A region of spectacular beauty and valuable natural resources, the Northwest spreads across three states stretching from the Canadian border south past the Oregon Plateau and Snake River and east to the Rocky Mountains. This region consists of three landscapes—Cascadia, Northern Rockies and Sagebrush Sea—and covers an area of 199,250 square miles, which includes the states of Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Defenders employs a comprehensive, habitat-focused strategy by engaging in landscape level planning processes that benefit multiple species in the Pacific Northwest, regardless of land ownership.
Federal Forest Lands
Wildlands are protected on various federal levels, and we’re working to ensure that those protections meet the needs of imperiled wildlife. Defenders is pushing for science-based and consistent implementation of the Northwest Forest Plan, with any revisions based on sound science and meeting the needs of native wildlife. Overall, ours is a landscape level approach to ecosystem and wildlife conservation. We focus on ensuring public forests are resilient and able to adapt to the impacts from climate change. We also are pressing federal agencies to conduct active monitoring of their on-the-ground programs, with strong adaptive management strategies to address changes on the landscape.
Non-Federal Forest Lands
State and private forest lands in the Pacific Northwest are a vital complement to the federal lands of the region, providing crucial habitat for iconic species such as Pacific salmon, bull trout, marbled murrelet and the northern spotted owl. Defenders is working to ensure that state policies and regulations provide the necessary protections for wildlife habitat on these working forest lands.
Defenders is advocating for stronger enforcement of the 1997 Habitat Conservation Plan for 1.3 million acres of state forest lands in western Washington. We are pressing the state to complete the long-delayed development of conservation strategy to protect the threatened marbled murrelet on these lands, advocating for a robust network habitat blocks that provide ecological integrity benefiting multiple species. Defenders is also working with other conservation organizations to press for stronger state regulations of timber harvest on non-federal lands.