It doesn't quite seem like January, with the lower hills all free of snow. Temperatures have been warm for this time of year, and I worry about summer drought. Promised snow showers have turned into brief rains. I'm not complaining about the sunshine - I love every minute of it in the dark of winter. The deer and elk have an easier time grazing, but I worry about ticks and other parasites being more of a problem for them this summer if we don't have our usual weeks of freezing cold.
Climate change may seem theoretical, but climate disruption is already taking a toll on wildlife here and around the world. In such a time of change, the concept of wildlife corridors and links becomes very vivid and real. Over and over scientists are warning of the importance of connected habitat for wildlife to be able to survive and thrive.
Looking at the Big Picture in 2012, HCPC will be bringing up the topic of connectivity in the national Forest Travel Management Plans and the Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision. Paying attention to the smaller details in 2012, HCPC will be bringing wildlife habitat and connectivity issues to bear on timber sales, energy development, and other projects.
It's gonna be a busy year. Or rather, another busy year (for a quick list of some of HCPC's accomplishments in 2011, click here).
With a new Executive Director (read about Darilyn here), the generous response from our members to our fall/winter drive, and the continued support of funders, HCPC is poised now to make a real impact in 2012 on the protection and restoration of these wild lands in this unique and special place that I am so lucky to call home.
- Danae Yurgel