Washington Wild is leading efforts statewide to provide meaningful protections for Washington’s unheralded wild lands in eastern Washington. As the largest single land manager of sagebrush habitat in Eastern Washington, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has a critical opportunity this summer to provide meaningful protections through their Resource Management Plan for lands with Wilderness characteristics, wildlife habitat and year round recreational opportunities.
Audubon Washington is proud to sponsor a series of presentations by conservation photographer Dave Showalter, author of Sage Spirit: The American West at a Crossroads. Through his stunning photography, Showalter presents a vision for an American West where people and wildlife thrive side by side, replete with birdsong and the sweet aroma of sage. His images carry you through the vast terrain of the American West that is inhabited by burrowing owls, sage grouse, cranes and other wildlife. Sage Spirit promotes an inclusive approach to conservation—one that seeks to preserve economic livelihood and treasured lifestyles as well as a priceless ecosystem—and highlights the solutions that Westerners are already advancing, from sustainable ranching to renewable energy development.
Showalter will present photos and stories to inspire conversation about the importance of shrub steppe habitat and public lands in Eastern Washington. The gradual disappearance of sagebrush habitat in the West is having a profound effect on a wide variety of wildlife species such as the Brewer’s Sparrow, Sage Sparrow, Sage Thrasher, pygmy rabbit, and mule deer.
Sage Spirit Presentation Schedule (March 14 – 19, 2016)
MONDAY, MARCH 14 at 7:00 pm (LEAVENWORTH, WA)
Presentation at the Wenatchee River Institute
The Barn @ Barn Beach Reserve – 347 Division Street, Leavenworth, WA 98826
TUESDAY, MARCH 15 from 6-8:30 pm (TWISP, WA)
Presentation organized by the Methow Conservancy & N. Central Audubon
The Merc Playhouse – 101 S. Glover Street, Twisp, WA 98856
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16 at 7:30 pm (Spokane, WA)
Humanities Washington “Think& Drink” forum
Lindaman’s Bistro – 1235 S. Grand Blvd, Spokane, WA 99202
THURSDAY, MARCH 17 at 7:00 pm (Ellensburg, WA)
Presentation for Kittitas Audubon Society
Hal Holmes Center – 209 N. Ruby St, Ellensburg, WA 98926
FRIDAY, MARCH 18 from 6-8:00 pm (Richland, WA)
Presentation hosted by Lower Columbia Basin Audubon
The Reach – 1943 Columbia Park Trail, Richland WA 99352
SATURDAY, MARCH 19 at 4:00 pm (Othello, WA)
Presentation at OthelloSandhill Crane Festival
Othello High School – 340 S. 7th Ave, Othello, WA 99344
Background on BLM Lands in Eastern Washington
These wild lands support a variety of important values: habitat for imperiled species, sustainable livelihoods, recreational opportunities and beautiful sun-drenched landscapes for residents and visitors alike.
As part of the upcoming Resource Land Management Plan (RMP) for BLM lands in eastern WA, the BLM should:
- Protect the remaining sagebrush habitat for biodiversity – including species such as greater sage-grouse, Brewer’s and sage sparrows, sage thrasher, pygmy rabbit, and mule deer which rely on this imperiled ecosystem – by designating Habitat Concentration Areas and Areas of Critical of Environmental Concern.
- Apply climate change science in the prioritization of conservation areas.
- Manage contiguous wild landscapes like Chopaka Mountain, Juniper Hills, Beezley Hills/Moses Coulee and Douglas/Duffy Creek as Lands with Wilderness Characteristics.
- Support management of the free flowing Yakima and Similikimeen Rivers as Wild and Scenic Rivers.