Conservation Northwest

Fall 2017 Conservation Northwest Newsletter

Conservation Northwest protects and connects old-growth forests and other wild areas from the Washington Coast to the British Columbia Rockies, vital to a healthy future for us, our children, and wildlife. Since 1989, Conservation Northwest has worke

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1208 Bay Street #201 Bellingham, WA 98225 Non Profit Org. US POSTAGE PAID Blaine, WA Permit No. 106 Please renew your membership! A hang glider descends over the forested foot of Blanchard Mountain, where the Chuckanuts meet the sea. Photo: © Paul Anderson Thank you to our dedicated activists and members of the conser- vation community who have spoken loudly to protect the core of Blanchard State Forest from logging! Located south of Bellingham off Chuck- anut Drive, Blanchard is a hugely pop- ular recreation area visited by as many as 100,000 people each year. Managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and encompass- ing Blanchard Mountain and popular Oyster Dome, the forest features wild- life watching and prized hiking, horse- back riding and biking trails. Since the mid-2000s, we've been a leader in efforts to conserve this spe- cial place. In 2007, we helped craft the Blanchard Forest Strategy agreement, identifying a 1,600-acre core zone that would be protected for recreation and environmental qualities and would no longer be logged for state trust lands Logging on hold, but Blanchard Mountain funding not yet finalized beneficiaries. However, to implement the Strategy DNR needed funding to purchase replacement timberlands to offset those in the core zone. After passionate advocacy in Olympia from our organization, our WILD NW Ac- tivists, and numerous other recreation and conservation leaders, funds to pre- serve the Blanchard core were included in both the state House and Senate bud- get proposals during the 2017 legisla- tive session. Frustratingly, the Capital Budget was stalled due to disagreement over unrelated issues, and the legisla- ture adjourned without passing it. Despite the lack of a funding bill this past session, we've recently received some exciting news. With general agreement among state lawmakers on funding to resolve this issue, Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz committed to not logging the Blanchard core in the short term. We're hopeful Blanchard Mountain will finally be protected during the 2018 leg- islative session, and we'll be working closely with DNR and other stakehold- ers to ensure funding is fully secured. Look for additional updates as they be- come available this coming winter! –Chase Gunnell

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