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Ski
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 7:04 pm 
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Wednesday December 05, 2018 18:53 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Fishers released in North Cascades: Elusive carnivores once considered extinct in Washington state


SEDRO WOOLLEY, WA – State, federal, and partner biologists released six fishers today in the Skagit River watershed of Ross Lake National Recreation Area, a unit of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, as part of an effort to restore the species to Washington state. This is the first release in the North Cascades.

Fishers are about the size of a house cat and are members of the weasel family. They were eliminated from Washington by the mid-1900s through over-trapping and habitat loss.  Fishers are currently listed as an endangered species by the state, and are being reviewed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

A voluntary fisher conservation program is available to private forest landowners that provides regulatory assurances should the species become listed. To date 49 landowners have enrolled 2.98 million acres in fisher conservation. Fisher reintroduction efforts occurred in recent years on the Olympic Peninsula and near Mount Rainier in the South Cascades.

The five females and one male released today were captured in Alberta, Canada as part of a multi-year project to reintroduce approximately 80 fishers to the North Cascades. They underwent veterinary checkups at the Calgary Zoo and were equipped with radio transmitters to track their movements over time. Conservation Northwest supports ongoing fisher monitoring with volunteers and remote cameras through its Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project.

In late 2015 and early 2016, 23 fishers, including 11 females and 12 males were released in Washington’s southern Cascades in Gifford Pinchot National Forest (GPNF). In late 2016 and early 2017, 46 fishers were released in nearby areas of GPNF and in Mount Rainier National Park. Since then, monitoring efforts show released animals have successfully established themselves throughout the Olympic Peninsula and the southern Cascades, and have begun to reproduce.

Joining the partners in today’s event were representatives from the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Lummi Indian Nation, and Nooksack Indian Tribe. Staff from the offices of Senator Cantwell and Representative DelBene were also in attendance.

“Watching the fishers return to their native forests of North Cascades National Park Service Complex after a long absence was inspiring,” said Karen Taylor-Goodrich, North Cascades National Park Service Complex Superintendent. “It was an honor to have the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, Lummi Indian Nation, and Nooksack Indian Tribe attend, bringing their blessings and songs.”

“We are excited to work with so many committed people to reintroduce fishers into another area where they have lived historically,” said Hannah Anderson, WDFW’s listing and recovery manager. “Fisher enthusiasts ranging across nations have come together to work toward robust wildlife populations with the reintroduction of these animals in Washington.”

Fishers are related to wolverines and otters and are native to the forests of Washington, including the Cascade mountain range. This elusive carnivore preys on various small mammals – mountain beavers, squirrels and snowshoe hares – and is one of the few predators of porcupines.

“The North Cascades are a wild and iconic piece of the Pacific Northwest’s natural heritage and today they’re wilder and healthier with the return of the fisher to North Cascades National Park Service Complex,” said Mitch Friedman, Executive Director of Conservation Northwest. “We’re thrilled to be a part of this historic reintroduction effort, and thankful to all the scientists, agencies, and supporters who made it possible.”

“As one of Canada’s leading conservation organizations, we are delighted to lend our expertise in the field of reintroduction science to this international collaboration focusing on this endangered species,” says Dr. Clément Lanthier, president and CEO, Calgary Zoo. “Fishers know no borders and it is only we when work together without divisions that we can truly make a difference for species at risk around the world.”

The state recovery and implementation plans for fisher reintroduction in the Cascades can be found at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisher/reintroduction_cascades.html

Support and funding for fisher reintroductions comes from WDFW, NPS, Conservation Northwest, Calgary Zoo, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, Washington’s National Park Fund, Northwest Trek, Pittman-Robertson Funds and State Wildlife Grants, and State Personalized License Plates, among others.

[See photos of wildlife biologists and volunteers releasing a fisher at the Newhalem Visitor Center at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/dec0518a_01.jpg and https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/dec0518a_02.jpg]

-WDFW-

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Anne Elk
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 1:27 am 
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I wonder how long it will take before the WDFW has to go on a cull because of fisher predation on various chicken coops in Maple Falls, Concrete and Darrington?  Chicken ranchers will be furious that they weren't consulted about this. Certain critters were eliminated for a reason, ya know. Just ask those ranchers over in eastern WA.
Sorry, I had to snark about that.  vent.gif I haven't even looked at the wolf thread, it's so upsetting.

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"There are yahoos out there.  It’s why we can’t have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Ski
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PostFri Dec 07, 2018 7:54 pm 
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Pure speculation on my part, but I would guess that the demise of the fisher most likely had more to do with trapping for fur than for the purpose of eliminating a predator of chickens.

The North West Company (later Hudson's Bay Company), under the auspices of the British Crown, engaged in a military-style campaign to trap out every river and creek in what are now the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to discourage settlement by the Americans.
The thinking at the time was that the land, being hilly and tree-covered, had no hope of being agriculturally productive and the only thing that would attract any settlement was the abundance of fur-bearing animals.

I don't know what would be upsetting about the "Wolf Thread", other than the fact that WDFW is just now figuring out that there is no such thing as "management" other than by eliminating entire packs after the animals have figured out that the local cattle rancher is providing them an easy meal ticket, and that millions of tax dollars are being wasted on a nonsensical farce.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Ski
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PostFri Dec 07, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Friday December 07, 2018 15:54 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW seeks public participation in South Puget Sound Wildlife Area plan


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold a public workshop Dec.19 to kick off an updated planning process for the South Puget Sound Wildlife Area in western Washington.

The workshop is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 19, at North Mason High School, 150 E. North Mason School Road, Belfair.

The wildlife area consists of seven separate units that cover roughly 5,560 acres in Mason, Kitsap, Pierce, and Thurston counties. The management plan will address the status of wildlife species and their habitat, wildlife restoration efforts, and public recreation, said Darric Lowery, wildlife area manager.

At the upcoming meeting, WDFW staff members will review the wildlife area's history, discuss the planning process, and ask for public comments, Lowery said.

"We want to hear from the public about how people use this area as well as what recreation and natural resource values are important to them," he said. “We’re also looking for interested citizens to sit on the wildlife area advisory committee.”

The South Puget Sound Wildlife Area advisory committee guides development of the wildlife area plan and ongoing management activities, including those involving volunteers, Lowery said. Those interested in serving on the committee can contact him at 360-701-5145 or darric.lowery@dfw.wa.gov

Lowery said the public will also have opportunities to comment at upcoming advisory committee meetings and when the draft plan is developed.

Information on the wildlife area's seven units is available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/south_puget_sound/.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Anne Elk
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PostSun Dec 09, 2018 2:22 pm 
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Ski wrote:
I would guess that the demise of the fisher most likely had more to do with trapping for fur than for the purpose of eliminating a predator of chickens.

Aw, gee, Ski.  Of course.  But you weren't appreciating my cynical humor there.  frown.gif

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Ski
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PostMon Dec 10, 2018 2:09 am 
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Sorry... sometimes my own cynicism causes me to be a bit thick.

I'm at a loss for words on the wolf thing... my understanding has always been that the people calling the shots at WDFW and USFWS were educated, intelligent, and reasonable people.
I have to wonder if they're so mired down in their own folly that they are unable to grasp how absolutely ridiculous the whole sham has become.

I hope you're planning on attending the social on Friday.

BK

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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