The Cascadia Partner Forum hosted our annual WildLinks meeting on October 23, 2018 at Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth, Washington.  Attendees came together from throughout the Cascadia region to fulfill the following meeting objectives:

• Share information on policy and planning efforts in our region that will directly influence the resiliency of species and ecosystems in Cascadia.
• Continue collective development of our Cascadia Climate Adaptation Strategy including a sneak-peak at the regional spatial tool we are building with Google based on needs identified at last year’s WildLinks.
• Provide timely science, policy, and management updates on Cascadia Partner Forum priority issues, while providing side meetings for specific topic work sessions.
• Continue to build a network of practitioners whose work includes building resilience for species and ecosystems in the Cascadia region.

Clockwise from top left: Amelia Marchand’s contribution to our Resilient Future photo project, Andy Teucher presenting on Landscape Indicators for BC, meeting of the Transboundary Canada Lynx Working Group, panel discussing the Cascadia Climate Adaptation Strategy, and Paul Ward making opening remarks.

The meeting was opened with remarks from Paul Ward of the Yakama Nation along with remarks from our meeting sponsors, which we followed a packed agenda full of information.  Below are the list of presentors and presentations, and we have inserted hyperlinks to webpages relevant to the information presented.

Policy and planning efforts with potential for regional impact underway in Cascadia
• Dan Siemann (WA Department of Natural Resources) – Report out from the September 2018 Global Climate Action Summit and mainstreaming climate-informed decision-making at Washington DNR.
• Paula Swedeen (Conservation Northwest) – Climate adaptation language in Initiative 1631
• Matt LeRoy (Ministry of Forests, Lands, & Natural Resource Operations) – Cumulative Effects and the Forest and Range Evaluation Program in BC
• Andy Teucher (Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy) – Transparent & Reproducible Landscape Indicators for British Columbia
• Tory Stevents (BC Parks) – Protecting Species at Risk in BC
• Peter Singleton (US Forest Service) – Adaptation Partnerships and the Region 6 Planning Process
• Brian Bawtinheimer (Ministry of Forests, Lands, & Natural Resource Operations) – Land Use Planning in BC
• Phoebe Barnard (Conservation Biology Institute/ UW) – Cascadia Biodiversity Evidence – proposed coalition

Timely transboundary coordination project update:  Fisher re-introduction efforts in Washington

Cascadia Climate Adaptation Strategy including preview of spatial tool under development in coordination with Google and group discussion to provide feedback.  Panel of presenters included Tanja Birch (Google), Sonia Hall, Gregory Kehm, Andrew Shirk (University of WA), Dave Thau (WWF), Carly Vynne (Osprey Insights), and Jen Watkins (Conservation Northwest).

Cascadia Partner Forum Priority Issue Updates
• Janet Prevey (US Forest Service Research Station) – Changes in the range and phenology of culturally-important shrubs with climate change
• Amelia Marchand (Colville Confederated Tribes) – Traditional foods of the Colville Confederated Tribes
• Bob Rose (Yakama Nation), Yakama Nation Climate Adaptation Plan and proposed next steps for habitat connectivity and First Foods
• Jack Oelfke (North Cascades National Park) – North Cascades Grizzly Bear Recovery planning update
• Justin Martens (US Fish and Wildlife Service) – Secretary Zinke’s Executive Order 3362 Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big Game Winter Range and Migration and Washington State Action Plan
• Transboundary Canada Lynx Working Group members – Transboundary lynx conservation: Okanogan habitat, Kettle reintroduction, and BC demographic support; or fire, recovery and demographics
• Brief updates on emerging efforts in the urban/suburban zone of Cascadia:
o Robert Long (Woodland Park Zoo) – Seattle Urban Carnivore Project
o Jen Watkins on behalf of Dan Straker (Simon Fraser University) – Role of urban green Infrastructure in bridging connectivity in the Pacific Northwest and Emerald Corridor

Throughout the meeting during breaks, attendees participated our partner forum’s Resilient Future project where we ask people to write down one word that represents a characteristic or thing that they’d like to see in a resilient Cascadia in 100 years on a chalkboard and take a photo with it.  As part of our Cascadia Climate Adaptation Strategy, this effort is helping bring to life our living shared vision for a resilient Cascadia.  Take a look at our growing photo album on Flickr.

On October 24th there were side meetings held to further workplans for the Washington Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Working Group and Transboundary Canada Lynx Working Group.

This event was made possible with the support of our sponsors including Conservation Northwest, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and Wilburforce Foundation.

WildLinks attendees in a breakout meeting discussion on furthering the Cascadia Climate Adaptation Strategy. Credit: Phoebe Barnard