Wildlife Ambassador Project

The Wildlife Ambassador Project connects recreationists with knowledge needed to recreate with respect to wildlife.

The Wildlife Ambassador Project is an outreach project of the Wildlife-Recreation Coexistence Program. The project conducts in-person outreach at popular recreation areas and shares information about how to recreate with respect to wildlife and habitat.



Volunteer ambassadors help Conservation Northwest staff engage the public with wildlife knowledge, best practices during wildlife encounters, and ways to minimize impact. This outreach also shares messages from the Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement centered on respectful recreation. In-person outreach occurs at various trailheads across the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Volunteer are required to attend a virtual training and spend two weekend days throughout the summer.

Saturdays and Sundays
June 29 to September 2

Principles

We encourage the public to adopt a recreation ethic that prioritizes respect of wildlife. Our guiding principles help deepen public understanding of what it means to abide by the recognizable Leave No Trace principle of ‘Respect Wildlife’ and how to be prepared for wildlife encounters.

  • Reverence – We all have reverence for wildlife and land.
    • How do YOU respect wildlife while outdoors?
  • Prevention – We are a capable recreation community that prevents negative wildlife-human encounters.
    • Best practices for recreating in bear and cougar habitat is critical for recreationists to understand.
  • Impact – We understand the importance of reducing our impact.
    • Stay on trail
    • Secure food and garbage
    • Give wildlife space
    • Keep dogs on leash
    • Observe temporary closures
    • Pack it out
  • Knowledge – We are knowledgeable about wildlife species and their needs.


Outcomes

This project both protects wildlife and supports sustainable outdoor recreation near well-traveled and popular sites. This project aims to:

  • Reduce disturbance and displacement of flora and fauna.
  • Prevent human-wildlife conflict and support sustainable recreation access.
  • Eliminate negligence around securing food and garbage in wildlife habitat.

Context

The Wildlife Ambassador Project is a collaboration between Conservation Northwest, the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and the Mountains to Sounds Greenway Trust.


Check out the Wildlife Ambassador Project Story Map!


Recreate with Respect Bandana

The Wildlife Ambassador Project co-created a bandana with the Snoqualmie Tribe to emphasize the importance of recreating respectfully across the Snoqualmie River Valley. Ancestral lands of the Snoqualmie (sdukʷalbixʷ) People have changed significantly due to activities like logging, mining, and human development. As Snoqualmie ancestral lands include some of Washington State’s most popular recreation sites, increases in visitation and its associated impacts also pose risks to culturally important resources.

Diagonally across the bandana lies the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, with native flora and fauna on either side, written in Lushootseed and English. The bandana contains wildlife species that currently or once lived within the Snoqualmie River Valley, giving recognition to the land’s changing wildlife and habitat. It provides a perspective that encourages the wearer to consider their own impact, and how spending time outdoors should prioritize respect of land and cultural resources–like plants and wildlife.

This bandana is available for purchase at the Snoqualmie Falls Gift Shop & Visitor Center and is available at trailheads where the Wildlife Ambassador Project is conducting outreach.


Supporting Sustainable Recreation

The Wildlife Ambassador Project helps support sustainable recreation by reducing wildlife and recreation conflict. In 2023, Conservation Northwest purchased two bear dumpsters and food storage signs to help the popular Middle Fork Campground complete its goal to attain 100% wildlife-proof infrastructure. This well-loved campground, which has struggled in years past with food conditioned wildlife, is equipped to better secure human trash and food away from the reach of curious critters.


Additional Resources and Links


Please contact PROGRAM STAFF for more information, including information on outreach, funding and partnerships.
The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley is the ancestral home of the Snoqualmie People. Recreation communities are encouraged to recreate with respect to wildlife and other culturally important resources.