Conservation is the Conversation
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[Photo: Defenders of Wildlife]
As we reflect on our work this past month, one incredibly valuable reflection we’ve made is that conversations launch the collaborative process, which is an instrumental piece in wolf recovery. This has been a month for dialogue and powerful conversations. We know wolves’ return to the landscape creates a myriad of emotions and opinions, and in an effort to address concerns and conflict as they arise, we’ve found an immensely helpful tool is creating avenues for open communication with communities that often feel ignored and misrepresented.
Collaboration is not about gluing together existing egos. It's about the ideas that never existed until after everyone entered the room."
Several member organizations of the Pacific Wolf Coalition have seen this concept materialize. Recently, workshops for ranchers were hosted in northern California and eastern Oregon as a way to connect with communities who want to share their stories and concerns. The goal was to provide ranchers with information and tangible tools for reducing potential conflict with wolves and livestock. While not all interactions between conservation groups and community members were positive, every participant sat together at the same table willing to listen to each other. This speaks volumes to the shifts in relationships and perception that is happening, albeit slowly. While progress doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye or overnight, positive changes are happening nonetheless and this is worth celebrating.

Below are a series of articles and stories written about the experiences during these collaborative opportunities in California, Oregon and Washington. While there is great value in collaboration with each other, we also recognize not all groups will agree on every aspect of these conversations. Even the disagreements are an essential element to this process:  
California: Oregon: Washington: In the words of Doug Smith, "...People will never fully accept wolves...The most we can get is for people to tolerate them...For many people, life is a struggle. If we can show them that wolves also struggle in life, that will be amazingly effective.” 
[Photo: Ian McAllister, Vancouver Island]

Last Friday (5/20) was Endangered Species Day and what better way to celebrate the biodiversity of our planet than highlighting the work of the Center for Biological Diversity? Take a look:

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature’s vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive so those who come after us will inherit a world where the wild is still alive.
Founded in 1990 to protect the Mexican spotted owl and return the Mexican gray wolf to its former habitat, the Center currently has more than 1 million members and supporters. Our innovation was to systematically use biological data, legal expertise and the citizen petition provision of the Endangered Species Act to obtain sweeping, legally binding protections for animals, plants and their habitats. With each passing year the Center has expanded its territory, which now extends to the protection of species throughout the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and international regions as remote as the North and South poles.
The Center has long focused its legal and scientific expertise to protect and restore wolves across the country. Our 2014 report, Making Room for Wolf Recovery: The Case for Maintaining Endangered Species Act Protections for America’s Wolves, highlights the need for ongoing protection and expanded recovery efforts for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. It was the Center’s lawsuit in 1990 that spurred the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reintroduce Mexican gray wolves to portions of their former habitat in the Southwest. In the northern Rockies, we and allies won court battles in 2014 that resulted in restoration of federal protections to wolves in Wyoming, and more recently caused the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to deny a permit to the organizers of a wolf-and-coyote-killing contest in Idaho.

In southeastern Alaska we are fighting to protect the Alexander Archipelago wolf from hunting and habitat loss due to industrial logging, and on the East Coast we are suing the Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to turn over records explaining its decision to pull the plug on recovery efforts for the red wolf.

In Oregon we joined with allies in 2011 to successfully stop the state wildlife agency from killing wolves while a legal settlement could be worked out. In Washington we petitioned the state in 2013 and in 2014 to make its wolf conservation and management plan legally enforceable. And in California our administrative petition to protect wolves under the state Endangered Species Act was granted in 2014, just in time to protect that state’s first wolf family in nearly a century. Currently in California we have petitioned to halt all night-time hunting and lethal trapping in parts of the state that could become inhabited by dispersing wolves as they reestablish in former territory. We are a founding member of the Pacific Wolf Coalition, and are on the coalition’s steering committee.

The Center for Biological Diversity’s legal team has won positive outcomes for endangered species and sensitive wildlands in 93 percent of cases filed. Our expert biologists identify which species and habitats need protection and how those protections should be implemented to put them on the path toward recovery.

But we also work in another dynamic arena: finding new ways to spread the word about saving species, climate change, unsustainable human population and overconsumption, and many other issues.Check out some of our coolest creative media campaigns: [Written by: Amaroq Weiss, Center for Biological Diversity]
[Photo: Yellowstone National Park]

News and Updates

** If you live in Oregon and/or have friends in Oregon, we encourage you to stay tuned for updates on the 5-year review process of the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The review process is underway, and it is anticipated there will be an opportunity to share public comments before it is adopted.
** If you live in California and/or have friends in California, we also encourage you to stay tuned for updates on the release of the final California Gray Wolf Conservation Plan. It is anticipated that the Plan will be released before the close of 2016.
As always, we’d like to express our continued gratitude to you for your interest in wolf recovery and your commitment and dedication to this cause. Be sure to visit us on Facebook and via our website: Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter and action alert.
Kind regards,
Coordinator, Pacific Wolf Coalition
Copyright © 2016 Pacific Wolf Coalition, All rights reserved.

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