Words of Thanks from Conservation Northwest

Words of Thanks from Conservation Northwest

Conservation Northwest / Nov 25, 2020 / Members, Our Staff

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Conservation Northwest!

By Matthew Brouwer, Development Director

Whether you are gathering with close family and friends or sheltering in place this Thanksgiving, we want to express our deep gratitude for all you’ve done this past year to help protect, connect and restore Northwest wildlife and wildlands.

The following words from Conservation Northwest staff and board show just how important you are to everything we do, especially in a year like this one of unprecedented uncertainty. Whether you give financially, volunteer, sign WILD NW Action Alerts, or participate in other ways, you are an integral part of our movement to keep the Northwest wonderful and wild!

In a year where lockdowns, eruptions, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, elections, and protests dominated the news, I’m thankful for the ongoing support from our supporters and friends. It not only funds our critical work protecting, connecting, and restoring important wildlife habitat, it also encourages us in the field to know you are cheering us on. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!<span class="su-quote-cite">Michael Liu, Okanogan Forest Lead</span>

This year I was greatly inspired by CNW’s ability to care not only for wildlife but for humans too through providing COVID-19 and fire relief support funds to affected people and tribes in the Pacific Northwest. This truly shows that CNW values the humans who we work with and recognizes us all as part and parcel of nature. I am so proud to be part of CNW!<span class="su-quote-cite">Carol Bogezi, Ph.D., board member</span>
Fishers being released in the North Cascades on October 24, 2019. Photos: David Moskowitz,

This year we completed our nearly 20 year effort to return fishers, a slightly smaller cousin of wolverines, to the old forests and wildlands of Washington state. We came up with the idea to restore fisher populations, funded the feasibility studies, and in partnership with state, federal, and Canadian biologists, we collected, vetted and released fisher in the Olympics and Cascade Mountains. None of this would have been possible without the strong and enduring support from you and other CNW members and contributors.<span class="su-quote-cite">Dave Werntz, Science and Conservation Director</span>

This year CNW has done an amazing job of not just keeping the lights on under incredibly difficult conditions, but of pushing the work forward. We’ve seen wins on wildlife crossings, funding for more range riders, and habitat connectivity between the Cascades and Olympics, none of which would have happened without your contributions. Thank you for your support during this difficult time.<span class="su-quote-cite">Elise Lufkin, President of the Board</span>

In April of 2011 I gave my first talk to the Okanogan regional transportation planning organization about Conservation Northwest’s efforts to provide “Safe Passage” on Highway 97 for people and wildlife. On August 24, 2020 we completed the underpass at Janis Bridge and fenced 1.2 miles along Highway 97 to funnel wildlife to the bridge for safe crossing. Along the way we built strong relationships and gained support from the Mule Deer Foundation, local landowners, legislators including all three county commissioners, Colville Confederated Tribes, and countless funders and donors that raised the money to make this happen. Trail cameras at the crossing now show thousands of pictures of deer, cougar, skunks, racoons, bobcats, turkeys and other wildlife safely passing under the highway. Vehicle accidents are being prevented. I can’t thank you all enough for your perseverance in helping make this a reality!<span class="su-quote-cite">Jay Kehne, Sagelands Program Lead</span>
Three mule deer crossing under Highway 97 using the Janis Bridge Wildlife Undercrossing in July 2020. Photo WSDOT / CNW

Living in Rossland, British Columbia, just across the border from the Colville National Forest and other key northeast Washington wild places, I am thankful that CNW is here working on wilderness, lynx recovery, forest restoration, responsible recreation and more. CNW recognizes the ecological and habitat connectivity importance of this region, which is often overlooked. Thank you to supporters for allowing CNW to go where the science says it’s important, even to places largely unseen.<span class="su-quote-cite">Alex Loeb, board member</span>

Over the summer and into the fall, CNW made strides with wolves and ranchers and also range riding. We met ranchers on the Colville National Forest, in cafes, at ranches, and on the side of the road. We are well liked and respected east of the mountains, even when we walk the path of moderate pragmatism. We thank you as do wolves, cows, and ranchers.<span class="su-quote-cite">Jay Shepherd, Ph.D., Wolf Program Lead</span>
A range rider at work in northeast Washington.

In this time of uncertainties and clashing ideologies, Conservation Northwest is a rock for me: science-minded, practical, and focused on tangible accomplishments in the physical world. I loved hearing First Nations tribal leaders in B.C. talking about the support they have received from Conservation Northwest as they strive to protect traditional foods and iconic grizzly bears in their region.<span class="su-quote-cite">Dr. Valerie Tarico, board member</span>

In our Cascades to Olympics Program Coordinator’s role as the Chehalis River Alliance coordinator, we have advocated for non-dam alternatives to the current flooding occurring throughout the Chehalis Basin. We have worked with a myriad of partners, the Quinault Nation and Chehalis Tribe, and other collaborators to try and offer a unified voice in the Basin that seeks to protect and maintain a healthy river and watershed, protect wildlife and wildlife corridors, save salmon, and maintain or restore critical ecosystems. All of this work has been made possible by our supports and partnerships, to which we are very grateful. <span class="su-quote-cite">Brian Stewart, Cascades to Olympics Coordinator</span>

2020 has really brought home to me the power of, ‘Think globally, act locally.’ That’s what Conservation Northwest has been doing for 30 years. Working hard to keep the Northwest wild, improving habitat and connectivity, and restoring the wildlife that calls the Northwest home.<span class="su-quote-cite">Andy Held, board member</span>

From upper left to bottom right: Mike Liu, Carol Bogezi, Dave Werntz, Elise Lufkin, Jay Kehne, Alex Loeb, Jay Shepherd, Valerie Tarico, Brian Stewart, and Andy Held.

From all our staff, board and the wild critters of the great Northwest, Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for all you do!


Don’t forget, next week is GIVING TUESDAY, a wonderful opportunity to kick off the holiday giving season and SHOW YOUR SUPPORT for wildlife and wildlands!