stretching from the Cascade Mountains in north-central Washington through the Loomis State Forest, Okanogan Valley and Kettle River Mountain Range, to the Selkirk Mountains in the northeast corner of the state and into southern British Columbia, through multiple programs, we’re working to restore this critical corridor and connect our region’s largest wild areas. Scroll down for a map!
We’re also working with local leaders to support sustainable outdoor recreation and rural communities.
Conservation Northwest operates multiple programs in the Cascades to Rockies corridor, including:
- The Cascades to Rockies Capital Campaign, closed in October 2021, to protect critical wildlands and connect two great mountain ranges by raising more than $4.6 million to purchase protection for 9,243 acres of private land in Okanogan County, transferring the land directly to the Colville Confederated Tribes.
- Our Sagelands Heritage Program and the Safe Passage Highway 97 project, championing wildlife crossings for mule deer and other species, habitat restoration, and grasslands protection in the transboundary Okanogan Valley.
- The Working for Wildlife Initiative is a public-private partnership to recover native wildlife, restore habitat and preserve working lands in the Okanogan Valley and Kettle River Mountain Range.
- The Colville Wild Campaign, an ongoing effort to permanently protect the wild crest of the Kettle Range and other backcountry Roadless Areas on the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington.
- Our Forest Field Program operates on the Colville and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests as well as nearby state public lands, collaborating with local businesses, recreation leaders and elected officials for forest and watershed restoration. This includes our participation in the Northeast Washington Forest Coalition.
- We are also leading efforts to permanently preserve private ranchlands in the Okanogan and Tunk valleys critical to the integrity of the Cascades to Rockies corridor, as well as coordinating with the Colville Confederated Tribes, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other partners to restore Canada lynx and sharp-tailed grouse.
- And we support other wildlife restoration and coexistence efforts in the Cascades to Rockies landscape related to gray wolves, grizzly bears, mountain caribou and other species.
News and Resources on Cascades to Rockies corridor
- October 2021: Homesteading family’s lasting legacy realized in agreement to return nearly 10,000 acres of habitat to Colville Tribes in conservation deal, The Spokesman Review
- October 2021: Conservation groups assist Colville Confederated Tribes to acquire massive Okanogan land tract
- May 2021: Join our Cascades to Rockies Capital Campaign to preserve a critical piece of wildlands
- May 2021: $18 million for Safe Passage 97 included in transportation package, but no agreement reached on funding during 2021 legislative session
- February 2021: Famed Kettle Crest conservationist dies, leaving a passionate legacy of conservation, collaboration and one frustrating failure
- August 2020: First phase of Safe Passage 97 project completed with private funding
- May 2020: Climate Change And Dubious Science Threaten The Canada Lynx In U.S. Mountain Forests, Post Alley Seattle
- April 2020: Canada lynx disappearing from Washington state, WSU study
- February 2020: State funding still needed to save lives on Highway 97, local legislators submit funding requests
- February 2020: Early Hwy. 97 work promising, but state funding would really reduce roadkill, reps say, Northwest Sportsman Magazine
- November 2019: Safe Passage 97 project moving forward despite setbacks from Olympia
- October 2019: Final Colville Forest Plan falls short on wilderness, watersheds despite objections
- October 2019: Management plan adds 61,000 acres of wilderness area to Colville National Forest, The Spokesman Review
- June 2019: Supporting bighorn sheep and forest restoration on Mt. Hull
- November 2018: Restoring lynx habitat near Coxit Mountain and Loomis State Forest
- August 2017: Working with First Nations to reduce lynx mortality
- April 2017: Loomis Forest protections helping sustain threatened lynx