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Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Fisher-Lost Predator Returns to Washington

This looks fascinating. The Fisher once lived all over the Northwest. (Maybe it even lived in our Seattle area originally before European settlers and trappers).

Here is your chance to learn about the fine efforts of scientists to bring back the Fisher to the Olympic National Park wilderness areas.

: March 18, 2010
From: Adopt A Stream Foundation
NW Stream Center, 600 128th Street SE Everett WA 98208

Contacts:  Tom Murdoch,  Adopt A Stream Foundation Director – 425-316-8592
Jeffery Lewis, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist – 360-902-2374

Subject: Lost Predator Returns to Washington – Fishers

Attached: Fisher Photos – high resolution versions the attached + fisher release photos and other scenes available upon request by calling 425-316-8592

A Predator Lost Returns to Washington:With A Little Help From Some Friends
On Thursday night March 24 at 7PM, the Adopt A Stream Foundation’s Streamkeeper Academy presents: Fishers: A Predator Lost Returns to Washington...With A Little Help From Some Friends.  This presentation, which is in partnership with Snohomish County Parks and Recreation at the NW Stream Center in Mc Collum Park (600-128th Street SE Everett 98208), will be conducted byJeff Lewis, a Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife  (WDFW) Biologist.    Jeff is WDFW’s lead for the Olympic Fisher Reintroduction Project and works closely with Patti Happe, the project lead for the National Park Service (Olympic National Park), and Kurt Jenkins, the project lead from the US Geological Survey.

Fishers are  cat sized animals related to Mink, Weasels, and Otters.  They make their living by eating small mammals like rodents and snowshoe hares.  They also eat fruit and berries and help clean up dead deer.  This opportunist will also eat fish.  Unfortunately, the beautiful fur of this secretive and mysterious creature was a major attraction to the fur trade.   That beauty, combined with destruction of deep forest habitat, resulted in Fishers disappearing from Washington State by the mid-1900’s.

The Olympic Fisher Reintroduction Project  project is a collaboration of state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, tribes, the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and many other organizations, agencies, and individuals.  It is the result of 10-years of planning and preparation that included a status review, a recovery plan, a reintroduction feasibility assessment, a reintroduction implementation plan, and an environmental assessment of the recovery plan, not to mention the ground work involved with actually doing the work.  Since January of 2008, the project has trans-located 90 fishers (50 females and 40 males) from central British Columbia to Olympic National Park in an effort to reestablish a self-sustaining fisher population in Washington State.

While a large part of the project involves getting fishers from BC and releasing them in Washington, that part is small in comparison to the effort, staff, and resources required to monitor the released fishers to determine if the project is succeeding.   “I look forward to sharing some details about fishers and the reintroduction project and explaining how and where we obtained fishers, how they were transported and released, and how we track them to monitor the success of the project,” Lewis says.  “I will also highlight some of our findings so far, predict where the project will go in the next 2-3 years, and talk about the possibility of continuing fisher recovery efforts in the Washington Cascades. Hope you can make it, it should be fun.”  Be prepared to enjoy some beautiful pictures of this beautiful predator back in the wilds of Washington.

Pre-registration by Wednesday, 23 is required by calling 425-316-8592: $5 for AASF members, $7 for non-members.  Proceeds support Streamkeeper Academy.

Photo Credit - John Jacobsen and Adopt-a-Stream

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